Golf is not a 'sissy' sport declares the American justice system
Golf Culture

Golf is not a ‘sissy’ sport declares the American justice system


Golfers of a certain age -- those of us who took up the game before 30 -- have been told by our peers for years that our game isn't a sport. And there's a difference.

The debate is tired, but it's hard to change minds when guys like Brendon de Jonge (who I'm only marginally more fit than) make international teams. And just because Dustin Johnson can dunk, it doesn't mean all golfers are athletes.

Now, however, golfers have the law on the their side in this largely useless argument. Sort of.

In announcing his decision on a recent case, United States District Judge James Gwin declared golf is a manly game. Responding to a lawsuit brought against automaker Ford by a former assembly-line worker claiming sexual discrimination, the judge outlined his thoughts on the plaintiff's allegations he was badgered in the workplace because he didn't fit certain male stereotypes.

“[P]laintiff … did not fit with the stereotypical male worker on Ford’s Ohio plant assembly line," the judge wrote, according to Golf Dispute Resolution. "Unlike other workers, plaintiff … did not drink, did not do drugs or swear around women.  Additionally, plaintiff … was passionate about golf, a sport [one of his supervisor's] repeatedly called a ‘sissy’s game.’… [Plaintiff] did not engage in activities traditionally considered to be manly like hunting or fishing.’”

Gwin sided with the plaintiff and, in the ruling, clarified the court's view on golf compared to fishing and hunting, which the harassing co-workers suggested was more XY than golf.

“Obviously, [the supervisor] is wrong," the judge wrote. "Golf requires more strength, coordination, and timing than hunting or fishing.”


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About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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