Golf not a Sport? Really?

Growing up in a golfing family, I never once thought of golf as less than a sport. Larry Atkins, a freelance journalist, liberal columnist, lawyer, and university journalism professor, wrote an article for the Chicago Tribune titled Sorry, golf is not a sport. From the title, it’s obvious that Atkins is arguing against golf as a sport. He feels that golf is more a skill than a sport, that “real” sports consist of running and jumping, and golfers are too serious about their sport.

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 Atkins states that, “Golf isn’t a sport; it’s a skill much like bowling, billiards, darts, auto racing, curling, shuffleboard and pinochle” (Atkins). Sure golf takes some skill, but it has a whole other element to it than most of the “skills” that Atkins lists above. Endurance is a big part of playing golf (McCleery). Bowling, billiards, curling, etc. are all short compact games. They are all played within a limited space whereas golf is located outdoors on a 150 acre golf course. When walking 18 holes, it takes about 4.5 hours, while driving a cart takes about 4 hours. If you are walking 9 holes it takes roughly 1.5 hours and driving a cart for 9 holes takes about an hour. Therefore, in order to have a consistent score throughout a round of golf, you have to be able to maintain the same amount of energy from the 1st hole to the last. Another measure in sports is to look at the amount of calories burned. Neil Wolkodoff conducted a study focusing on how well golfers played and the amount of calories burned during a round; walking and carrying their bag (721 calories), walking with a push cart (718), walking with a caddie (621), and riding in a cart (411) (Pennington). The study was completed on a 9 hole course, so it’s safe to assume that multiplying the calories by two will give you a fair idea of how many calories are burned on an 18 hole course. To compare, athletes who run a 6 mile per hour pace can burn up to 557 calories in an hour. Golf burns close to the same amount of calories as most sports and takes endurance to finish the round with a consistent score.

In this article, Atkins argues that “real” sports consist of running and jumping, and that if walking is considered a sport “maybe they should give 1st place medals to those who finish first in the Easter Day parade” (Atkins).  Walking is a part of our everyday lives and it may not seem like a tiring task, but if you have to walk and remain standing for seven or more hours it can make you fatigued if you’re not in shape. According to the Olympics, speed walking is considered a sport. The event takes place on a track with the men walking a 50 km (31.069 miles) race and the women walking a 20 km (12.427 miles) race (Rosenbaum). If vigorous walking is considered a sport to the Olympics Committee, then why shouldn’t golf (which consists of mostly walking) be considered a sport too? Swinging a golf club uses just about every muscle group, just like jumping or running. Neil Wolkodoff said that, “we know [the golf swing] uses a pretty significant amount of energy-not as much as running a 10K but more than people think” (Pennington). Because the golf swing uses almost the same amount of muscles as running and jumping, golf should be considered more than just a game.

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Atkins goes on to criticize about how “Pro golfers take themselves and their sport way too seriously” and spectators of the game have to be silent when watching (Atkins). “Sure, golf takes concentration, but so does taking a foul shot in basketball” Atkins’ states (Atkins). It’s the difference in the atmospheres of the games that make this statement invalid to compare. Basketball is located in an enclosed arena that is noisy with a lot of cheering, but golf is unique in that it is located outside in a quiet atmosphere. It’s respectful to the players when the spectators are silent and quietly clap to congratulate a good shot. Being quiet allows the player to concentrate on each individual shot. Many people don’t realize that golfers have to be thinking about the shot they are walking up to. Thus, the players are constantly focusing on the next shot. Having that quietness helps the players stay focused and hopefully play well. Golf is also very much an independent sport like track and field, swimming, speed skating, and surfing. There is no comparison between golf and basketball because they are two completely different types of sports. Atkins’ argument would have been more valid if he used an independent sport to compare golf too.

Atkins argues against golf as being considered a sport. He claims that it is more a skill and not considered a “real” sport because there is no running or jumping involved. He also believes golfers are too serious and the sport is too quiet. However, his arguments can be refuted with facts and statistics. Golf should be considered a sport. The definition of sport according to the Webster Dictionary is “physical activity engaged in for pleasure: a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in” (Merriam-Webster). Golf accurately fits the definition from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. It also fits the definition from Dictionary.com: “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.” (Dictionary.com). Wolkodoff states that, “one significant measure of a sport is whether physical training improves your ability to perform, and I think that’s been proven in golf,” and I completely agree (Pennington).

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Works Cited

Atkins, Larry. “Sorry, Golf Is Not a Sport.” Chicago Tribune. Pub, 19 Apr. 2002. Web. 25 Apr.  2016.

McCleery, Peter. “Are Golfers Really Athletes?” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 2 May 2007. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Web. 07 May 2016.

