Monday, February 1, 2016

History of Golf at the Summer Olympics

History of golf in the Summer Olympics

Golf is featuring in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Golf has not featured in the Olympics for 112 years as it last Golf featured in the 1904 Olympics after its debut in the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris and this means that it only featured for two editions of the games.

2016 Rio Summer Olympics will provide an opportunity to see professional golfers like Tiger Woods, who will participate with other global professional golf players. Golf is one of the games that featured women in those early years. In the 1900 Paris Olympics, there were both men and women teams too in the 1904 Olympics, this will be same in Rio 2016.

The golf sport will feature 60 men and women who will need to qualify for the Rio games. So far no names have been mentioned but this will change as we progress and come closer to the Olympics Games scheduled from 17th to 20th of August, 2016.

The participants’ selection will be based on the IGF world ranking as of 11 July 2016. There is still time for great world golfers to qualify.

This exciting sport will be played in the newly constructed 18 holes golf course; Reserva de Marapendi located in Barra da Tijuca, one of the Brazil’s 4 Zones hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics as well as the Paralympics sports.

2015 picture of the Olympics golf course in Reserva de Marapendi, much has changed as it has been undergoing construction

The picture is from Wikipedia under Creative Commons License.

Golf in the early editions of the Summer Olympics

In the 1900 Paris Olympics, 4 nations participated, these nations were: Greece, France, Great Britain and the USA There were only two participants Canada and USA in the 1904 St Louis Summer Olympics. This is understandable as very few European nation made it the first ever summer Olympics Games in the USA due to travel difficulties.

The most successful nation in Summer Olympics is USA which won 3 gold medals in the only two edition of the sport in the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics. USA has 3 gold medals, while Canada which is second most successful team has 1 gold. The third most successful team in gold sport in Summer Olympics is Great Britain which has one silver and bronze medals.

Women also participated in gold sports in the early editions of the Summer Olympics, this one of the few sports women were allowed to participate.

For the 1900 Summer Olympics USA got both gold medals one for men which was from Charles Sands and the women golf medal came from the 24 years old Margaret Ives Abbott, who won the golf gold medal. She also made history as the First Woman from Team USA to ever win a gold medal in a Summer Olympics edition and she is still the only woman in the world who have ever won a golf sport gold medal in a summer Olympics edition, but that will change in Rio 2016.

The men team would give USA another gold in 1904 Summer Olympics, while Canada would get the individual golf gold medal.

Golf as sport will be featured for the third edition in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.

Rio 2016 Summer Olympics

The Rio 2016 Summer Olympics is a result of the globalization of the game, unlike the situation in 1900 and 1904 Olympics, where the game was still in its infancy and for elites. To have Golf back in the Summer Olympics was due to some lobbying by International Golf Federation and Royal and Ancient Golf Club senior people including Ty Votaw; the IGF’s Executive Vice President in charge of communication and Peter Dawson; the IGF president as well as the Chief Executive of Royal and Ancient Golf Club.

Besides, Golf professionals including Irish Professional Golfer Pádraig Harrington, American Michelle Wie, Norwegian Suzann Pettersen and the 16 years old Italian Matteo Manassero, who is the 2009 British Amateur participated in the lobying. This paid off and this is the reason we are going to witness 60 men and 60 women play at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics 72-hole individual stroke. Golf will be played at Reserva de Marapendi located at Barra da Tijuca in Rio.

As much as the golf is being played in a summer Olympics, all the rules for 72-hole individual stroke play golf rules will be followed. When two players tie, in the medal position; theses are position one, two and three, there will be an additional three-hole playoff to enable the medal winners’ selection.