Neil Wolkodoff, program director for the Denver Center for Health &
Sport Science (
www.denverchss.com), has performed a number of studies
on golf and is the author of Core Powered Golf (Kickpoint Press, 2000).
Are vehicle black boxes
a good idea?
IF YOU REMEMBER golf
tournaments from the
1960s, it appeared then that
being out of shape, smoking cigarettes and consuming cocktails were part of
the golf culture and golf play. As in every other
sport, however, golfers have determined that better performance comes from treating the game
as a sport and training accordingly. While the
equipment is better, the real reason for the lower
scores and longer drives is that the bodies of the
tour players are better.
Compared to the punishment and exertion of
boxing, golf doesn’t appear to be a sport because
the physical effort is spread out over five hours,
not divided into intense rounds of three minutes
of maximum effort. During 18 holes of golf, you
are likely to burn upwards of 1,500 calories, no
small amount of energy.
Also during the round, your heart rate will
get into your aerobic training zone, and on
occasion even go above this level. So, golf takes
both general and sprint endurance to play really
well; it’s simply not a game of skill without a
From a strength perspective, golf uses every
muscle in the body to swing in a fluid, graceful
movement. It is essentially a highly developed
skill that relies on physical conditioning to be
powerful and repeatable. If that weren’t true,
tour players would not be pursuing full-time
Percentage reflects votes
received by April 17, 2013.
Can a fallen leader still
promote a good cause?
YES: 51% NO: 49%
votes received by
March 31, 2013.
from an expert in the field:
Michael Graham (
www.michaelgraham.com) hosts a radio talk show
weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. on the New England Talk Network. You can
follow him on Twitter @IAmMGraham.
THERE IS VIRTUALLY no
connection between athleticism and golfing ability. Golf
is a challenging game and a
terrific pastime, but a sport?
A sport is a competition
between athletes in which, all things being equal,
physical strength and endurance will determine
A PGA championship—competitive golf at its
highest level—could theoretically come down to a
match between Phil Mickelson and John Daly. The
former suffers from psoriatic arthritis and the latter looks to me like he spent most of his career
following the strict training regime of Animal
House’s Bluto Blutarsky.
Nobody asks if the NBA’s LeBron James or
the NFL’s Ray Lewis are athletes, because the
answer is self-evident. It’s their job to run, jump,
jam, slam and tackle.
Have you ever seen a PGA golfer run? Not
unless there’s an angry spouse chasing him with
a sand wedge.
Golf fantasists who argue they are gladiators
of the putting green point to a study by Denver
researcher Neil Wolkodoff showing that golfers
burn 721 calories per round.
First, 721 is the calorie burn for golfers who
walk and carry their own clubs—which never
happens in the PGA. In reality, the average
American golfer riding around in a cart with a
cooler full of beer could drink more calories
from half a six-pack (450) then he or she will
burn on the back nine.
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