Baseball vs. Golf?

A couple of friends and I got to argueing, “what do you think takes more athletic skill, Baseball or Golf?”

Personally, I relate golf to T-ball.


Baseball. Why is this even an argument?

Because they play golf (well, some just claim they do).

Their counter arguement is that the ball is smaller, the hole is smaller, the distance is greater.

I’ll take that over a 95 mile an hour fastball anyday.

A person’s athletic ability starts to decline in his or her late twenties. There are very few baseball players who have been able to compete in the major leagues after the age of forty. There are many golfers who have been able to compete on the PGA tour after the age of forty.

Golf requires very good hand-eye coordination, strength (to hit the
ball far), judgement, knowledge, and the ability to do certain body
movements over and over with little variation (AKA muscle memory).

Baseball requires excellent hand-eye coordination, very short
reaction times, knowledge, guile, strength, speed, judgement
and muscle memory. It is simply a more athletic game than golf.
This is not to say golf is easy, but many of the things that make
golf hard are not related to athleticism.

Here’s a test: take your golf-playing doubters to a batting cage
and have them try to hit the fastest pitches. My guess is they
won’t be able to get wood on the ball.

T-ball takes more athletic skill than golf does. You have to field and run. Tiger is a world class athlete that makes millions of dollars, but I bet I’d kick his ass at slow pitch softball. And I’d show up drunk even.

dead0man. Tiger Woods is definitely a world-class athlete. He does a lot of strength training, and can bench press some ongodly figure. MY guess is that you wouldn’t stand a chance against him at slow-pitch fastball.

Having said that, though, I’ll second everyone’s opinion that making a living playing baseball requires significantly more athletic skill than makinf a living playing golf.

How is this a valid argument if you don’t test the same thing in reverse?

SmackFu, the thing is, most baseball players are excellent golfers. Therefore, baseball’s harder.

Who’s to say that many golfers wouldn’t be excellent baseball players? Their extraordinary clubhead speed would translate quite nicely into a quick bat and/or good throwing arm. Their excellent muscle control would translate into good hand eye coordination to hit a pitch.

All it would take is training and practice, which they don’t have. Baseball players can and do play a lot of golf, because the opportunity is there.

I’m not saying any PGA golfer could be a MLB player, but how many MLB players would make it on the PGA tour? Don’t discount their athletic skill just because their game doesn’t involve a lot of running around.

It takes more than muscle control and hand-eye coordination to hit a pitch. It takes good reactions. Golf doesn’t require good reaction time at all. The ball sits there, and one can take as much time as one wants to hit it. A baseball player has to decide whether to swing at a pitch in a quarter of a second, and also has to figure out where the pitch is and what type of pitch it is (fastball, curve, slider, change-up, etc.)

Fielding involves more than throwing. It involves running, which golf doesn’t require. I doubt that there’s anyone on the PGA tour with the speed to be an outfielder. Even those positions that don’t require a lot of running do require good reactions (e.g. third base and catcher). I suppose most golfers could play first base, or they could be designated hitters (except they probably wouldn’t hit well enough to play DH).

It would take more than training and practice. It would take basic talent which I wouldn’t expect many golfers to have. You can’t teach someone to have great reflexes or speed.

I don’t think there are any MLB players who could play on the PGA tour. There are probably many who could play golf competitively at the college or amateur level. How many PGA golfers could play baseball even at the high school level?

I’ll say it again: the PGA has many players who are still competitive after age 40. There have been few baseball players in the history of the game who could play in the major leagues at that age.

Golf is a difficult sport. It requires many years of practice and training. That doesn’t make it a particularly athletic sport.

Baseball, and specifically fast-pitch baseball, also requires quick reflexes, which you don’t need in order to play golf.

I was never ever any good at fast-pitch baseball - I just couldn’t react to the oncoming pitch quickly enough to get my bat exactly where the ball was crossing the plate until well after the ball had crossed it. Forget about high vs low, inside vs outside - I’d just swing through the middle of the plate and hope the ball was somewhere nearby at the time.

I was prettty good at slow-pitch softball (lots more time to react to that pitch) in my day, but lost any ability to play the infield well by the time I reached 40 - those grounders were just coming at me too fast for me to react to them.

Then at about 50 I was humiliated by my attempts to play badminton with a niece of mine - I was no longer able to react to that quickly enough at the time! Sheesh!

But I can still hit a golf ball pretty well. That sucker just sits there waiting for me.

Good point on the reflexes, I think I’ll just be quiet now… :smack:

I suck at golf, yet I have scored a hole-in-one.

I suck at baseball, but I’m not going to be hitting a home run anytime soon.

Um … as opposed to what, slow-pitch baseball!!! :slight_smile:

Anyway, I’m 42 years old, and I play baseball in a men’s senior league (35 years old or older).

My skills have declined somewhat, but I train in the off-season with weights and I do lots of stretches. (I’ve played every season since I was a kid, including during high school and college.)

I think the best pitchers in our league have fastballs in the 80-90 mph range.

I regularly hit above .300.

My defensive position? Catcher.

I would estimate that only a very, very small percentage of people my age could compete in our league.

Golf? There’s a reason why there are so many courses in the retirement states of Florida and Arizona.

Sure, Tiger’s a good athlete, but one can be a passable, and even a good golfer without having 1/10 of his athleticism.

Oh, and one more thing. The analogy in the OP needs a slight modification to be valid: replace golf balls sitting on tees with golf balls coming at you at 90 mph.

Heck, golf is so lame, they even let the dames play it!

Ooooh … I’m so gonna burn in hell for that last comment. :smiley:

Oh, well. I’ll be sure to say hello to Hootie when I see him there!

I’m probably gonna get reamed a new one for this, but in my opinion, baseball is a sport, and golf is a game. The difference is (to me) that a sport is physical interpersonal competition, whereas a game is either not nearly as physical or can be played solo. Yes, golf requires strength and skills (which I don’t have), but you could go hit the links by yourself, and then compare your score to Tiger’s, and see how you match up. Conversely, say you rented out Comiskey Park, set up a pitching machine, and started swinging. Eventually, you’d get a hit, which you would then score off of. There is no valid comparison to how you would do if the Sox had actually been on the field at the time.

The way I play the game, golf requires much more athleticism…especially endurance.

Sure…walking 18 holes is easy when one hits par. But I usually walk 36 chasing my ball around the course.

Baseball is a “spurt” game. Sure, it requires athleticism to run. It requires athleticism to hit. It requires athleticism to throw. However, with exception to pitchers, there really is no question of endurance in baseball (of course, some will argue about the 162 game schedule, but even the fans need endurance to get through that).

“I ain’t an athlete, lady, I’m a baseball player.”

–John Kruk

I mean, come on. Babe Ruth was a tubbo who smoke, drank, and partied like there was no tomorrow. And he somehow managed to be one of the best baseball players ever.

“It took me 20 years to get 3,000 hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.”

–Hank Aaron

And one more beauty, but I forget who said it:

“In golf, we have to play our foul balls.”

Seriously. If you are a major league ball player, making contact with a pitch is not all that difficult. Making it go where you want it to is.

Feh. Hockey players are in better shape than golfers OR baseball players.

Actually, I think it would more correct to say that most baseball players are avid golfers. As are many basketball players and at least some football players. Whether or not they are any good at it is debatable and would have to judged on a case by case basis…

So… ummm… Does this mean that professional gofers play baseball on thier day off?