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Golf at the Olympics

  • 28-07-2015 5:31pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 14,606 ✭✭✭✭ Seve OB


    So with just over a year to go before the world descends on Rio to witness the return of golf after a hundred and something year absence I was just wondering what you thoughts are. I know this will create heated discussion about who should play for who and all that, but lets stay away from that.

    Instead I want to know what are your thoughts on golf's place at the olympics? Does it belong there? What about the qualifying standards? Is it necessary? Do the players actually really want it? Do they need it?

    My thoughts are it would be a wonderful addition to the games and be a great thing for our sport.................. BUT................... they are doing it all wrong.

    Professional golf has a hectic schedule week in and week out for both the ladies and men. Multiple major championships and world golf championships all in and around the Olympic schedule, so I expect the tours will have some juggling to do next year.... or will they bother? Then there is the run up to the Fed Ex Cup, will this be shifted to accommodate the Olympics?

    Adam Scott has already said it is pretty much just an exhibition match for the Professional golfers and I couldn't agree more. So why not ditch the Pro's. They get enough high profile golf events during the year with bucket loads of prize money so do they really need another one every 4 years.... for a medal!!!:eek:

    My opinion is they should ban the pro's and bring in the amateurs. We all know there are some amateurs out there around the world who have the potential to be superstars, but most of us don't know who they are. So give them this event to showcase their talent. After all, when we watch the Olympics, a lot of the time new names are brought to our screen, and we all love to see the young las from Bray who we have never heard of, doing well at the badminton! So wouldn't it be nice to see the young lad from Greystones doing well at the golf :D

    Most of the amateurs are playing golf every bit as much as the Pro's, and golf is their life, their career. Some are planning to turn pro and others plan to stay amateur forever. They do have some great events to play for, but the Olympics would be special for them and a medal would mean an awful lot to them and it would not be the exhibition match it will be for the Pro's.

    We all know some of the up an coming superstars choose to hold of on turning pro in order to play the likes of the Walker cup first. Maybe the Olympics should be another platform, an even bigger platform, for those young (and not so young) amateurs to become household names.

    Does Golf Belong at the Olympics? 175 votes

    Yes, it belongs with the worlds top Pros competing
    3% 6 votes
    Yes, it should be similar to boxing and for Amateurs only
    22% 39 votes
    No, golf has no place at the olympics
    74% 130 votes


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Comments

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,022 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    PGA, European, Web, Asian, Jap, Seniors, Amateurs, Legends, Ladies, LPGA, Solheim, Ryder Cup, Walker Cup etc. etc. I don't care once it's golf...
    I just want more on TV so Olympic golf is fine by me and I'm indifferent to the Amateur/Pro debate, the way I look at it is I don't want to see amateur tennis players as the interest levels would drop so pros all the way is grand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 456 ✭✭ unattendedbag


    will it be a straightforward stroke play tournament? Better to play matchplay as more neutrals would watch, more excitement and generally the better competitor will rise to the top.

    My biggest problem with golf at the Olympics is that it's a one in 4 year tournament and not representative of the best golfer out there. Some unknown player could walk away as Olympic champion after a once in a lifetime round. Form throughout the season rises and dips massively with pros. At least the winner of the 100m sprint will probably the best in his field


  • Registered Users Posts: 165 ✭✭ MikeSD


    I don't get why everybody harps on about Olympic golf having no place for pros. Nobody cares about the Olympic soccer because it's mostly u23 players that didn't play at the Euros. It would be great for the game to showcase the very best players to a wider audience.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,562 ✭✭✭✭ PARlance


    I find it strange that the "Pro" debate comes into things these days.
    The Olympics is a Pro event, no doubt about that.
    I think boxing is the only real true amateur aspect left in it. Afaik, it's the only real sport that has a strong pro offering that isn't allowed in.
    There are other amateur events and amateurs competing but that's only because their sport isn't popular enough to have a pro element or the athlete isn't good enough to turn pro.

    Practically all the track and field'ers are Pro (bar maybe a few power walkers), basketball, tennis, football, cycling, swimming etc etc are all pro. It would be doing a disservice to golf to have it only for amateurs imo.

    Golf needs to grow in its emerging markets and the Olympics is a perfect platform. While it mighn't be the highlight of the year for the Pro's themselves, they are Pro's and they will be out to win it...if they fit it into their schedule... that would my only worry as it may be diminished by withdrawals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,562 ✭✭✭✭ PARlance


    And don't tell me we wont go bananas when Paddy has that gold medal wedged in that crazy smirk of his :)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,244 ✭✭✭ rrpc


    If the Olympics is the showcase of the best in sports then it has to be the Pros. Boxing is a bad example because of the fractured professional game and the multiple 'world' championships.

