Editor’s note: Members of the Kernel staff have struggled to find common ground on which form of golf is superior. Managing Editor David Schuh argues that traditional golf is still the undisputed champion, while Assistant News Editor Will Wright embraces disc golf. Here’s what they had to say.
Golf is the hardest sport in the world to master. It takes more practice, more discipline and more mental fortitude than any other sport.
Still, some believe it isn’t even a sport. Well, to those people, I have to think disc golf is even less of one.
I enjoy disc golf. It’s a perfectly adequate recreational activity on a nice day in the park. But it isn’t on the same level as “traditional” golf.
Golf has legends. It has Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. And it has historic venues like Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews and TPC Sawgrass.
Disc golf has that one trail in the woods behind the sand volleyball court at your local park.
And even if you disregard that, golf is incredibly more complex. It requires years of repetition and discipline to groove a consistent swing.
And it is by far the toughest mental test, more so than any other sport. Golf can be so frustrating, yet so rewarding. It takes so much continual concentration that any lapse can turn a day on the course into a nightmare.
It’s such a difficult mental test that many players crumble and collapse when it matters most. Grantland Rice, one of the most famous sportswriters in history, said it best – “Eighteen holes of match play or medal play will teach you more about your foe than will 18 years of living with him across a desk,” Rice wrote.
Disc golf is a relaxing day with a Frisbee. Golf can start relaxing, and then beat you up for four hours.
To some, it is still thought of as a sport for old, fat men. And sure, fat men and old men alike can enjoy a nice day on the links. But it takes a good deal of fitness to be great. You need flexibility and strength to be powerful and consistent.
For me, this isn’t even a valid argument. Golf has history, icons and prestige. It has professional tours to enjoy and a TV network devoted to it.
Disc golf doesn’t.
Golf is the hardest sport in the world to play at a professional level. It requires so much practice and skill that the difference between an amateur and a pro is a larger divide than in any other sport.
If anyone goes out to play disc golf tomorrow, they can do something pretty regularly that the best player in the world does just as often.
That doesn’t happen on the golf course.
I have spent much more time on the golf course in my lifetime than on the disc golf “course.” That could draw out some bias toward one over the other.
But I doubt I’m alone in this argument. Golf is one of the hardest sports in the world, and the desire to improve causes millions to spend thousands of dollars, and hours, in that pursuit.
Disc golf isn’t the hardest sport at the park.
I’ll take the little white ball over the Frisbee.
David Schuh is a managing editor at the Kernel. firstname.lastname@example.org