Given the excitement of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, there is every reason to look forward to golf being played as an Olympic sport in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
There were plenty of glorious victory for Canada mixed with some agony of defeat, but golfers should rejoice over the opportunity to learn from each of the sports presented in Russia.
First, if golfers were to adapt to wearing of aerodynamic suits like those worn by speed skaters, perhaps we could all play quicker.
There would have to be some consideration given to certain body shapes but in general terms, it might work. Subtracting .002 seconds from every shot by every player would add up over a whole day of golf.
I wonder if we could make golf a more challenging sport comparable to the biathlon?
Why not organize a golf tournament in which players would run from the fairway to green and putt while gasping for their breath? This would test conditioning, steadiness and ability to control your nerves under duress.
Ski jumping caught my attention too. Can you imagine a scenario like this?
“What’s he got Roger?”
“I’d say about 220 to the front and 260 to the hole, but it’s lying on a very awkward down slope. If he can clear the front bunker and avoid the pond, what little wind there is shouldn’t be a factor.”
“Well, we’ll know soon enough because it’s on a great line”.
Gulp, into the hole she goes.
“John, that might be the finest shot I’ve ever seen under the circumstances, let’s wait for the style points to see if it’s good enough to take the lead”.
Double Luge presents an interesting concept in sharing. If golfers used this format, they would only require one cart per foursome.
Is there some way a devious soul could learn from altering the speed of a bobsled course during the race?
Maybe, an “accidental” twist of a dial could fire up the sprinkler system on the last green on Sunday at the US Open or perhaps someone could run out onto the green and move the hole location after the players have hit their shots onto the green.
I think Camilo Villegas was onto something with his “spider” greens-reading only he was upside down. He’d certainly gain a better perspective lying on his back and looking between his feet. It works for the skeleton competitors.
The Olympians that golfers can learn a lot from are the pairs figure skaters. Imagine the thrill of throwing your caddie up in the air and catching him/her (hopefully). This should be done early in the round before your legs get tired.
When I watched the snowboard cross I wondered about a new format for the Ryder Cup called Full Contact Golf
Players could bodycheck each other when they were playing their second shots to the green. Crashing into a player during a swing might not be intentional or designed to disrupt an opponent, but would simply be part of the game.
Then came curling.
I used to think curling was something adults did before a hockey game while they waited for the ice to freeze, but the thrill of watching the Canadian ladies win every game was exciting and made us all very proud. The male curlers were fantastic too. We witnessed guys built like Mr. Clean sweeping the ice so hard vapor came off it.
Laser distance readers have been approved for use by golfers in tournament play. How archaic. In practice rounds, curlers measure the speed of the ice with stopwatches.
Here is an opportunity for golfers to further complicate a simple game. We could measure green speeds with a stopwatch and add this information to our yardage books.
In the end, no reference to curling this time, I learned that golf is easier on your knees than moguls, Canada sure can play hockey and curling stones don’t listen any better than golf balls.
I can hardly wait for 2016.