    Adam Scott's comments remind me of Rory McIlroy's about the Ryder Cup before he took part in it. ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,887 ✭✭✭✭ Roger_007


    I think that golf has more claim to be an Olympic than many of the sports and events which are now included. The Olympic spirit has become diluted by allowing many team sports in. Team sports have no place on the Olympics because the fundamental principle should be individual athletes competing against each other.
    Golf fulfils this principle whereas sports like football, hockey, volleyball etc do not.
    I'm not sure if the pro v amateur argument holds any water in the Olympics anymore. Most participants are professional sportspeople.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,682 pistol_75


    PARlance wrote: »
    And don't tell me we wont go bananas when Paddy has that gold medal wedged in that crazy smirk of his :)

    He won't be playing in it


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,564 ✭✭✭ Russman


    Personally I agree with Adam Scott.
    I don't think any sport should be there if the Olympic gold isn't the highest honour for that sport. With 4 established majors in the pro game, the Olympics are a distant 5th (at best). You could even argue a pro would rather win a WGC event rather than the Olympics, placing the Olympics just about in the top 10.

    By all means have it for the amateurs, similar to the Eisenhower Trophy etc. I think that would make a much better spectacle and top amateurs might hold off turning pro for a year or two to have a chance at going to an Olympics.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,013 ✭✭✭ irelandrover


    Russman wrote: »
    Personally I agree with Adam Scott.
    I don't think any sport should be there if the Olympic gold isn't the highest honour for that sport. With 4 established majors in the pro game, the Olympics are a distant 5th (at best). You could even argue a pro would rather win a WGC event rather than the Olympics, placing the Olympics just about in the top 10.

    By all means have it for the amateurs, similar to the Eisenhower Trophy etc. I think that would make a much better spectacle and top amateurs might hold off turning pro for a year or two to have a chance at going to an Olympics.

    I'd compare it to tennis in the Olympics. Tennis also has 4 majors but yet an Olympic medal is still seen as one of the top honours.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,298 ✭✭✭✭ Jawgap


    Why not have both?

    Qualifying countries get to enter two, two person teams - at least one player on each team must be U21 or U23. Teams can swap the pairings during the competition.

    Then play the tournament as fourball matchplay.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ Dbu


    Personally I would rather see Paul Dunne going for a gold than Rory McIlroy


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,564 ✭✭✭ Russman


    I'd compare it to tennis in the Olympics. Tennis also has 4 majors but yet an Olympic medal is still seen as one of the top honours.

    True, but its not THE top honour. I reckon the guys would swap an Olympic medal for a Wimbledon title, or for an Open Championship.
    Just IMO of course.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,244 ✭✭✭ rrpc


    Russman wrote: »
    Personally I agree with Adam Scott.
    I don't think any sport should be there if the Olympic gold isn't the highest honour for that sport. With 4 established majors in the pro game, the Olympics are a distant 5th (at best). You could even argue a pro would rather win a WGC event rather than the Olympics, placing the Olympics just about in the top 10.

    By all means have it for the amateurs, similar to the Eisenhower Trophy etc. I think that would make a much better spectacle and top amateurs might hold off turning pro for a year or two to have a chance at going to an Olympics.
    Is that not more of a factor of how long Golf has been off the Olympic charter? If Golf was in the Olympics since 1904, isn't it likely that it would have a much higher honour rating relative to the majors? Especially since it would have predated two of them: The Masters and the USPGA.

    What differentiates the Olympics from other tournaments is its amateur ethos; no prize money is awarded, just the honour of an Olympic medal. Yet for all that, professional sportspeople compete vigorously for that honour; probably as much or more than they would for one of their professional tournaments.

    Let's see how much jockeying goes on for selection as the cut off date approaches before we decide that Adam Scott is right.


  • Registered Users Posts: 165 ✭✭ MikeSD


    rrpc wrote: »
    Paul Dunne would not be eligible to play for GB. And currently not eligible to play for Ireland either.

    Yeah I was joking. Even if amateurs were involved, you couldn't root for Dunne as he's going pro after the Walker Cup.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,564 ✭✭✭ Russman


    rrpc wrote: »
    Is that not more of a factor of how long Golf has been off the Olympic charter? If Golf was in the Olympics since 1904, isn't it likely that it would have a much higher honour rating relative to the majors? Especially since it would have predated two of them: The Masters and the USPGA.

