Tennis vs. Golf

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by A-rodd, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. A-rodd

    A-rodd New User

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    I was wondering why tennis seems so far behind golf in the US? I really can't figure out why golf is so popular? And why do so many poeple seem to make such a big deal about it now when 10 years ago no one cared. Are golfers really athletes? Is golf even a sport? I think it's a game but not a sport, I'm sure some may dissagree but that's fine. Pro tennis players are 100 times more athletes than pro golfers.
     
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  2. AngeloDS

    AngeloDS Hall of Fame

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    Well, I feel that it's slowly evolved. We see a lot of players in golf now becoming a little more fit -- the new generation of course. But most of the tour is a bunch of out-of-shape white males.

    Tennis is a little more diversed in terms of country. And I think that plays a part in why not so many people watch it in the United States. And it's not a popular sport due to a lot of the stereotypes given.

    I feel that Tennis is a lot more exciting than golf, and a lot more intense. But that's my personal preference. Old people have golf, since they can still play it but not over-exert or do too much with Golf. And most of the time the sports you play you watch.

    Tennis does require some physical strength and shape. But, a lot of the old people aren't in such shape to play tennis that well.

    Each sport has it's pros and cons.
     
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  3. CivicLx

    CivicLx Professional

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    You know who plays golf? People that are too fat to play tennis :mrgreen: as stated by Molly Shannon in Serendipity. Seriously though, I don't see how people can stand watching gold. I have no idea when the US Open for golf occurs, but that would suck to be flipping through the channels and see the US Open is on and then find out it's golf :( Maybe because it's popular for recreational players and since you can probably be a pretty good golfer even when you're 114 years old. Actually it's because they get to drive golf carts. Or maybe people just watch to see them hit the ball into the water or a sandtrap...if it was an important shot, and they dicked it up, I would like watching :mrgreen:
     
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  4. newnuse

    newnuse Professional

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    I play golf quite a bit. It's not really a sport. It's more a game of skill in my book.

    It's a game any out of shape bloke can play. Tennis is limited to people actually don't don't mind breaking a sweat.

    Another reason is the Tiger factor. That guy does a ton for golf's popularity.

    The lack of big names in American tennis has also hurts. Sampras was great but was as marketable as Anika. Roddick is a pretty boy who was the heir apparent, but does not have it factor. Getting his arse handed to him by Fed doesn't help much either. Agassis is very good for tennis, but he just doesn't measure up to Mac. When Mac was winning, tennis was much more popular. Mac was always on the news. People talked about him around the water cooler sorta speak. Say what you want about Mac and his tirades, but people talked about him. He was very good for the American tennis scene. Connors as well.
     
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  5. x Southpaw x

    x Southpaw x Semi-Pro

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    Business, guys, business. All the rich people in society choose golf over all sports as their sport, since golf doesn't require them to run, doesn't require them to be fit, and is a relaxing game for them outside their business. So since rich people are playing and watching golf, sponsors who want to attract the eyes of rich people will sponsor golf over any other sport. It's the rich man's game. Or according to them, sport.
     
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  6. friedalo1

    friedalo1 Semi-Pro

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    Golf is more popular than tennis in the USA because of Tiger Woods. Federer is not from the USA. He is a unknown quantity in the USA. When McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi was Number #1. Tennis was booming in the USA.
     
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  7. zorroman

    zorroman New User

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    When ancient man beat the ground with sticks, they called it voodoo.
    When modern man beats the ground with sticks, they call it golf!!!!!!!!
     
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  8. oumpapa

    oumpapa New User

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    I used to shoot pool. Some people say that pool isn't a sport. They have no idea what it takes to be a top pool player. I think that the same applies to golf. It takes a tremendous amount of training to become a great player and on top of that it takes all the same mental skills that you need to excell at any other sport.
    I think that your definition of sports is way too narrow. In my view - if mio. of people compete and there's little or no luck involved - it's a sport. Chess is a sport as is Petanque. Even baseball if you really strech it.
     
