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Golf Australia Express : Issue 47
THEMEETING OF THE International Olympic Committee and the International Golf Federation is sure to be a turbulent affair as both bring the stringent demands of tradition to the table. And rights. For the first time in more than a hundred years, golfers from around the world will take to the (yet to be built) Gil Hanse designed course in Rio for the 2016 Olympics. While bookies are most probably already taking odds as to who will stand on the first tee, it is worth readying ourselves for the journey to come. Smiling faces rarely emerge from meetings with the IOC. Golf’s heritage is as much as part of its game as its future, and the depth of these traditions work their way into the game we all know and love. They are living traditions, and are not to be treated with contempt. The Olympics likes to be regarded as the oldest sporting competition in the world. It also has its own tricks and traditions, its own understanding about how things should be done—and its directors are adamant that everything be exactly as they command. (Witness the brand police and their approach to advertising across London.) The Olympics also likes being the biggest show on earth. Many things orbit around dates set by the IOC, and the golf’s tours may well feel the tug of Olympian gravity. Talks around the timing of The Open Championship have stumbled due to Wimbledon’s switch to accommodate the Games, so it seems the tour dates could be up for a quadrennial shuffle. WE WOULD DO WELL TO CONSIDER THE DEMANDS PLACED UPON OUR SPORT IN THE LEAD UP TO OLYMPIC GOLF, WRITES WILL HONE. WHAT PRICE FOR GOLD? with Will Hone IN HONING In the end, the IGF has been working hard behind the scenes to get the game where the IOC wanted it. Drug testing has been introduced and the course in Rio has been designed to survive as a public academy to further the sport in Brazil. Watching Olympic golf will no doubt be exciting—there will be clutch putts that resonate through a wider audience than before and players will feel the weight of their compatriots heavy on their shoulders. But the journey towards these moments promises to be one marked by alarming alterations to ways we have before now taken for granted. It will be a new competition, a new platform for the game and a new prize to slip into the cabinet. But these things do not vouch for it being a positive influence on the sport. We are best to be wary in our dealings with giants. OTG For the first time in more than a hundred years, golfers from around the world will take to the (yet to be built) Gil Hanse designed course in Rio for the 2016 Olympics. DO YOU AGREE? TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS
Issue 48—PGA Championship