maar01_golfolympics

Last week, the International Golf Federation submitted a proposal to the Olympic comittee in a bid to have golf included in the 2016 Olympics.  What’d they propose?  You guessed it!  A 72 hole stroke play event!  YIP-EE!!!

Now, aside from the fact that a 72 hole stroke play event is nothing special at all, does golf in the Olympics even make sense? 

Looking at it from a purely logistical point of view, it wouldn’t fit.  As prestigious as the Olympics are, they usually occur during golf season, and as we all know, the pros are only going to follow the cash.  Could you imagine a top PGA pro just picking up and leaving during a major or the FedEx Cup or Ryder Cup?  I’m sorry, but a gold medal isn’t going to make them miss that just like a gold medal didn’t lure the top MLB players.  And how’s baseball doing in the Olympics now?  Ouch.

But, for the sake of the argument, lets just assume that the top pro’s do make it out for the Olympics…that Tiger or Phil go for the US and Sergio for Spain and Adam Scott Geoff Ogilvy goes for Australia…then what?  You have a stroke play event?

The Olympics are captivating because of the action, and golf doesn’t have that kind of buiding tension that something like track or swimming or gymnastics do.  Golf would be out, away from the city and Olympic village, like it’s in its own world.  And, despite our love of the game, it’s not going to keep people’s attention for three hour blocks.

I don’t think the reality is even close to that rosy, however.

The IGF didn’t get creative with the format even though they could do a variety of things with it, from mixing up the men and women into teams to having some sort of stableford…but just a bland stroke play?  And there’s no way they could do some sort of Ryder Cup thing because there’s more than two entities going for it, so I understand somewhat their limitations, but stroke play is the last thing people want more of.

Not only that, but we’re not getting any top players for this thing.  It’s just the reality of the situation that golf is a professional sport.  The only reason basketball can get a Dream Team type thing going is because it’s during the NBA’s offseason, and like I mentioned before, baseball is a dead sport.

So the most likely scenario is top amateurs playing a sport that takes up a lot of air time in a stroke play event?  Hah…good luck with that.

And it’s a shame too…because golf is a fantastic format for an Olympic style competition.  But our sport already has that, it’s called the Ryder and President’s Cups.  Golf’s Olympics just happen at a different time from the rest of them, that’s all, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with coming to terms with that, and call me a pessimist, but I couldn’t imagine golf ever being included.  And if baseball couldn’t make it, what chance does golf have?

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