Golf to join Olympic fold


Sean Dudley

Golf will be part of the Olympic Games from 2016 onwards.

The campaign to win Olympic status for the game has been led by the Royal and Ancient and the USGA, along with many of golf’s iconic names. Although there has been some doubt as to whether golf, as a leading professional sport with its own strong infrastructure, belonged in the Games, or whether top golfers would regard an Olympic medal with the same reverence as they would a major title, others voices have stressed the importance of Olympic status for global development.

In particular, recognition as an Olympic sport is believed by many to be crucial for growing the game in the important markets of China and India. It has been suggested that Olympic status will unlock government support for golf development in those and other countries. R&A boss Peter Dawson, speaking during the campaign, repeatedly described the Olympics as ‘the biggest opportunity we have to grow the game’.

The IOC's executive board voted to include golf and rugby sevens from 2016, though the decision must still be confirmed by its Congress, which will meet in Copenhagen i in October.