Pennington, Bill. “Study Supports Argument That Golf Is a Sport.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Pub, 8 Apr. 2010. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Rosenbaum, Mike. “Olympic Race Walking Rules.” About.com Sports. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.

“The Definition of Sport.” Dictionary.com. Web. 07 May 2016.

 

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Rough Start

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1…2…3…Eagles!

On Saturday mornings I wake up early and put on my cute golf clothes, and I quickly grab something to eat as I run out the door. I pack my golf shoes and golf clubs and head to the golf course. The grass is still wet from the night before, and the sun peaks out to warm the brisk air. This is something I look forward to each weekend.

I started golfing when I was 7 and got my first golf clubs when I turned 8. A year later I stopped playing because I tried other sports and then grew out of my clubs. I started playing again the summer before eighth grade and got a new set of clubs.

Freshman year came and I knew I wanted to be on the girls golf team. I arrived at tryouts only to be met by 40 boys and the boy’s golf coach. Because there was only one other girl and I interested in playing golf, we had to tryout for the boys team. This meant that I had to tee off from the white tees! Which start a lot farther back than the girl’s red tees.

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Chipping in sand!

I was terrified! I’m not only a freshman girl trying out for the boy’s team, but I’ve only been playing for a year, was surrounded by guys, and had to hit from the white tees! Needless to say, I did have a few tears as I played the Donovan course. Thankfully, the group I was placed with understood and didn’t make me feel too bad! I stuck it out the first day and came back for the second day. At the end of the 9 holes on the second day, the coach told me and 20 other boys there wasn’t room for us on the team. He did tell me that if there were enough girls, I would have made the team. He suggested I should keep practicing and come back the next year, and that is exactly what I did.

The following year, two freshman girls and I started out the season as a team. Unfortunately, neither could finish the season and I was the only girl, so I had most of my practices with the boy’s team. Finally, my junior year there were 8 girls to make a team and we had a blast! My mom became the coach and my grandpa became the assistant golf coach along with my freshman twin sisters; it truly was a family affair!

My senior year there were 10 girls total and we rocked it! It was our second year of having an official team and we began to won some matches. A few of our girls had the lowest score of the match and gained points toward the All Conference Team. Three of us made the 2nd All Conference Team and the same three girls made it to Sectionals.

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Senior night with my girls!

My three years of golfing at Dunlap have been a blast, even though I had a rocky start. I will cherish the fun memories forever and hope to make more like them on my new golf adventure in college!

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We ❤ golf!

New Adventure on Stage 323

Since I’m a senior, I decided to try something new. All four years of high school I’ve performed in the musicals. Some of my best memories are singing and dancing on stage!

My friend and I wanted to try something new on Stage 323. One of our friends convinced us to try out for the contest play and group interpretation; but we decided that backstage experience was more our style. Our job for the contest play is setting up all the props for the actors and to help set up the back ground. The perk of being on the prop crew is the chance to travel with the cast when they perform at sectionals and state.

Contest play and group interp aren’t like your everyday plays. They are designed to have performances judged in a contest. Dunlap’s contest play, Elephant’s Graveyard, is similar to a regular play but it can’t go over 40 minutes. The group interp performed by Dunlap was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which also has a time limit of 30 minutes and the actor’s must face the front talking to the audience instead of the other characters.  The plays both go to sectionals and then on to state if they qualify.

Last year, both performances made it to state, which had never been done before in Dunlap’s history! This year both performances are going to state again!

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Sectionals this year was at Belleville IL. on March 18-19 at Belleville West High School. We had to leave on Friday after A lunch to get to Belleville for the contest plays performance at 7:40 p.m. Before we went to the school, we checked into our hotel, played in a park, and had an early dinner.

We arrived at the school early to unload all the props and the background equipment. One of the requirements for both the contest play and the group interp, is that we have to set up the stage and take down the stage in a time limit. If we go over the time limit, we could lose a rank; which could mean the difference between second place and third place. We were also there early so the actors could get dressed and get makeup on. They had a great performance that night!

On Saturday, group interp performed at 10:45 a.m. Before we performed, the cast for the contest play and the crew had a chance to watch other contest plays and group interp plays. We all helped set up the room for the group interp to perform. Our group also had a great performance! Once we put all the equipment back in the truck we had lunch and continued to watch other plays till awards.

There were seven contest plays performing and six group interps. In order to advance to state, the contest play had to get first or second place; our contest play got second! For group interp to go to state, they had to get first, second, or third; they were second! We also had quite a few actors who made it into the all-state cast. From the contest play, we had Linsey France, Jake Schindler, Noah Webber, and Andie Majdic plus some of our light crew Logan Pfalzgraf, Zach Lang, and Lydia Curry. From group interp we had Adam Raso, Emma Windsor, Claire Challacombe, and Elizabeth Duckworth made all-state cast.

