Beijing Games Revive Golf’s Olympic Issue

With the Beijing Olympics nearing the halfway stage, fans from all over the world can look at the medals standings to check on how their country is doing or who is vying for gold in various sports.

Golf fans are not included in the vast group of people as the sport still tries to convince International Olympic Committee executives that it is deserving of a place in the four-yearly sporting extravaganza.

Sports such as baseball have lost their Olympic status because of what the IOC feels is lack of interest and, with other codes such as rugby union, particularly the crowd-friendly sevens game, also trying to muscle in, golf faces a tough task.

One of the main criteria for acceptance as an Olympic sport is that it has to be widely available for the general public to be able to play and how it is covered on TV.

In some countries it is easy to go to your local public course and tee-up at little cost. In other places, golf is limited to only the elite and the affluent. And that is the general perception of the Olympic crowd.

Other sports competing with golf for Olympic status in 2016 are baseball, trying to return to the fold, softball, squash, roller sports and karate. Only two sports are open.

PGA executive Ty Votaw is leading golf’s bid for Olympic recognition and recently said at a press conference:

“The time is right for the world of golf to come together for the common good of the sport, to reinstate golf as an Olympic sport and to the Olympic program.”

Another problem with golf is the timing. Olympics are during the summer, one of the busiest times for majors in pro golf, with the British Open and PGA Championship in close proximity.

If these issues can be resolved, and the IOC is happy with golf as a spectator sport, we may see the likes of Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington and Phil Mickelson teeing off for gold in eight years time.

One Response to “Beijing Games Revive Golf’s Olympic Issue”

  1. ray kendall says:

    I’m afraid I am not in favour of golf ever being introduced into the Olympic arena. There are far too many sports that are already there that shouldn’t be, ie volley ball and beach volley ball, hand ball, tennis to name a few. There are far too many professionals at the Olympics that should not be allowed should be strictly amateurs only. But thats a personal opinion and a pipe dream I know. If golf is ever introduced I just hope they make it Amateurs only imagine the fun and interest it would be watching players you’ve never perhaps heard of it would be refreshing, instead of watching the usual fare of Woods and Co. Besides, would they really want to compete if there is no money involved and also in the busy period of their season?

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