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Q: golf terminology ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: golf terminology
Category: Sports and Recreation
Asked by: kat328-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 31 Aug 2005 07:41 PDT
Expires: 30 Sep 2005 07:41 PDT
Question ID: 562637
Would you say?
Have a great time "golfing" today...OR Have a great time playing golf today.

Request for Question Clarification by websearcher-ga on 31 Aug 2005 08:39 PDT
Hi kat328:

I'm really not sure there *is* a single accepted way to say what you
are trying to say. I did a Google search for "time playing golf today"
and got basically 1 relevant hit. When I searched for "time golfing
today" I got 3 relevant hits.

If *I* were wishing someone fun on the golf course, I would say:

"Have a great round today!"

I mean, they already know what sport they're playing. ;-)

When I searched for "have a great round", I got seeveral hundred relevant hits. 

Is this sufficient as an answer to your query? 


Subject: Re: golf terminology
Answered By: justaskscott-ga on 31 Aug 2005 13:38 PDT
Hello kat328,

Websearcher's proposal of "Have a great round" seems at least as good
as "Have a great time golfing" or "Have a great time playing golf." 
However, I believe that the evidence shows that "Have a great time
golfing" is acceptable, and has an advantage over "Have a great time
playing golf."  If you need to choose one of those two, I'd say the
phrase with "golfing."

As you know, the distinction in your phrases is not with the words
"have a great time" or "today," but "golfing" or "playing golf."  I
believe that the relative suitability of "golfing" and "playing golf"
in this phrase can be tested with similar phrases, especially
something like "Have a great time golfing tomorrow," and to a lesser
extent, something like "Have fun golfing tomorrow."

There are a few results in total on Google for:

"have a great time golfing today"
"have a great time golfing tomorrow"
"have a great time golfing this weekend"

There is only one result in total -- and not the statement "Have a
great time ... !" --for:

"have a great time golfing today"
"have a great time playing golf tomorrow"
"have a great time playing golf this weekend" 

I tried the following searches on Google to see whether "golfing" or
"playing golf" is appropriate in similar phrases:

"have * golfing today"
"have * playing golf today"
"have * * golfing today"
"have * * playing golf today"
"have * * * golfing today"
"have * * * playing golf today"

The asterisks are substitutes for words -- any words can appear at
that point in the phrase.  The more asterisk, the more words.

It seems that the most common version is "have fun golfing today,"
though "have fun playing golf today" shows up too.

Searches for

"have fun golfing today"
"have fun playing golf today"
"have fun golfing tomorrow"
"have fun playing golf tomorrow"
"have fun golfing this weekend"
"have fun playing golf this weekend"

confirm that "golfing" has an edge over "playing golf."

- justaskscott
Subject: Re: golf terminology
From: twrandolph-ga on 07 Sep 2005 08:13 PDT
Golf is a sport, like tennis, or raquetball, or polo, or football. 
And like these other sports, you would not say "Have a great time
tennising/raquetballing/poloing/footballing today."  The correct
response is, "Have a great time playing golf."
Subject: Re: golf terminology
From: answerk-ga on 15 Sep 2005 15:51 PDT

I don't want to see you pointed in the wrong direction.  Definitely
say "go play golf".  Do not say "go golfing".

Refer to the terminology for many other sports:  basketball or any
other "ball" sport, tennis, etc..

Veteran golf writers at publications such as Golf Digest, Golf World,
Golf Week, and Sports Illustrated routinely use "play[ing] golf" as
well as the USGA ( and the R&A (, the two
premeire golf governing bodies.

As someone who has played golf all their life, personal experience
verifies this as well.  Someone who states they are "going golfing"
has not very often.

- answerk

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