    What differentiates the Olympics from other tournaments is its amateur ethos; no prize money is awarded, just the honour of an Olympic medal. Yet for all that, professional sportspeople compete vigorously for that honour; probably as much or more than they would for one of their professional tournaments.

    Let's see how much jockeying goes on for selection as the cut off date approaches before we decide that Adam Scott is right.

    Agree. Quite possibly had it been in the Olympics all along it would be huge now, like any Olympic title should be IMO. But, arguably it would, like boxing, still be for amateurs. Who knows.

    There's no right or wrong. I'm sure they'll mostly all want to play, and say the right things, but I genuinely think if you said to any of the top players, "you can have a Green Jacket or an Olympic gold medal", they'd mostly all opt for the jacket.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 7,041 Mod ✭✭✭✭ charlieIRL


    Guys, ye know the story with discussing players nationalities, lets keep the debate going without mentioning them please?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,606 ✭✭✭✭ Seve OB


    will it be a straightforward stroke play tournament? Better to play matchplay as more neutrals would watch, more excitement and generally the better competitor will rise to the top.

    My biggest problem with golf at the Olympics is that it's a one in 4 year tournament and not representative of the best golfer out there. Some unknown player could walk away as Olympic champion after a once in a lifetime round. Form throughout the season rises and dips massively with pros. At least the winner of the 100m sprint will probably the best in his field

    yea as far as I know it will be stroke play. I agree with you, matchplay would be better. There probably should be both, and also a team event, foresomes, fourball, mixed, to hell with it.... a scramble!

    I also agree that it could very likely be a winner from the lower ranks, that's just the way golf works, but I'm sure there are other sports like that also. At any rate, you have to have the relevant skill to be there in the first place, so whoever wins, will deserve it.

    I agree that the resurrection of golf as new to the Olympics is likely clouding my judgement that it should be for amateurs and maybe if it had been around for the last 100 years it would be more of an established and sought after prize...... but it hasn't!

    I think everyone who is eligible will be delighted to play in it and will of course want to win. But I bet if you told every single touring pro out there, that it was going to be for amateurs only, I will go out on a limb to say, there would be very very very few that would be against that decision.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,244 ✭✭✭ rrpc


    Seve OB wrote: »
    I agree that the resurrection of golf as new to the Olympics is likely clouding my judgement that it should be for amateurs and maybe if it had been around for the last 100 years it would be more of an established and sought after prize...... but it hasn't!
    We are where we are... ;). Tennis is quite a good example of an established sport re-joining the Olympic movement and developing its status over time. There's no doubting how happy Andy Murray was to have won the gold medal in 2012 or the Williams sisters with their haul of 4 golds each. It's not just the individual honour that marks it out but the fact of winning for your nation that almost counts as high. Ireland has very few Olympic gold medals, so imagine the fuss if we won one in Golf.
    Seve OB wrote: »
    I think everyone who is eligible will be delighted to play in it and will of course want to win. But I bet if you told every single touring pro out there, that it was going to be for amateurs only, I will go out on a limb to say, there would be very very very few that would be against that decision.
    I would suspect otherwise. The minute you tell somebody that they can't have something is the very minute it becomes the most important goal in their lives.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,606 ✭✭✭✭ Seve OB


    rrpc wrote: »
    I would suspect otherwise. The minute you tell somebody that they can't have something is the very minute it becomes the most important goal in their lives.

    I mean if it had never been on the table for the pro's in the first instance


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,328 ✭✭✭ brick tamland


    Is there such thing as Amateur in the Olympics anymore? Most amateur boxers live off grants and sponsorship these days so they would be pretty much full time sportsmen/women. As for golf, I don’t know how bothered I’m going to be watching it ( like Tennis and Football at Olympics I suppose ), but saying that, if Speith a Rory are joint leaders in the last round I’m sure we’ll all be glued to it

    I wonder how much coverage it will get. We wont get wall to wall coverage like a major. Maybe 30 mins here and there I reckon as it will be competing with so much else. Unless there is some sort of red button/online option


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,606 ✭✭✭✭ Seve OB


    Most amateur boxers live off grants and sponsorship these days so they would be pretty much full time sportsmen/women.

    as would the top amateur golfers be


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,328 ✭✭✭ brick tamland


    Seve OB wrote: »
    as would the top amateur golfers be

    I know, somebody above gave boxing as an example of a true amatuer event at olympins. I dont think it really is


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,938 ✭✭✭ Kevinmarkham


    Any more Boardsies want to vote in this? I'm writing an Olympics-Focused article and want to include the 'general golfing public's' point of view.

