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Golf and the Olympics - perfect partners?

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Iain Carter | 18:21 UK time, Monday, 30 July 2012

Rory McIlroy sat as an enthralled and hunched figure in what have become increasingly familiar surroundings for the 2011 US Open champion.

He was in the players' box at Wimbledon supporting girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki as she played her first round match of the women's tennis at the Olympics.

The Olympic spirit in the broadcasting world can best be summed up as all hands to the pump. For me that means a return to covering tennis a decade on from leaving the sport to report on golf.

McIlroy was a rare familiar face in the Centre Court crowd. The inescapable thought was that four years hence he is likely to be an Olympian rather than a mere member of a competitor's entourage.

It's been fascinating trying to imagine the impact of golf's return to the Games in Rio in 2016 and the world's top players are certainly in for a culture shock.

Golfer Rory McIlroy and his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki

Golfer Rory McIlroy and his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki arriving at the Olympic Village. Photo: Getty

Living by the uniform rules of the International Olympic Committee is a rather different prospect compared with the cosseted worlds they inhabit on the European and PGA Tours.

Here at Wimbledon the blueprint that works so smoothly on an annual basis at the All England Championships has been ripped up.

"It makes you appreciate how well Wimbledon is run," grumbled one player disaffected by the different protocols in place at an Olympics.

Another high-profile star has been heard ranting about ticket allocations while the media moan about being forced through unfamiliar gates and familiar routes being put off limits by road closures around the All England Club.

Jobsworths have a capital J during the Games regardless of who you are and this creates an environment certainly alien to golf's pampered pros.

But amid the moans and groans there is a feeling of gratitude that tennis is a member of the Olympic family. From 2016 golf should feel the same way.

Golf's inclusion in the Rio Games will be good for the sport and for the Olympics.

"The way I look at it is that if Tiger Woods wants to win a gold medal then that increases the value of the medals I won," Sir Steve Redgrave told me around the time golf was regaining its place in the Games.

Be under no illusions golf has been included because, like tennis, it is a lucrative sport. The modern Olympian ideals carry a price and if you have any doubt about that remember it can only be paid with a certain credit card.

Golf will be good for Olympic business, but it also brings a sense of fair play and integrity that the IOC is so keen to promote.

Benefits of inclusion are already being felt by golf. The campaign to become an Olympic sport led to the introduction of drug testing and the game is now being made to live by the standards of other sports.

Funding and development resources are more available across the globe and Olympic status gives a massive boost to growing the game in parts of the world where golf has yet to make an impact.

Over the next four years Rio will become one of the central sources of golfing story-lines.

At the moment the plan is for 72 hole individual strokeplay tournaments for men and women in separate weeks of the Games. But this may change as organisers consider the possibility of including a team dimension.

There are plenty more issues. Will caddies receive medals? Don't they play a similar role to a rowing cox? But what if they are a different nationality to their player?

What will happen to the 2016 golfing calendar? August's PGA Championship has to move dates because it can't clash with the Games. This is complicated further by Wimbledon moving a week later from 2014.

This move appears to prevent the Open from shifting a week earlier to help
ease schedule congestion.

And returning to McIlroy, who was wearing Danish red to support his girlfriend here, what colours will he be wearing if he qualifies.

It's a difficult decision for the Northern Ireland star. Three years ago he said he thought he would play for Britain but now it's a question he avoids.

McIlroy has represented Ireland in the World Cup and north and south of the border the game is administered by the Golfing Union of Ireland.

The time will come when he will have to come off the Danish fence and declare his hand. His relationship with Wozniacki means he's familiar in Wimbledon green, will he be going for gold in the green of Ireland?


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  • Comment number 1.

    Iain, 2010 US Open champion!!?? I think you'll find that was GMAC!?

  • Comment number 2.

    Got to say I feel Golf was the wrong choice from the sports to be added in Rio. Rugby sevens I completely agreed with and is always an entertaining spectacle. Golf, like tennis and football, is another of those sports where it isn't the biggest event out there and has such a high profile that inclusion in the Olympics isn't, when it comes down to it, a massive deal. I'm sure I'll enjoy it, as I am partial to a bit of golf.

