Golf’s Shambolic History in the Olympics

With golf likely to make a return at the 2016 Summer Games, Dr Milton Wayne recounts the two previous occasions when competitors teed it up with gold medals at stake

On August 13, 2009 the IOC provisionally picked Golf and Rugby Sevens as sports to be added to the Olympiad in 2016. Whilst this still has to be formally ratified, it would be a major upset if the game wasn’t added.
Why would anyone get excited about this? Well, there have been comments against, notably from Sergio Garcia who said: “I’d love to represent my country in the Olympic Games, but I wouldn’t give up the chance to win one of the four majors to win a gold medal.” He might change his tune if he manages to get the Major monkey off his back beforehand, but in any case we are assured there will be no either-or. The powers that be have committed that the summer Olympics will not clash with any Major. The man spearheading golf’s bid, Ty Votaw from the PGA Tour (see HK Golfer Aug/Sep 2009), put it perfectly when he pointed out that between now and the Olympics in 2020, players will have a chance to win over 50 Majors, but only one gold medal. That should be incentive enough.


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