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Golf Cements Place in Olympics

11.31am 14th June 2017 - Growing the Game

Justin Rose Olympic Champion (Getty images)

Get in! The International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board meeting Friday ended with the inclusion of golf at Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympics, by Tim Southwell with photography by Getty Images

(This article first appeared in Golf Punk and is reproduced here by permission of the publisher and writer Tim Southwell)

The 2016 Olympics was a great advert for golf with a dramatic finale between Henrik Stenson and eventual winner Justin Rose. Inbee Park won gold for South Korea in the women’s event.

Rose also recorded the Olympics’ first ever hole in one.

If Paris is awarded the 2024 Games, as many IOC observers believe will be the case when a final decision is made in September, Le Golf National, site of next year’s Ryder Cup, would be the course where the men’s and women’s tournaments would be contested.

If Los Angeles is host in 2024 (or 2028), the current plan is for Riviera Country Club, site of the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open, to be the venue for the golf competition.

Most of us were praying for a match play format and, in truth, golf got lucky in 2016 in that the last day was a real topsy turvy occasion with drama at every corner as Rose and Stenson went head to head. That, as we all know, is not always the case with stroke play events.

But for the 2020 Olympics, the IOC has approved a few extra events including 3 v 3 basketball and mixed gender relay races in the pool and track, and mixed gender relays on the track and in the pool. Might be an opportunity for Golf Sixes to make a play. Or indeed Mel Reid’s idea of mixed pairs representing their country. Now that would capture the public’s imagination.

Golf Punk

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