    However it was something of a travesty that squash didn't get the extra place. Popular in several countries, massive strides made in improving television coverage in recent years and a sport which would benefit immensely from Olympic exposure. People who haven't played a lot of table tennis and badminton tend to embrace watching it at the Olympics and I feel squash would be the same (though I'll concede that it's perhaps not as straightforward to take in from a tactical perspective as the other racquet sports). Plus there'd be no doubt that it would be the biggest event in the sport. Hopefully it'll get its chance next time there is a new addition to be made.

  • Comment number 3.

    This will be only the third time the Olympics have been held in the Southern hemisphere and both previous times the games have been held in October /November. If this remains the same there will be no need for proper golf to be moved around. Golf in the Olympics, ridiculous. Olympic sport is supposed to be the pinnacle of a sportspersons ambitions. Football, tennis and now golf should never be in the Olympics.

  • Comment number 4.

    @2 and 3
    I agree with 99% of both your comments

    Yes it is a travesty that PROFESIONAL golf got in ahead of other sports such as squash,but if the powers that be in the golfing world could grow a pair !!!, they would only allow golfers with amateur status into the Olympics.
    I always thought the Olympics was about the "Pinacle" of a sportsperson's career,where as football would surely be the World Cup and golf,tennis one of the four Majors/slams.
    Another sport IMO witch has no place in the Olympics is Basketball, a sport were they are all paid millions and do not really care about a medal,why don't we add American Football !!!!!
    as we use to have Baseball until the authorities realised they were all druggies and had no place at such an important event.

    The Olympics should be "Amateur status only" not multi millionaires who treat it as a playground just to get there photos in some daily rag or cheap showbiz magazine

  • Comment number 5.

    Mr Carter

    Instead of writing a pretty pointless BLOG this week, why don't you concentrate on organising a golf day

  • Comment number 6.

    Caroline is a very pretty girl. Well done Rory.

  • Comment number 7.

    As for Olympics, I went to see the rowing at Dorny today and it was superbly run, excellently enjoyable!!!

    However only sports allowed should be those that herald an Olympic gold as the pinnacle of said sport.

    Hence no football or golf, it's ridiculous, but all about money money money. IOC want a piece of FIFA's pie.

    Cone on Team GB

  • Comment number 8.

    Well I at least thought it was quite interesting.

    I used to be of the school of thought, that the Olympics should be the pinnacle of your sport, or not there at all, however i read the blog with an open mind it makes an interesting point that i dont personally feel in any position to dispute. If the game of golf benefits by having a place at the games, and the Olympics is benefited by hosting golf, then why are we getting hung up on a theoretical point that has no practical implications?

    Yes, i think there are other sports that are more deserving than golf, but I also think there are sports that are less deserving, and the argument that golf shouldn't be in the games because squash should be in the games doesn't wash because there is no logical reason why they couldn't both, its not as if they.

    And yet despite writing a comment that argues generally in favour of golf being included, i must admit that somehow it doesn't quite feel right, sadly i cant really justify that feeling as well as i can argue the case for inclusion

  • Comment number 9.

    By the time TIGER wins this Gold medal he will have broken all records. Highest number of wins, most majors. This would be the cherry on top of the icing on the cake and prove once and for all that he is the GOAT.

  • Comment number 10.

    Wcihis you are fishing!!

    Jimmy on this one your heart is right and your head is wrong. Drink more beer

  • Comment number 11.

    You could well be right YB, but it is about this time the crazies get their Internet privileges. As for Rory lets hope he's found some form by 2016.

  • Comment number 12.

    Last week nobody scored points in the US at all, How did you not see that coming from Peircy? Bunch of numpties. Weisberger picks you up 10 points, Levet and Lowry had some successful punters poicking up points, Those people were -

    Daveyboy 10
    BMG 10
    The Lion 10
    2IK 5

  • Comment number 13.

