Golf at the 1900 Summer Olympics

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at the Games of the II Olympiad
Golf pictogram.svg
Venue Compiègne Club, Paris
Date 2–3 October 1900
Competitors 22 from 4 nations
1904 →

The 1900 Summer Olympics took place in Paris, France, and was the first time ever that golf debuted in the Olympics. There were four countries that participated in golf; which included Great Britain, France, Greece and the United States. Two golf events were contested, individual events for men and women. This Olympic event was set up so poorly that most of the competitors, both male and female, had no idea that they were competing in the Olympics.


The men's division consisted of a 36-hole stroke play tournament, while the women's division consisted of only a 9-hole stroke play tournament.


The men's and women's event took place at the Compiègne Club, which is about 30 miles north of Paris. This golf club was built in 1896 and is one of few golf courses built in the 19th century, along with being one of two golf courses that has ever hosted the Olympics. The golf course was designed by M.W. Freemantle and built within the horse racing track of Compiègne. The layout of the course is flat, with dense rough surrounding the fairways and very tiny "postage stamp" sized greens.[1]

Tournament play[edit]

The men's tournament was played on 2 October 1900 where they played two 18-hole rounds back-to-back. The following day, 3 October 1900, the women's tournament began, where they only played 9 holes.

Men's division[edit]

Charles Sands, pro at the St. Andrews Golf Club in Yonkers, New York finished the 36 hole tournament with 82-85 defeating Walter Rutherford of Jedburgh, Scotland by a mere one stroke.[2] Finishing third for the men's division and receiving the bronze medal was David Robertson. Sands started playing golf in 1895 and three months later participated and made it to the final round of the first U.S. Amateur only to be beaten badly by Charles B. MacDonald. The only other golf tournament Sands ever competed in was the 1900 Summer Olympics.

Women's division[edit]

The women's division was a stage for many firsts that occurred in the Olympic games. Not only was this the first time women were ever able to compete in the Olympic games, the women's division was won by Margaret Abbott of Chicago Golf Club. Abbott shot a 47 to win and became the first ever American female to win a gold medal in the Olympic Games; second overall female. She never received a gold medal because she was given a bowl. Abbott's mother, Mary Abbott, also competed in this Olympic event and finished tied for seventh, shooting a 65. They were the first and only mother and daughter that have ever competed in the same Olympic event and at the same exact time. Margaret never knew that they were competing in the Olympics, she thought it was a normal golf tournament and died not knowing. Her children had no idea that their mother was the first ever American female gold medalist until they were contacted by University of Florida professor Paula Welch.[3] It took Welch ten years to track down Abbott's family.

Medal summary[edit]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Charles Sands
 United States
Walter Rutherford
 Great Britain
David Robertson
 Great Britain
Margaret Abbott
 United States
Pauline Whittier
 United States
Daria Pratt
 United States

Participating nations[edit]

A total of 22 golfers from 4 nations competed at the Paris Games:

Medal table[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 2 1 1 4
2  Great Britain 0 1 1 2


  • International Olympic Committee medal winners database
  • De Wael, Herman. Herman's Full Olympians: "Golf 1900". Accessed 27 January 2006. Available electronically at [1].
  • Mallon, Bill (1998). The 1900 Olympic Games, Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 0-7864-0378-0. 

See also[edit]