Golf evolving into a sport with more athletically gifted players | The Columbus Dispatch

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Martin Kaymer of Germany played professional soccer in his home country until the age of 15. Full Story
Tom

United States

#1 Jul 5, 2011
I suppose it depends upon how one defines "athlete." There are lots of people who are indisputably athletic who are really lousy at golf -- notwithstanding real effort and practice. Charles Barkley comes to mind.

So what do we call someone who can swing a club 115 miles per hour and who can frequently hit a ball from 160 yards out to within a few feet of the pin? Or who can hit the ball 320 yards and straight, which requires basically zero deflection at impact when the driver is moving at 115 mph?

Again, I think that we have mental images of athleticism that limit our ability to view golfers as athletes. In part, the limit is present because lots of people really haven't tried to become good at the game and therefore don't realize how difficult the game really is.
john z

Reynoldsburg, OH

#2 Jul 5, 2011
The article missed the fact that Jack Nicklaus could dunk a basketball while in high school. Was he an athlete?
Courtney Canfield

Bayonne, NJ

#3 Jul 5, 2011
Gary Woodland is at a marked advantage. I went to school with his folks. They are not only wonderful folks, he Dad was an outstanding athlete in his own right. Dan Woodland, like Gary, could pick up about any sport. I remember him not only for being a great quarterback and a great basketball player but for the genuine team player he was. I was a gymnast and, to this day, still fondly recall how kindly he treated folks regardless of if they were athletes or what their sport was. Gymnasts tend to get ignored and Dan would frequently visit to watch us practice and take time to compliment the guys on the team. The entire family is just plain good stock and I'm thrilled to see Gary doing such a spectacular job. We've got a fan club here in New York City and we're behind him, cheering all the way. I still wait for the day Danny admits Gary is a better golfer. :-)

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