An Old Man’s Sport

Many wonder if golf is a proper sport yet not all old men have the ability to play it

Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.
4 min readJan 9, 2021
Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

“Golf is a game for lazy old men!”

is what you`d have heard me say when I was 11 years of age. But within a year I was eating my words.

“Was I wrong?”

I hear you ask.


By the time I`d hit puberty I knew that golf one of the greatest sports in the world.

Living the dream:

On my first day of my last year in primary school, I cycled home from school faster than I ever raced those legs. The excitement pushed those peddles for me. I was eager to see our new family-owned golf course open for the first time.

That’s was the beginning of my journey with golf and how I discovered its incredible sporting appeal.

My mother and father were happy with the attendance in the first part of the day with some sporting greats having dropped by to play a few holes here and there and check out the lie of the land.

Former players attended who were swashbuckling and tough in their own team contact sports. Many of them were footballers and hurlers from the elite national Irish games. Hurling, played with athletes who wielded wooden sticks as long as golf clubs through the air with tangled outreached arms whilst battling for a small ball of possession. They provided our new golf course with plenty of long hitters.

At only 12 years of age, I was living the sporting dream.

The sport of golf:

Sport is an activity that involves physical exertion for recreation or competition. It can be either an individual or a team game.

“So how does golf fit that description?”

Golfers are active participants in a competitive environment. To firstly enter into the competition with other golfers, a player needs to establish what their handicap is. This is a way of measuring the ability range of one golfer against another and it dictates the strength of their game to enable competition organizers to categories various players into brackets so that the competitive landscape will be just that.

For example, not every golfer in the world has a handicap that is as low as a golfer competing in the US Masters so they wouldn’t be invited to play in that tournament. If they did play the course and the field of players would test them beyond their limits and their score would be miles away from any potential mathematical possibility of finishing within the top 100 players.

Photo by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

The Physicality of golf:

Although golfers walk a lot between shots a standard game in the full course will take anything from 3 hours to several hours to complete. If your cardiovascular system is not up to scratch you’ll certainly feel the strain by the time you step on that tee to drive your ball as far as it can go. That’s when your mental concentration and physical athleticism will combine to place your ball in the most advantageous position or possibly end your day of action in one single shot.

In-swinging a golf club well all of your muscles must be in a harmonic rhythm with your positive mindset and be able to withstand the aggressive pressure of not just your thrust, but those that stare at your attempts to pinpoint that ball as close to the flag as you possibly can.

Golf demands extraordinary sporting skills. These skills are a combination of physical, mental, and kinesthetic ability all synchronized together in one split second stroke.

Decades of change:

It’s been three decades since I first became aware of the power of the sport of golf. I`m no longer that young child who dreamed of a sporting future but was give a sporting present instead.

Life and the decades have changed me.

My body has gone through its development and come out the other aged side. My professional life has seen me mingle with the best of professional sportspeople and left me convinced that from physical, neurological, and psychological standpoints golf is indeed a fine sport and one that demands a great sportsman or woman to master its intricacies.

Photo by Peter Drew on Unsplash

Memories make my body ache for more golf:

Every year as the US Masters rolls around in April, I sure that I have it recorded on my TV and that my Thursday to Sunday is free to watch the elite golfers compete. Annually, the sublime layout of the Augusta golf course shows me that summer is on the horizon and sports of all kinds are just getting back into action.

Golf gets the ball rolling for the real mental competition of the year. Although I’ve played many sports in my younger days and now have a body that can echo the physical exertions that I suffered, golf is still there in my mind’s eye tempting me to get back into the sporting swing of things.

I might, but then again, if I`m now a lazy old man I`ll hardly be able to even walk around the course.

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Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.

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