So golf is a sport that requires physical strength, agility and speed?
Webster's definition of the word athlete: a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.
I think it does require stamina, not speed. But in regards to Tiger Woods as an individual, being a track star and running long distance prior to sticking solely with golf would, in my book, classify him as having speed. I think it takes agility to contort his body the way he does in order to maximize power in his swing. I think it takes strength to hit the ball as far as he does or put the kind of spin of the ball that he does.
Sure, but that's only one part of the game, and if we're going to say that when we should say that every baseball player in the pros with a .200+ batting average could make the PGA tour with effort. I don't think that's true, there's more to the game of golf than that.
The only reason I mentioned baseball was because part of your definition of an athlete entailed being good at another sport:
A real elite athlete is someone who can play their sport, but also has the physical conditioning and skills to play another sport, not on the same level, but very, very well.
Reggie Bush is an elite athlete, because if he played basketball, he could dunk and he could move and his athleticism would remain consistent.
That said, there's also more to baseball than just hitting the ball. How would Tiger move down the first base like? How would he move in the field?
I also brought it up because you thought I assumed Tiger's golf swing would translate into a good baseball swing. I only mentioned this transition because you had seemed to make one with Reggie Bush, from football to basketball. Can Reggie Bush dribble well? Can he drive to his left or make a left-handed lay-up? Does he know his place in the defense? Can he shoot? Can he make a shot with a 6'8" defender on him? There are variables that go along with a transition from football to basketball in the same way there are for golf to baseball. I'm certainly not suggesting John Daly start as a DH over David Ortiz!
As far as his personal routine, it's good but it's not impressive. I've watched guys like Baron Davis work out and I've trained with some of the guys I consider elite athletes in MMA, BJJ, wrestling and sub fighting. They go beyond that, though I'll say that it's important to note that this is Tiger's routine for rehab and not his regular workout, at least from what I gathered.
Baron Davis has a different demand from his sport than does Tiger. Just because golf doesn't demand Tiger doesn't demonstrate all of your demanding characteristics to be an athlete, does not imply that Tiger does not possess them. He is sticking to what he does best, and what can earn him the most money. He is predicted to be the first athlete to break 1 billion by 2010 so there is plenty of incentive for him NOT to show his athletic talents in other sports realms.
There are some great, top tier baseball players that are not elite athletes. There are others that are.
If this statement can be true for baseball, why not golf?
I voted to say that it's a sport. I do think that it requires a great deal of skill and personally believe that it is a sport.
If something is given a label of a sport, aren't the participants considered athletes? And if someone dominates that one sport, are they not elite?