Golf at the 2016 Summer Olympics
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
|Venue||Reserva de Marapendi, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Dates||August (to be announced)|
|Competitors||60 men, 60 women|
Though golf has not featured in the Olympics since the 1904 Summer Olympics, the session of the 121st IOC Session held in 2009 chose to re-introduce the sport for the games. With the rapid expansion and globalisation of the sport, the 121st International Olympic Committee recommended adding golf back into the Summer Olympics.
Ty Votaw, who was the Executive Vice President of Communications and International Affairs and Vice President of the International Golf Federation, along with Peter Dawson, who was the president of the IGF and chief executive of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, were at the forefront of making golf once again an Olympic sport.
Prior to the vote to reinstate golf into the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games, a presentation by a group of golf ambassadors helped sway the 121st session of the International Olympic Committee. These ambassadors included: Dawson and Votaw, along with golf professionals Pádraig Harrington of Ireland, Michelle Wie of the United States, Suzann Pettersen of Norway and 16-year old 2009 British Amateur champion Matteo Manassero of Italy. Dawson was quoted saying: "We are extremely grateful that Padraig, Michelle, Suzann and Matteo were able to join us to help communicate the genuine interest world-class players of all ages share in golf becoming an Olympic sport." On 9 October 2009, the International Olympic Committee had their final vote and the vote passed, which officially made golf an Olympic sport for the 2016 and 2020 Summer games.
A proposal was made to have a 72-hole individual stroke play tournament with the official rules of golf. The player with the lowest score will win the gold medal. If needed, a tie-breaker for the medal positions would occur in a three-hole playoff.
A new golf course will be built at Reserva de Marapendi in the Barra da Tijuca zone. Hanse Golf Course Design was chosen from eight tenders to build the course. Founder and President Gil Hanse reacted to the news in saying: "I'm excited that the selection panel felt that our efforts were the ones that best matched the criteria set by organisers." They have signed up with World Golf Hall of Famer Amy Alcott to work on the project.
The President of the Rio de Janeiro Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games Carlos Arthur Nuzman said: "As [the 2016 Games] marks the return of golf to the Olympic Games after over a century of absence, this course represents the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the sport. It will enable Rio to host important events in the international calendar and it will be an example of sustainability and preservation of an environmentally protected area. This course will be an excellent facility for the practice and development of golf and will inspire millions of youth across Brazil and the globe. We look forward to welcoming the athletes and spectators to the course in 2016."
After the games, the course will become a public facility and will be used to enhance golf's profile within Brazil and, according to the organising committee, this would represent "one of the most important Olympic Games legacies for sport development in the country." The competition will run at an as-yet-unknown date in August.
Qualification will be based on world ranking as of 11 July 2016, with a total of 60 players qualifying in each of the men's and women's events. The top 15 players of each gender will qualify, with a limit of four golfers per country that can qualify this way. The remaining 45 spots will go the highest-ranked players from countries that do not already have two golfers qualified.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Golf at the 2016 Summer Olympics.|
- rio2016.com/en, the official website of the Rio de Janeiro Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games