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  9. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    I'm probably a little older than most folks here. :)

    Most of my colleagues play golf since it requires a lot less athletic skills for a sustaned period of time than tennis. Extent of strenuous effort is with the swing. The rest is walking, posing, and driving the cart. :)

    And as southpaw mentions above, my colleagues use golf to network/generate leads for business.

    I actually like the fact that more people like golf than tennis. Why? Less interest means less folks at the tennis courts mean more time for serious players like us on the court.

    r,
    eagle
     
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  10. Docalex007

    Docalex007 Hall of Fame

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    What a dick. Chess a sport?? Sport is a clear cut definition that you should look up. Please do not confuse it with the term "competition". There is a new trend in our society to call everything dealing with competition a "sport"...i.e. Sport Fishing....HAHAHA. wtf. That's way off...considering the fact that the "playing field" is not equal to all players. The archaic term of sport is the true meaning of the word. In this sense...a sufficient amount of exertion along with equal playing boundaries is a must.

    This stupid neo-sport trend is a fallacy. And if you think strip poker is a sport too then you can kiss it because that is a huge disgrace to the athletics as we know it!
     
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  11. benasp

    benasp Semi-Pro

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    cause american are FAT. And they found their perfect sport
     
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  12. TennisD

    TennisD Semi-Pro

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    Guys, comparing tennis and golf is absolutely useless...

    I mean, why don't we just stick to comparing two sports?
     
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  13. BLiND

    BLiND Hall of Fame

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    Golf is as much a sport as Snooker is. Its not a sport, and having it in the olympics is a complete embarrisment to the world of sport!

    I agree the reason its popular in the US is because anyone with arms can play it... Tennis however you need arms, legs, and a basic fitness.

    Here in the UK Golf is so-so popular... its more popular than tennis, but not much more... mostly played by business types who no doubt enjoy driving those little caddies, and being outdoors, as it gives them an emotional cussion, so they believe they actually do something with thier lives other than work, eat and get fat. Plus its really great for making executive decisions, based on those important factors of, did I break par or not.
     
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  14. pspcpog

    pspcpog New User

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    Tennis and Golf

    I play both tennis and golf. I picked up golf when I was 9 and I am now a scratch player. That's an equivalence of 5.0 or 5.5 ntrp I guess. I used to be nationally ranked at the junior level. I started playing tennis a little later in my life at the age of 12 I but I wasn't really into it as my golf.
    Golf has been my favorite sport until about three years ago when I started playing tennis seriously. When I took tennis seriously, I was surprised to understand how similar they are in terms of swing/stroke mechanism. When I first understood this similarity, my service and strokes were beginning to benefit from my golf swing. I am a strong hitter of a golf ball and I average 300+ yard drive. Although I have been taking tennis seriously for only about three years, I am now a 4.5 ntrp player with 120+ mph first serve with powerful strokes and not that bad at the net either.
    Don't look down on golfers as unathletic fat people. You would be surprised how strong golfers are when it comes to upper body and leg strength. Golfers have to be very flexible too, since most of the head speed comes from the combination of flexibility and power. Both sports require high levels of physical strength, flexbility, and touch. Unlike tennis, however, golf doesn't require how quick you need to move from point A to point B. This might be the only reason why people don't think of golf as a sport, but running isn't a necessary condition of sports.
    I enjoy golf because of its mental aspect, since you have to concentrate and think more. I like tennis because of its competitive and fitness side. I think both sports complement each other very nicely.
    Preference in sports is a subjective thing. You never know you might fall in love with golf in the near future as many great tennis players did.
    BTW, I watched Henman and Ferrero playing golf and they are pretty good. Certainly better than Lendl and Samprass to name a few...
     
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  15. BLiND

    BLiND Hall of Fame

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    Don't get me wrong I like golf, just I think its played by fat business people who pretend it keeps them fit :)
     
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  16. treo

    treo Rookie

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    Golf is a sport that requires more skill and mental strategy than tennis, but of course less fitness. As someone who plays both, it is harder to play at a consistent intermediate level at golf then tennis. With tennis if you have a few weapons in your arsenal you can play well but in golf there are so many variables of shots that come into play which makes it so difficult to master. Someone like Roddick who has two weapons wouldn't last in the PGA.
     
