In case you are wondering, I failed to get a country to represent in the men’s golf event at the Olympics.
I also failed to get a sponsor, meaning I did what millions of other people did – I watched it at home. Boy, did I watch it – swimming, running, jumping, throwing, volleyball gymnastics and golf. I even watched shotput, javelin, bike racing and sculling.
Guess what? These guys and gals are good.
Has there been an Olympics in recent memory that wasn’t fraught with political anxiety leading up to the very last minute?
Do you recall in Beijing, the government banned automobile transportation for two weeks prior so the smog had a chance to dissipate?
In the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, there was such fear of not enough snow it was brought in by truck and stockpiled.
Here we are at the end of the 2016 games and who remembers sewage, security, economic chaos and the Zika virus? Aren’t sports a wonderful thing?
I think the thing that appealed to me most is the equal amount of coverage for both men’s and women’s
events. The effort exerted by each gender was the same. The prize money (medals) count equally and the entertainment was fantastic.
No two things bring people together peacefully and harmoniously more than music and sports. The memories from the 2016 Olympics will be no different. Regardless of their individual competitions, every competitor gained something very special – they were part of a team that represented their countries.
Players on teams understand this feeling and live by the creed `All for one, one for all.’
Individual competitors who live a lonely existence rarely, if ever, are enveloped by such a sense of belonging to something bigger than them.
Yet, Matt Kuchar openly stated, ”I want to wear one of the jackets that were given to each competitor to wear on the podium.”
Suddenly, he wanted one of the places where people remember what you accomplished in Rio and he wanted to help the American team’s medal total.
Some of the world’s best golfers took an awful beating for not attending the games. Most of their decisions came from the scheduling of upcoming events and a lot of it is justified.
Golf is the only sport that is played with a year-round schedule. The top players are concerned about major championships, playoffs, the FedEx Cup, Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, money lists, Vardon trophy, sponsor obligations, playing the minimum number of events, family life – it ain’t easy.
Now, where will the Olympics fall on the list of importance? Does it surpass all regular tour events? Perhaps, it passes a major? Is it bigger than the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup? Maybe it’s more important than the $10-million for winning the Fed Ex Cup.
Which one do you chose?
Some of the other sports have championships to compete for – soccer has the World Cup and various annual trophies to play for, basketball has the annual NBA Championship, but for the majority of the athletes in the Olympics, this is it once every four years.
Will the Olympics create interest around the world to help grow the game? Absolutely, it will.
I wonder how much impact will be felt in countries where golf is already played, but in virgin territory there will be definite growth.
Furthermore, as I understand it, one of the most Googled questions about golf in the Olympics was “Where can I learn to play golf?”
The future of golf is in very capable hands and being an Olympic sport can only help. Where the value of winning a medal stacks up against the majors and the Ryder Cup is up to the players, the public and media.
One question may be is this enough to put Justin Rose into the World Golf Hall of Fame or does he need another major or gold?
One remaining subject is the continuation of allowing golf to remain as an Olympic sport.
There is only one issue that will decide this topic and that’s money and, as was reported right afterwards, Olympic golf was a ratings success and not only in the United States.
The IOC understands the concept of revenue very well! Golf needs some adjustment to the format for traditionalists, but when dollars enter into it, don’t look for too much in the way of change in 2020, but do look for a lot more golf coverage.
Golf in the Olympics is here to stay.