Golf leaders go before IOC for Olympic bid

The saga of golf and the Olympics continues in what could be the most important week for sports wanting to be part of the 2016 Games.

Golf will be vying with six other sports for inclusion in the Olympics with representatives from each code set to make their pitches on Friday to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

PGA Tour communications chief Ty Vatow and Peter Dawson, chief executive of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club will be golf’s representatives.

They will have 50 minutes to make their presentation and will go second, after baseball, which was dropped from the 2012 roster.

According to reports, the pair have put together a slick 30-minute PowerPoint presentation after which they will be available for 20 minutes of questions and answers.

Only two of the seven sports will be accepted and the final decision will not be made until probably October next year.

High on the priority list for IOC executives is that the top names in each of the sports are willing to play in the Olympics.

For golf, summer time, when the Games are normally held, is close to major season, with the US Open and British Open occupying June and July and the US PGA Championship quickly following in August. Vatow, who sought opinions during the Beijing Games earlier this year, was quoted on CBS as saying:

“Clearly the feedback we received in Beijing was mainly about whether the top players would support it and whether the industry speaks with one voice. We feel this (presentation) speaks volumes to that point.”

Apart from golf and baseball, officials from softball, karate, roller sports, rugby and squash will also make presentations before the 16-member IOC commission. Dawson added:

“I have no doubt that Olympic golf is comfortably the biggest grow-the-game opportunity that exists to help us bring golf to so many countries where it’s just starting up.”

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