    Not much change then, but what change there was goes a little something like this.

    8 for 6 for 1 156
    Daveyboy 151
    Jimmy 147
    Mattefc 128
    Gbell 121
    Cfcboy23 120
    Maninasuitcase 118
    Golfrants 94
    Yorkshire Blogster 83
    BiloMct 79
    The Sorcerer 70
    BMG 68
    Sumo82 59
    Wibbliouswobblious 57
    Golden Bear 49
    Whycantihititstraight 29
    2IK 25
    Anglesdan 18
    The Lion 10
    Carl 6
    Codzie85 0
    Jimmythecat1982 0
    Rpbabylon 0
    Rattoot 0
    Sirlemons11 0

  • Comment number 14.

    YB - You may be right, but you'll have to actually produce a coherent argument to convince me, because the more i think about it, the less convincing the old argument of "it should be the pinnacle of your sport" actually sounds.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    Jimmy can you confirm that there is no European event this week.

  • Comment number 17.

    The Official Euro Tour event is the Bridgestone in Akron. But i'll invite picks for the Reno-Tahoe Open. Why the devil not. 6 picks is better than 3

  • Comment number 18.

    Golf has no place in the Olympics, but no less than tennis - another recently introduced high profile sport, populated by multi-millionaires. But, if we are going to have it, PLEASE come up with something a little more original than a 72 holes tournament, which will presumably invite the world's top ranked players, at least up to whatever particular number Tiger happens to be ranked at the time. Why not jazz it up a little by having more of a team element - one round of mixed foursomes, for example, could be a little more interesting?

  • Comment number 19.

    Golf at the Olympics will not be a bad thing, the game is global and now that there is not really many true amateur sports left why should it not be included.
    At least unlike some so called sports ie synchronised swimming there are no judges involved the winner will be the winner. I have a personal pet hate of so called sports that involve judges as its an opinion not a clear cut longest fastest etc.
    Ok it may not hold the prestige a major does but when you see the likes of Federer in the tennis the Olympics has that something extra.

  • Comment number 20.

    Haha, my comment #15 was removed. If anybody would like to own up to being the complainant, I'd be fascinated to know what you found objectionable. Was it my accusation of plagiarism perchance, or the use of an uber-mild cuss?

    Anyway, Olympic golf ... I notice Hanse Golf Course Design have been chosen to Design the course for 2016. Anybody heard of them? It would be nice if the Olympics provided a good test of golfing ability.

    Are we going to see the number of entrants limited by nationality I wonder. Just three Americans and three Britons in the field isn't going to enhance the reputation of the tournament.

  • Comment number 21.

    The bit I did find funny was do the caddies get a medal er why erm I got a gold medal for carrying clubs raking bunkers etc sorry to all caddies out there but you ain't under any pressure.

  • Comment number 22.

    It will be interesting to see which players are up for it, Sergio was asked about it and seemed up for it.
    Greg Norman had a big hand in helping with getting golf in the games but good old Seve was apparently very vocal in his support of getting golf back in the Olympics.

  • Comment number 23.

    @Iain...I noticed you revised your blog and changed it to 2011, without directly thanking me I take it that you seen my post!!??
    @84641....I don't think anyone complained dude, I had the same issue and wondered why my perfectly "decent" post got moderated!

  • Comment number 24.

    84641. It wasn't me I was on the verge of crediting you for the info when it disappeared. I knew I had recently heard the information regarding the southern hemisphere but couldn't remember where from until your post. Have to assume your mild B word was the reason. That would be interesting picking who plays as it would be under the Team GB banner. With say 150 countries entering this would probably limit the numbers to one per country.

  • Comment number 25.

    Golf has no right to feature at the Olympics. Golf is a game not a sport.

    Having said that, there are a lot of events in the Olympics that have no right to be there.

    Basketball, Beach Volleyball, BMX, Equestrian, Sailing, Synchronised Swimming, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Water Polo

    If Golf is allowed in then so should Snooker and darts.

  • Comment number 26.