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  17. pianeon

    pianeon New User

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    Um...no. Common usage determines the "true" meaning of words. Every language evolves, drifts, or whatever the hell you want to call it. The very fact that it has an "archaic" meaning connotes that it no longer means that.
     
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  18. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Very well said...Playing more than one sport can often enhance your performance in each sport. Golf and Tennis require two different approaches but your tennis can improve when you bring the mental side of golf to it.

    The stereotype of the "fat, out of shape" golfer is akin to a 2.5 or 3.0 twice a month tennis player. Both sports require quite a bit of coordination and practice to play at a competitive level. Also, don't underestimate the physical challenge of walking 18 holes.

    Maybe before you blast away at something outside your comfort zone, you should give it a try. You might find you like it.
     
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  19. efice32

    efice32 Semi-Pro

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    Exactly. People can relate to the guy walking the course drinking a beer more than they can relate to Andy Roddick hitting 130+ mph serves for 5 sets.
     
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  20. Tchocky

    Tchocky Hall of Fame

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    I think golf takes more years to master but you can't really compare the two. You might as well compare basketball to baseball. I would rather play tennis than golf but you can play golf a lot longer...agewise.
     
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  21. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    If walking a mile and a half during the course of several hours over smooth terrain is considered a physical challenge, then the person is not very fit at all. Which makes golf a physical challenge for the unfit, tennis is a physical challenge for the fit.
    I plan to take up golf again next year, but I'm not going to pretend it is something it is not.
     
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  22. coach

    coach Semi-Pro

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    As a 30 year player of both sports, I understand both sports pretty well. Yes, there are overweight golfers who may kid themselves that their sport is keeping them in shape, just like the overweight singles player that plays once a month. At the other (extreme) end, Federer, Woods, both guys are great athletes. If you don't think Tiger has strength, watch him hit a ball 185 yards out of deep rough, 15 feet from the pin (that is akin to running and ripping a crosscourt winner from behind the baseline). Lots of the pro golfers have back trouble because of the twisting that is required combined with swing speeds over 100 mph.

    Finally, if you WALK the golf course, and it's a full, regulation 6700-7200 yard course, with additional yardage between green and the next tee that is not factored in, you are walking and carrying or pulling a bag of clubs close to 5 miles, and many times over some fairly hilly terrain. Certainly not as taxing as 3 hard sets of singles, but also not as "couchpotatoish" as some of the posters have suggested.
     
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  23. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Hey, I never said it was as physically challenging as tennis. But, after you spend 4-5 hours in the sun, walking 3-4 miles (not 1 1/2), carrying 30+ lbs. of clubs, you will be tired.

    I play both golf and tennis on a regular basis and my point is that they have their own unique set of challenges which you shouldn't underestimate until you have experienced them.
     
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  24. A-rodd

    A-rodd New User

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    No way does golf require more mental strategy or sklill for that matter. I'm sure if you play 2 games of tennis a day for 15 min then call it quits sure it might seem rather easy. But when your playing some one for 4 hours and is 90+ degrees out side and they're are just as good as you, don't tell me about skill or mental strategy. It may be more difficult for poeple to hit a golf ball the proper way or the way they want to hit it on different courses, and I'm not saying it's an easy game but more skill and mental strategy is not an option.
     
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  25. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    Golf is much more social - and more business is done on a golf course.
     
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  26. neoa1213

    neoa1213 Guest

    professional gaming > tennis > golf
     
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  27. baseliner

    baseliner Professional

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    I play both tennis and golf

    To those who say golf is not a sport, please move to Atlanta, Georgia and come walk 18 to 36 holes a day in June to August heat. Golf takes a great deal of hand eye co-ordination, skill and strategy. Sure there are those who ride carts, smoke cigars and drink heavily on the golf course. There are also those who play doubles only with oversize rackets with an open can of beer they drink from on each change-over. Elite golfers are athletes just like world class tennis players.
    I am considerably better tennis player than golfer and I play far more tennis than golf. I can appreciate the skill needed to play each sport.
     
