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Looking Forward – Golf in the 2016 Olympics

Looking Forward – Golf in the 2016 Olympics

As our nation is right in the middle of Olympic Fever and all eyes are on London and the athletes giving it everything they’ve got in going for the gold, my mind can’t help but wander. I find myself thinking about the 2016 Summer Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro and the thought that golf will be a part of the games for the first time since 1904. When those games were held in St. Louis, the only two countries who competed were the United States and Canada.

This time around, in a true sign of the globalization of the game, more than 30 countries are expected to participate. The proposed competition is one that any golfer is familiar with and is a true test to find the ‘best in the world.’ A 72-hole stroke play competition, conducted over four rounds with the low score winning the gold medal.

olympic golf course concept by nuzzo golf course design
One could argue that in tournaments like the US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship that the best in the world is determined each year. But what happens when those same players are now not just playing for a paycheck and for themselves, but instead they’re playing for pride, for country? I have a feeling that a whole different level of competition will rise to the surface. When a player like Charl Schwartzel could have the chance to earn a medal for South Africa, or newcomer Nicolas Colsaerts could bring home a gold medal for Belgium. It essentially gives countries that aren’t traditional Olympic powerhouses the chance for Olympic glory. Think about it, when was the last time that you heard of someone from Northern Ireland winning an Olympic medal? In four years, Rory McIlroy could have that opportunity.

2016 summer olympic course design
With the Gil Hanse designed Olympic course scheduled to break ground on construction in October of this year, and be completed in 2014. This course will not only be the first 18-hole public course in Rio de Janeiro, but it will be the first one in Brazil. What a great way to start off a legacy of golf as an Olympic sport. A new course, new competition, and a new legacy to propel golf further into the 21st century.

george lyon 1904 olympic gold medalist

Personally I’m looking forward to it, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the qualifying is determined.

As of now the qualifying format has yet to be determined, nor is it known whether there will be a cut during the 72-hole tournament.

There will also be some planning logistics that will have to be worked out, in regards to the various pro tours and their schedules.

The bottom line however is that golf will be an Olympic sport, and droves of people across the world will be watching with passion. Count me in.


(Pictured Left, George Lyon 1904 Olympic Gold Medalist in Golf, the ONLY Olympic games to host golf)


Read More from Tim at his golf blog, Life From The Short


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