    Wcihis I can't see the field being 150 strong do 150 countries actually play golf?
    I would imagine tops would be 100 ish.
    There was some idea that it could be a match play but apparently the bid was put in as a stroke play and hence it would look strange now to change it.

  • Comment number 27.

    @ 25 where do you draw a line I don't have a problem with the sports you have listed being in the Olympics at least most of if not all of those have a clear winner.

  • Comment number 28.

    You've got to love the little "cinema going" pair on Iain's picture on the blog, are they debating nachos or hot dogs!!??

  • Comment number 29.

    Beach volley ball on anyone think that should not be in the Olympics ?

  • Comment number 30.

    @Davey..I'm not a big fan of golf going to the Olympics, I agree with a lot of people about this being an "Amateur" thing, but some of the "so called" sports are painfull to watch. With regards to 2016, they've got to make it a full on event, forget matchpay etc...Just make it a stroke play tournament because we could have some random otherwise living off exemptions for his life!?

  • Comment number 31.

    @25 Bob. Clearly you just want a public house based Olympics with IPA ale served at tents.

    But to counter the issue and topic that people have brought up thus far; The Olympics should be no place for millionaire sportsman and women.

    So that'd been you go against the inclusion of 'millionaires' such as Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Chris Hoy (endorsements), Tyson Gay and back in his day Michael Johnson and so on. If you're highly succesful at such sports, you're endorsed and paid accordingly.

    So what if Le Bron James and Kobe Bryant are millionaires (2 of the richest sportsmen of all time) and playing in the Olympics. I think it is amazing all these athletes come together.

    Roll on 2016 and the Tiger!

  • Comment number 32.

    @Bob...Isn't a game a "sport", just interested in the difference!?

  • Comment number 33.

    Bob is wrong on so many levels that his post is embarrassing. For example, if you go to (Other dictionaries are available, but as its the dictionary of choice of Google, its a reliable source) you will find that golf is actually used as part of the definition of Sport.

    Secondly,I believe its called the olympic GAMES, so his argument that golf should be excluded because its a game is even more ridiculous.

    Thirdly (And here i'm going to throw in a presumption) I imagine that Bob see's his ideals on the Olympics as some sort of Vangelis sound-tracked return to the days Chariots of Fire. And most likely see's his Utopian vision as a return to the traditional values of the Olympics. What he probably doesn't know is that the "traditional Olympics" handed out medals for Architecture, Literature, Painting, Music and Sculpture! Its just not Sport

  • Comment number 34.

    Hey Jimmy please could you confirm how points are allocated for the league, inc dets of Majors? Thanks
    I'm delighted to get my account up and running. Shame Olesen let it slip down the back nine or it woulda been a cracking week :)

  • Comment number 35.

    34. - I'd be interested to see some 'rules' about league points too. One that I will share with you is this - "Jimmy's decision is final!!"
    And don't bother sharing your stories of near-misses with him either. The man has no sympathy, no emotion whatsoever. In fact, I think Jimmy is really just an excel spreadsheet (other software available).

  • Comment number 36.

    OK James, here are some scientifically chosen picks designed to put yet more space between me and Wibbly. No copying please!

    Reno: Stuart Appleby, Billy Hurley III, Camilo Villegas
    Bridgestone : Fredrik Jacobson, Jason Dufner, Nicolas Colsaerts

  • Comment number 37.

    Jimmy, here's my kiss of death picks.
    Tiger Woods
    Zach Johnson
    Louis Oosthuizen.

    Stewart Cink
    JB Holmes
    Billy Hurley III

    I thank you.

  • Comment number 38.

    Jimmy picks
    Reno Paddy Harrington Alex Cejka Spencer Levin

    Bridgestone Mclroy Mahan Luke Donald

  • Comment number 39.

    There's an easy solution to the problem of whether to give medals to the caddies. This is the Olympics, so traditional procedures can be ignored. Make the players carry their own bags.

  • Comment number 40.

    #35 BMG - please stop making me laugh out loud in work! That is an absolute cracker.