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  28. araghava

    araghava Rookie

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    For a lot of people golf is a social outing. You go out with 2 or 3 buddies and spend 4 or 5 hours socializing. There's far more time spent talking with your buddies than in actually hitting the little white ball.

    Another aspect is that in golf you play the course, not the opponent. This allows players at completely different levels to play together. In tennis its always frustating if you play someone who is far inferiour to you.
     
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  29. Docalex007

    Docalex007 Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, that statement was misleading. However, remember that there are several possible definitions regarding the term "sport" that carry different meanings. In this case, one would clearly refer to the original interpretation of the word "sport" since it is in its purest form. As you should know, through time a society creates and changes a term's meaning to better reflect a current trend. This however does not make the usage proper and correct. Therefore the root meaning of the word "sport" is better than the trendy coined word "sport".
     
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  30. nguyenthuc

    nguyenthuc Rookie

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    I would agree that to excel in golf requires lots of practice and skills, just as in tennis. Both can be fun (when you're winning) and frustrating (when you're not). However, golf cannot compare to tennis in terms of athleticism and endurance (especially when they have carts to take you from tee to tee). After 4+ hours of grinding, one-on-one tennis on a hot humid summer day against a dogged opponent who has always owned you, nothing beats the pure adrenaline rush of saving matchpoint in a 5th-set tie-breaker with a running, single-handed, topspin crosscourt pass for a clean outright winner!!!
    haha, got a little carried away there...
     
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  31. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    If you only play one sport, it is difficult to appreciate the finer points of other sports. Ask anybody who plays 4.0 or above tennis AND is a 10 handicap or better in golf and they will confirm that tennis is more physically challenging and golf is more mentally challenging. I could give many examples but you must be open to the differences and similarities of the two sports.

    Obviously, everyone here plays and loves the game of tennis. And some of us play and love the game of golf as well. If you don't play golf, then maybe you can learn something about the game from this discussion.
     
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  32. scez

    scez Semi-Pro

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    Golf is soooooo much more mental then tennis. It took me 30 minutes for me to get bageled my first match in my first ever tennis tournament to stop being nervous. After that, I was never nervous in a tennis match/tournament. While in tennis you can miss a shot, or a couple, and not be in trouble, golf is the opposite. You can screw up one shot and lose just like that. Every time the conditions are different in golf, if it is the course, weather, length of grass, etc. In golf, a 3 yard putt can be harder then a 300 yard drive.

    Walking a golf course can be hard, not harder then tennis though. But walking 4 miles, up and down hills carrying a heavy bag in the summer is really tiring. I can play tennis for hours, but the thought of walking 18 holes scares me.
     
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  33. Oscar

    Oscar New User

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    I agree 100%. I´m a 4.0 tennis player and a 15 handicap and i love playing tennis for its physical challenge and the fun but golf is a lot more mentally challenging. You have to play both sports to understand what the differences are. If you have never played golf it is difficult to give it the credit it worths.
     
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  34. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you and your question completely. It is not sport, something like chess or poker. I think people play Golf because of prestige because tennis is wider overall in the world. Tennis is more popular because every human being ( or almost every) knows at least who is Agassi or heard about Sampras, but I never knew the name of world No 1 in Golf for example.
     
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  35. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

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    This thread sounds like a conversation between a bunch of 10 year olds without a dictionary.
    Thanks for the laugh.
     
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  36. Puma

    Puma Rookie

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    I cannot resist.

    I have played golf since I was a kid. I played college golf. I work in the golf industry and have for the last dozen or so years.

    There is no need to bash golf in order to praise tennis. They are both "SPORTS". Both require skill and mental strategy. Both take much time to become effiecent at.

    I no longer compete in golf, thus I have very little interest in playing. I play tennis now. I enjoy it and it keeps me in shape. Golf does not or never did do anything for physical conditioning compared to tennis.

