There are always the sports that everyone knows and loves including basketball, football, baseball, and much more. But, for some odd reason, nobody ever really thinks of golf as an actual sport. Now, this could be of many different reasons and it all depends on how you define what exactly a sport is. If you quote directly from Wikipedia, it states that, "A sport is commonly defined as an organized, competitive, and skillful physical activity requiring commitment and fair play." Well, let's take a look at golf. In this, we have a very organized system of scoring where whichever player has the lowest score wins the game and how the winning and losing scores work out. It is safe to say that this is more organized than most other sports. If we want to go competitive, then we can say that golf is very competitive because of the way that you want to get better and get inside your opponent's head.
You don't need to have skill to be good at golf and you don't really have to be in the best physical shape either. But, golf is more about commitment than any other sport there is. You can't just go hit a ball and say, "Man, that was easy! I'm an expert!" It will take time and you also have to have good sportsmanship when playing this. So, if this is organized, competitive, requires commitment and has fair play (2/3 of the definition), then we can safely assume that golf is a sport.
Now, what about the question of why it is the hardest sport that there is. Golf is a never-ending journey and it shows your moments of vulnerability. Every single day that you play will not be the same as the last. Your body feels a little different, and the truth is, that golf is such a precise game that a little off can translate into quite a lot. Golf requires patience and perserverance in order to approach it. It is a game that requires mental toughness and severe concentration and this can take years to accomplish, possibly even a lifetime.
A huge percentage of players often find the game too difficult, get frustrated, quit and never touch a golf club again. This is why you have to be committed to the sport and always keep at it. This game requires more practice than any other sport. Take it from someone who has played the game for nearly 10 years when I say that you have to practice at it almost every single day. You cannot shoot nine holes once a week and say that that is fine. If you are truly committed and are enjoying the game, then you should practice anytime that you can.
Then, there are some players that always say that the game is just so boring. It's just hitting a ball, chasing it, then hitting it again to go in a small hole. Golf should never be boring, especially when you are really working to improve. You can build a lot of confidence in your game and have fun doing it by trying some different types of games on the golf course in those moments of slow boringness.
Golf can take a lifetime to learn and nobody is ever perfect at it. Tiger Woods has been playing since he was 3 years old and he still has quite a few off days. If you really want to play golf, you have to be willing to make a committment to it and accept failure in the game. You are going to fail so much more than you will succeed, but you have to remember that that is just part of the game. Your failure is your success and you can learn from that so much.
I believe that that is why I enjoy golf because it is more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Often, a person will come up and say, "What a lazy sport!" There is nothing lazy about it. Sure, you don't have to do situps or pullups or anything like that, but that doesn't mean that it's a bad sport. However, it is good to stay in shape because that also helps the mind if you are comfortable and focused with yourself. It is not a sport against someone else, but it is against you.
So, the mental challenges and toughness that you have to build and always trying to improve your game within itself and accepting failure as many times as it does can be very frustrating. There have been some points in my life that I've thrown my clubs and said that I quit. My parents wouldn't let me though and I'm very glad that they didn't.
Basically, believe me when I say this. Golf is the hardest sport that there is, but if you commit to it, it can also become the best! :)