Golf in the Olympics?

I guess one could say that it was a preliminary verdict delivered yesterday as the IOC Executive Board recommended two sports for inclusion in the Olympic Games from 2016. The full committee will vote in October and as they are not bound by their board’s recommendation golf is not fully there yet but let’s say we have had a good first round.

Of course now discussions will continue as to whether inclusion would be good or not. As for me I am convinced that it will be great. It will not, at least not at first, be a tournament with the kudos of the Major Championships. But it will put golf on the agenda in so many other countries that today would not even consider it. And it will be different. Golf is not exactly growing at the moment and this could be the change that we need.

As for what the tournament will be it shall be quite interesting to follow. The International Golf Federation has recommended a competition with 60 players in both the men’s and the women’s event. The top 15 in the World Rankings are guaranteed a place and then it will follow the rankings with a maximum of two players per country. They reckon this will mean participants from about 30 countries. If you go down the rankings to find 30 countries you soon realise that you will end up a long way down. No doubt there will therefore be the occasional Eddie the Eagle (the British Ski Jumper that competed in the Winter Olympics with his only target being to survive) taking place. And it is likely that the number of players with a fair chance of winning the event will actually be quite limited. On the other hand, that is no different from a 100m final!

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