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The Question: Is golf an athletic contest?

TEX McCRARY, Manhasset, N.Y.
Radio and TV personality
"No. Golf is like mountain climbing. You are playing against yourself. Unlike mountain climbing, I never knew a golfer who worked up a good sweat. Sweat is a prime essential of an athletic contest. It's the only way one can get rid of his frustration. I've argued that question with Ike in Washington."

BOB HOPE, Hollywood, Calif.
"Golf is a most strenuous and taxing athletic contest. Take my word for it, I know. I've been playing it for years, and you know the kind of opposition I run up against. If it were not such a strenuous, trying and tiring game, why should Bing Crosby find it necessary to take his nurse along as a caddy?"

HERBERT N. WHITE, Virginia Beach, Va.
Former baseball coach at VMI
"No. An athlete can be a golfer, but a golfer need not be an athlete. An athlete should have courage, combativeness, strength and speed or agility. This does not imply that a man with one or more of these qualities is an athlete. A golfer can get along very well without any of them."

JACK FLECK, Davenport, Iowa
U.S. Open champion
"Very definitely. In the competitive field, golf requires a good deal of training and long hours of practice. It needs trained muscles and controlled strength as well as careful coordination and good thinking. No athletes require more preliminary effort to achieve a peak than top-ranking golfers."

TONY CARVAJAL, Fort Worth, Texas
Hotel manager
"Heck, no! It's an old man's game. For every athlete who plays golf, there are a hundred duffers who take golf as an excuse for a long walk in the country. I'm delighted it's that way. An old duffer like me has plenty of company I wouldn't have if it were an athletic contest."

HARRY CROWDER, Allentown, Pa.
"Where do the athletics come in? At the 19th hole? Maybe so, if you have a good throwing arm and can hold your own bending the elbow. A friend, embarrassed when he lost four strokes blasting out of a sand trap, said, 'This is a funny game.' His caddy replied, 'Mister, it isn't supposed to be.' "

Chairman, Evans Scholars Foundation
"Yes. Golf is a strenuous game where one strives for perfection. Rarely does he succeed. Anything you do physically that is a challenge is an athletic contest. If golf is not an athletic contest, why do so many of my wealthy friends send their talented caddies to their alma maters to play golf?"

"Golf is greater than an athletic contest. It's like life itself. You may be hazarded, or trapped, or stymied—the fascination is that you can try again. Training for full use of your power makes the difference between triumph in competition and the quiet desperation of conflict within yourself."

President, U.S. Golf Assn.
"Certainly. I've argued that with my tennis friends. They insist golf cannot be played defensively like tennis or football, etc. That's not true. In golf, you place your opponent at a disadvantage by your offensive play. In no sport is a man more psychologically affected by his opponent than in golf."

REX SMITH, Gate City, Va.
Airline executive
"No. Golf is a great sport. Sure, it's a contest. But so are chess and billiards. We men like the game because of the excuses we can give our wives for long absences from home. The wives wonder why we gain weight playing golf. I can tell them why. There's a hot-dog stand on every other tee."

ED WYNNE, New York
Owner, Harwyn Club
"Not necessarily. I would not call the brand of golf played at my country club an athletic contest. Rather, it is a friendly and social game for exercise like croquet and bowling on the green. But it can be an athletic game, requiring stamina and skill, as played by the best amateurs and pros."





Professional baseball took most of the interest from college baseball. Will professional football do the same to college football?