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I’m so glad that I decided to participate in the plays even if my job was small. I made so many friends on the trip and made stronger bounds with the friends I already had.

Benefits of Coloring


FullSizeRender (1)Nothing beats the smell of opening a brand new box of crayons! There is not a lot of opportunity to open a fresh box of crayons in high school. Coloring work sheets was one of my favorite things to do in grade school.

I’ve always enjoyed coloring. Every time I visit my grandparents, I color in one of their many coloring books. They have a big basket of all kinds of coloring books (mostly princess and Barbie) with boxes of crayons, markers, and colored pencils. Yes, I am the oldest grandchild. Yes, I still do this today. I love sitting at the folding table my grandpa sets up in the TV room and coloring with my younger cousins.

I enjoy this so much that my favorite present I received this Christmas was a coloring book, colored pencils, and my penguin pencil sharpener.  Lately, I’ve been wondering how coloring affects us and maybe even help us mentally.

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A CNN article touched on the latest craze of adult coloring books. Research shows that coloring helps the brain wind down and focus, giving it therapeutic qualities. The article states that many researchers and even yoga editors suggest that coloring can be classified as a sort of meditation.

Marygrace Berberian, an art therapist, states in the CNN article that “coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness.” In 2005, research was done showing that the subjects who colored had anxiety levels drop while those subjects that just doodled, didn’t display a reduction in anxiety levels.

A Fox News article wrote, “ The health benefits go beyond relaxation, and include exercising fine motor skills and training the brain to focus.”

Doctors like Psychiatrist Carl Jung have known about coloring benefits since the early 1900’s, and have been prescribing coloring to their patients. Psychologist Dr. Ben Michaelis says, “Because it’s a centering activity, the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is involved with our fear response, actually gets a bit, a little bit of a rest, and it ultimately has a really calming effect over time.”

It helps stressed out adults not just by feeling calm as a sort of meditation, but it also makes them feel like a kid again. They get to relive the feeling of a carefree life- well, maybe for a little while.

Coloring can also help a person fall asleep. Many people, including myself, look at Facebook, check out Instagram, or watch YouTube video’s before we go to bed. This can reduce our level of melatonin- a sleep hormone- which disrupts sleep patterns. Coloring every night before bed is an electronic-free way of unwinding and won’t disturb melatonin levels, making it easier to fall asleep.

I have noticed that coloring at least once a week has helped me be calmer about situations. The weekend before a big test, I found some time to sit and color and felt less stressed and more focused.

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If you’re looking for a way to help lower your stress or anxiety level or fall asleep, you might want to try coloring. Sure it’s a little kid activity, but it might surprise you. You might just enjoy it so much you’ll color on a weekly basis.

Hijab Review

Monday, February 1 was World Hijab Day! A hijab is usually a scarf or type of cloth that covers a woman’s hair for modesty and/or for religious reasons.

About a week before February 1, one of my best friends asked if I would like to wear a hijab for a day. Without hesitation I said yes because I like to support my friends, even though deep down I was really nervous about what my peers might think.

The Saturday before World Hijab Day, my friend taught a few others and me how to put the hijab on. She also helped us pick just the right color to wear. Lastly, she taught us how to put them on ourselves. I know that she was laughing at all our pathetic tries! It took many tries before I got it to work!  I was surprised by how much I actually liked wearing it and wasn’t as nervous.

Come Monday morning I was so relieved that I didn’t have to do my hair (it takes a long time to do my hair in the morning!). I put my hair in a bun and to my surprise I actually put the hijab on right the first time.

As I was walking into the school, one of my friends saw me and his jaw dropped! I hadn’t told him I was planning on wearing a hijab and it shocked him. When I met up with my friends, I noticed that other girls were also wearing hijabs. I was glad other students were supporting World Hijab Day, and it made me feel better. The first few hours I got a lot of questions, but as the day went on, less people asked about the hijab. I thought it was really neat to see some of my teachers wearing them as well!

Because I liked wearing the hijab so much, I spent the rest of the day wearing it. After school one of  my friends (who was also wearing a hijab) and I went shopping and had a shake at Steak n’ Shake. We got a few weird looks, but we went about our business and had a blast hanging out together. I finally took it off right before dinner because I was getting  warm.

It was such a neat experience! I’m so glad that my friend asked me to wear a hijab for World Hijab Day. I probably would have never worn one if she hadn’t asked me.

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A few friends and I wearing hijabs!