    Some great answers in here already - I wonder if anyone has changed their mind since the start of last year.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 971 Senecio


    Just voted then. I'm not for it. For no other reason than when I watch the olympics I like to watch those sports that don't get a great deal of air time. I can watch the worlds best golfers every 2nd weekend between the Euro and US tours. It's only every fours years that I get to watch the best in fencing, archery, discuss, hammer throw etc.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,384 CMOTDibbler


    Senecio wrote: »
    Just voted then. I'm not for it. For no other reason than when I watch the olympics I like to watch those sports that don't get a great deal of air time. I can watch the worlds best golfers every 2nd weekend between the Euro and US tours. It's only every fours years that I get to watch the best in fencing, archery, discuss, hammer throw etc.....
    That's not the aim of the Olympics. Sure you can take an interest in minority sports and absolutely support them, but the Olympic Games are for all sports and golf was originally in the modern Olympics in 1900 and 1904.

    The European and World athletic Championships are usually shown live on TV so you can watch the javelin and discus etc. every year.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,631 ✭✭✭ Dirty Dingus McGee


    If an Olympic medal is not the top honour for the sport the sport should not be in the Olympics.

    It is the top honour for Athletics,Swimming,Gymnastics,Track Cycling and numerous others however having Golf,Soccer,Tennis,Road Cycling in it demeans the Olympics as it becomes a glorified exhibition event for those sports.

    I doubt any Tennis player wold want to win an Olympic medal over a grand Slam, I doubt any Golfer would want one over a major championship and basically the real reason players will want to win is just to have it ticked off their list and not really as their number one goal.

    I'm sure any soccer players who play is the World Club Final wants to win it for but they know right well that it means nothing as effectively the UEFA Champions League winners are the real world champions and they would want to win it just to say they won it the same would apply to Golf in the Olympics I would imagine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,384 CMOTDibbler


    If an Olympic medal is not the top honour for the sport the sport should not be in the Olympics.

    It is the top honour for Athletics,Swimming,Gymnastics,Track Cycling and numerous others however having Golf,Soccer,Tennis,Road Cycling in it demeans the Olympics as it becomes a glorified exhibition event for those sports.

    I doubt any Tennis player wold want to win an Olympic medal over a grand Slam, I doubt any Golfer would want one over a major championship and basically the real reason players will want to win is just to have it ticked off their list and not really as their number one goal.
    I think you need to ask that question of the players in question before you can say with any certainty what they would want. Some might agree with you but I doubt you'd be knocked off your feet by athletes rushing to give back their Olympic medals for something else. Andy Murray is extremely proud of his Olympic Gold Medal for one.

    There are golfers who are already training for the Olympics and fighting to be part of it. Padraig Harrington (himself a multiple major winner) would take your arm off for a place there.
    I'm sure any soccer players who play is the World Club Final wants to win it for but they know right well that it means nothing as effectively the UEFA Champions League winners are the real world champions and they would want to win it just to say they won it the same would apply to Golf in the Olympics I would imagine.
    Not sure where to start with this one tbh :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,631 ✭✭✭ Dirty Dingus McGee


    I think you need to ask that question of the players in question before you can say with any certainty what they would want. Some might agree with you but I doubt you'd be knocked off your feet by athletes rushing to give back their Olympic medals for something else. Andy Murray is extremely proud of his Olympic Gold Medal for one.

    There are golfers who are already training for the Olympics and fighting to be part of it. Padraig Harrington (himself a multiple major winner) would take your arm off for a place there.


    Not sure where to start with this one tbh :D

    The point I'm making is that the majors in golf are main prize in the sport, just like the Champions League is the main prize in club soccer.

    However once you add another prize on top of the real prize human instinct means the participants will want to win it even though it doesn't really mean anything and really doesn't increase/decrease the status of the players/team.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,384 CMOTDibbler


    The point I'm making is that the majors in golf are main prize in the sport, just like the Champions League is the main prize in club soccer.
    You compared the Champions League to the World Cup. One is for the clubs in Europe and the other is for all national teams in the world.
    However once you add another prize on top of the real prize human instinct means the participants will want to win it even though it doesn't really mean anything and really doesn't increase/decrease the status of the players/team.
    So you say. I would say the opposite. An Olympic medal has a rarity and therefore a value regardless of the sport it's awarded for.


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