    As an earlier poster stated, many of the mechanical movements in both sports mirror one another. Believe it or not, it is true.

    One thing I can say for tennis and its difficulty is that the serve is one tough thing to master. No shot in golf is quite like the serve in tennis. It is my opinion that the serve is most like a putt in golf. Not the drive.

    One thing that both sports have in common is this; it is the hack player who supports the sport. Its the pros that play the game so well. But the hacks buy the clubs, shoes, rackets, balls etc. It just in golf the waist size for a pair of shorts is a little larger.
     
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  37. jings

    jings Professional

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    Oddly it was the definition part that interested me. Docalex007 said "a sufficient amount of exertion along with equal playing boundaries is a must." He was using an archaic frame of reference supposedly, so the Oxford English Dictionary currently sets the parameters around an amusing pastime (including killing wild animals ... which is where Federer and Roddick matches fit in I guess) which requires participation in games or exercises with an athletic character or pursued in the open air. Certainly the OED would consider the game of golf a sport under those criteria and I would say that Docalex007s original statement does as well. A golf course has very clear and equal playing boundaries for all, including a highly detailed set of rules, that is an important element so far missed. It also requires exertion - at least the golf I play does. Admittedly the exertion element has been whittled away by the advent of golf carts, which I hate. But carry your bags for 18 holes at Tralee in the driving wind and rain and you'll know all about exertion and exhaustion. Golf has been corporatised, probably more than any other sport that springs to mind, and in some ways it's ruined it. But at the same time the money has elevated standards at a professional level that leave a modest 12 handicaper like me humbled. To quote the PGA, "these guys are good". I just don't see how you can look at golf now, the hours spent practising by the pros, the fitness work they do, the mental coaches, swing gurus etc and consider golf not a sport. Each to their own I guess.
     
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  38. Puma

    Puma Rookie

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    Jings,

    I appreciate your position. There is nothing I can think of that takes more determination than having to tee is up at eight am on a cold spring day in a drizziling rain. Its really hard to get pumped up and focus with wet cold feet.

    At least tennis is more of a fair weather sport. I just absolutely hated playing golf in cold wet weather. To make is worse, these were the conditions I played my best in. I still hated it.
     
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  39. A-rodd

    A-rodd New User

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    There is nothing you can think of that takes more determination than having to tee up at 8 am on a cold spring day in drizziling rain???? Try being a cop on a winter morning at say 2:30am on a -50 degree day casing an escaped convict from the prison. You didn't think out you responce very well, or you have led the most sheltered life of any human I know.
     
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  40. A-rodd

    A-rodd New User

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    I'm soryy if you thought I only play one sport, I play many sports and have even played games like golf and chess. What I want to know is why many in this country (the US) think golf is some amazing game they can brag about all day and night, when tennis which is a real sport with real athletes that gets little or no attention. I think however I have found the answer. People here in the US love to spend money and act rich. Golf you can buy $3000 clubs, drive around the course with your little nike hat and shirt, drink a little beer and act like your really an athlete. Then you can go brag about how great you did and how great the clubs are and how great the beer was and the cigar then watch golf on TV and say wow what athlete's just like me!!! Golf is a good game and that's it. Athletes play golf, but playing golf doen't make you an athlete. If pepole would stop making such a big deal about golf and the new poker crase I could see some highlights of tennis on ESPN.
     
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  41. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    The real reason that golf is more popular than tennis has nothing to do with the physical aspects of the respective games/sports/whatever you'd like to call thems.

    The main reason that golf is preferred over tennis is simply because golf lends itself much more to sociability than does tennis. You play golf with one other person, or with three others, and the time available for conversation is approximately 95% of the 4 or 5 hours you're out on the course. Only when a person is striking his/her ball is there no opportunity for social conversation. as well, golf, due to its inherent conversation opportunities, is ideal for 'business meetings'.

    Compare this to tennis, where, realistically, the only time to converse would be on change-overs, which is rather fleeting, and isn't very practical.