Overall, I liked wearing the hijab. It kept me warm all day which is unusual because our school is freezing most of the time. The best part was not having to do my hair that morning. I didn’t even have to accessories either because the hijab is like an accessory in itself.

Nevertheless, I had a great experience trying something new. I want to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while and walk in someone else’s shoes (or hijab). You may surprise yourself and end up liking it!

My Christmas

Christmas!  I don’t know about you, but Christmas is one of my favorite holidays!  Why?  It’s not because of the presents (although it is an added bonus!).  Christmas is my fav because of my families traditions.  Can you believe I get to celebrate Christmas 3 times?  My family has been following these traditions since before I was born!  I truly cherish these moments with my family.

To begin the holiday Christmas traditions, we travel to my mom’s parent’s house.  Thankfully, they live only an hour away because I’m ready to see my cousins!  It is a crazy, busy house with all 11 of us, plus 2 dogs!

As soon as we were old enough to sit still, my grandma started a cookie/treat making tradition.  My mom makes all kinds of sugar cookies, and grandma buys pretzels and shortbread cookies and it is our job to decorate them!  All 5 of us cousins gather at a round table surrounded by frosting, melted chocolate and SPRINKLES!  I love all the pretty colored sprinkles!  We decorate pretzels (long and christmas shaped), cutout cookies, and dip the short bread cookies in chocolate.  Shhhhh!  Don’t tell anyone, but I snuck a few broken pretzels into my mouth when no one was looking!

Christmas Eve is a crazy busy hectic day!  We eat a big breakfast and then open some of our gifts with my cousins and then we get ready for the big dinner party that night.  All us cousins are in charge of setting the table with the Christmas plates and fancy silverware.

The Christmas Eve party is a sight to behold.  My grandparents started this tradition the year my parents got engaged!  They invited my dad’s family and they have been coming ever since!  It is so cool that I get to spend Christmas Eve with my whole family!  It is such a special evening with everyone!  And the food!  Wow! It is a spread!

It’s Christmas! We wait all year for this special day!  Do you know why it is so special (besides the presents)?  It is the day that God’s son was born on the earth so that one day he would make the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for our sins!

After breakfast, we open our gifts with my mom’s parents.  It takes a while to open gifts because everyone takes turns so everyone can see what they got.  I like this tradition because it is like we open the gift too!  And besides, it is less chaotic!  Once we are done, we pack up and get ready for round 2 at my dad’s parents house.

The car ride to my dad’s parents is a long and awaited trip. The only thing that gets me through is watching one of our new movies or (this year) coloring. As we drive up, my grandparents dog, Forest, greets us with a wagging tail and something in his mouth. I don’t know why but he always has to have something (leave, corn cobb, grass, whatever he can find) in his mouth when he greets us. It’s our joke to say “Hi Forest! How’s your binky?”

We unpack and greet everyone with big hugs. Luckily this house is not as crowded as my other grandparents house. Christmas dinner can be an array of things. In past years, we have had soup and chicken. This year we had a bacon/sausage/pork mix meat. The sausage was in the middle with bacon wrapped around the pork. It was really good!

A neat tradition we have at my dad’s parents house is we take a few minutes to talk about Jesus’ birth on the earth. My grandma Janice likes to read scripture and talk about Jesus’ sacrifice, a special time that brings the focus back to Jesus, reminding me to be thankful of the gifts I am about to open and have already opened.

Now to the good part: present opening! Like my other grandparents, we take turns opening presents and thanking the giver. I like having a time to truly thank the giver, because I know I don’t deserve their gift but they get me one anyway. (Since my two cousins are younger than 3, present opening takes longer) When we’ve all opened our gifts, it is time for desserts! Feeling full and satisfied, I head up to bed. The Christmas magic continues with “Santa” filling up our stockings, and in the morning we open them.

But the present opening doesn’t end there.

We have a Meiss Christmas, all the Meiss aunts and uncles and cousins get together. There were four generations there this year!

Because there are so many of us, we sometimes have to rent  my grandparent’s church for the night! The past two years it has been in my uncle’s refurbished barn.The night consists of talking to family we haven’t seen, playing guitars and banjos and singing, eating yummy food, and the present hunt!

What is the present hunt you may ask? It’s our fun way of giving gifts. All the presents are placed in the middle of the room and chairs are circled around. Each person gets four cards from two card decks. When your card is called, you drop it on the floor and pick a present. When there are no more presents in the circle, that is where the fun begins! You go and steal other people’s presents that you want. The present hunt soon becomes a crazy chaotic mess of fun. Once the cards run out, you get to tear open the gifts!

My family has some normal and some strange Christmas traditions. But I love all the crazy super traditions all the same and wouldn’t change them for anything!