    That's why golf is more popular than tennis - both at the playing level, as well as at the spectator level. People see it on TV and say "Hey - I do that" - and so they watch it.
     
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  42. newnuse

    newnuse Professional

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    I guess it all depends on your definition of a sport.

    Let me start by saying I love golf. I keep my bag and soft cleats in my car at all times, benefits of living in Los Angeles.

    My definition of a sport is a competition that requires physical exertion. Something that requires you to break a sweat no matter how cold it is. Something that a winner can be determine in a quantifiable way. Any game that requires judging by humans is not a sport in my book. People are just too bias.

    Golf is not a sport. Any game where a fat 45 man can go out and beat a top 20 yr old is not a sport. I carry my bag when I play. Walking is not that tiring. Please do not come up with walking on a hot day or cold freezing rain argument. That is the weather than makes you uncomfortable. If you stood outside in the sun for 4 hours on a 95 degree day, you would get tired & dehydrated.

    It's a game of skill. Bowling is a game of skill. Yeah your arm gets tired after a few games, but c'mon do you consider it a sport? Snooker and chess are mentally draining, but they are not a sport. It requires more than that to be a sport.
     
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  43. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Chill out man. We are talking about sports, not life and death.
     
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  44. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Again, chill out. You take a reasonable discussion of issues and make it a gripe session. There are lots of different people with lots of different interests. Go find some tolerance and enjoy the world around you. If you want tennis and tennis players to get more attention, then quit insulting other people, try to understand others, and be positive.
     
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  45. noname

    noname New User

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    Interesting discussion. I played tennis my whole life and competed both professionally and in college. I picked up golf about 3 years ago, and I will have to agree that the mental aspect of it is probably harder than tennis. Only for one reason though, the fact that even a small lapse in your concentration can get you completely out of contention. In tennis you can have bad games, and even a set, but if you have one or two bad holes in golf you are done. Also comparing the two from the aspect of progression in ones game is another thing that is so much harder to come to terms with in golf. In tennis if you are an average player you will always be around that level, granted you might play better or worse on some days, but if you equate that to the way your golf game can be if you are a higher handicapper it would go something like this. You are playing a tennis tournament and you just won the first round and have played great. You are all pumped up for your second match and you are about to start serving. Your first serve goes over the fence, and your second one goes in the bottom of the net you can't understand what just happened you were playing great yesterday. Not only that but due to one service fault you are now down 4:0, that is how I would compare the two, just from my personal experience. I think some of your golfers out there can probably relate.
     
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  46. A-rodd

    A-rodd New User

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    You like to belittle with your words. I think you need read some of the statments a little better you would understand my point. I haven't made anything a gripe session.
     
    #46
  47. A-rodd

    A-rodd New User

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    There are many different ways Puma could have typed his statement. I think if people would just think a little before they type and talk this would be a much better place. However you can stick up for whom ever you want.
     
    #47
  48. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
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    Fair enough to everything you said.
    I was estimating the mileage on the 7,000+ yardage, but that doesn't count all the zigging around. I used to caddy, so the clubs don't bother me.
    You're right, they do have their differing sets of challenges. Somehow, golf is much more mental torture than tennis for me, I've never gotten the sense of completion with it that I do with tennis. That's because I've played well and DEFEATED a capable opponent before, but I've never beaten the golf course.
    Deuce makes a great point about how golf is a wonderful social/business game. I've witnessed both friendships form and business deals cut on the golf course.
    I'll be looking over those bargain $200 - $300 Wilson golf sets right after Xmas...
     
    #48
  49. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
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    Location:
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    Come to texas after you get those clubs and we'll play some golf and tennis.
     
    #49
  50. leog

    leog Rookie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Messages:
    290
    golf is a joke. It's for old, out of shape, rich white guys to get together and do business deals. It's more popular in America than tennis because it takes no quick thinking skills and no physical conditioning.

    We have no standards here as to what we call sports/athletes...just look at baseball and Nascar...there's a reason little league outfielders sit down, untie their shoes, and play with the grass during games, baseball is boring as h3ll most of the time.
     
    #50

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