  • Comment number 41.

    Surely you're all missing the point... Baron de Coubertin (other than being a French educationalist and historian and founder of the International Olympic Committee) was a scratch golfer. Despite his obvious French-ness he had a predilection for tartan plus fours and was at the fore front of the worrying trend for golfers to not shout four (or quatre, in his case).
    Of course golf should in the Olympics.

  • Comment number 42.

    Ian, did you have to write this because the BBC is the Olympic broadcaster?

    Also, what has happened to the BBC text service with page 481, golf, now having 'other sports' included in the news. It's bad enough that the bbc couldn't report on the actual golf that took place last week and had to keep their 'news' on the Open Championship on the digital text. Pretty poor showing all round.

    Somehow, I doubt that the beeb would dare to keep last years league news displayed once even the pre-season matches start in the footie.

    Forget it guys, the beeb don't give a bleep about golf coverage so there is absolutely no hope of getting a golf day organised.

  • Comment number 43.

    said it before, i'll say it again...there should be no place in the olympics for golf unless it's confined to could, conceivably, become their 'major'

    like oil and water, pro golf and the olympics should be kept well apart

    as for caddies, i agree with clive...give each player a trolley!

  • Comment number 44.

    2ik - Trolleys? What's wrong with them carrying the bag?

  • Comment number 45.

    trev...i spent some time in rio at the back end of last gets mighty hot down there...have a heart!

  • Comment number 46.



    the goose
    frankie molinari
    jason dufner


    john daly
    camilo villegas
    seung yoh noh

    i thank you

  • Comment number 47.

    Darn you BMG !!! I'll get you yet my pretty.
    (It doesn't help when you don't even do 1/2 the predictions mind)

    With that in mind here are this weeks offerings - @ Jimmy my picks for this week are:

    Reno - A Romero, S-Yol Noh, J Overton

    Bridgstone - R McIlrory, L Oousthuizen, T Woods

  • Comment number 48.

    I also believe that Golf (like tennis) shouldn't be an Olympic sport but if they are to be in then they should at least involve the Amateurs.(Though this doesn't really apply to most of the Olympic events anyway these days)
    However they are probably there for keeps now should be embraced - Golf will increase the nos. of people watching the Olympics and therefore increase revenue for the IOC due to advertisers etc. Increased revenue for the IOC means putting more money into the "grass roots" which will in turn benefit the R&A. So it's win, win.

    The actual competition with be under the umbrella of the IOC therefore competitors will compete from the nation of their birth. Therefore, if picked, Messers McDowell and McIlroy would compete for team GB and Mr Harrington would play for Eire (read Ireland). I am assuming that it will only be 3 or 4 competitors per nation. I presume caddies will be classed as "backroom staff" and therefore no medal for them.

  • Comment number 49.

    Wibbly #47 - you spelt "Bridgestone" wrong so your picks are void :-)

  • Comment number 50.

    @ BMG.....It's the American version. You know they like to miss out letters in "their" version of English !!!

  • Comment number 51.

    #49... will you stop at nothing? Let it go, man, let it go!

  • Comment number 52.

    BMG pity your attention to spelling detail does not extend to timing, I am thinking Honda lol. Where's Jimmy with his big sign BMG NOO.

  • Comment number 53.

    #48 Wibbly - as usual with Norn Irn it isn't that simple. We have competitors in the swimming who are in the Irish team and rowers in Team GB. We truly are a cosmopolitan little land as we have cricketers who play for Ireland while some, like Eoin Morgan, start out there and then switch to England for the test cricket. To make it interesting we also have cricketers from India who play for Ireland but I suppose that's nothing new. Don't try to fathom it out - you'll just end up with a headache like the rest of us! lol

  • Comment number 54.

    BMG Which part of "YOU'VE GOT ALL THE POINTS FOR THE HONDA THAT YOU'RE EVER GOING TO GET" do you not understand?????????????

    You'll probably score none next year too if our dear Jimmy has his way. Lol

    (p.s. sorry for the CAPS but, as proviously mentioned we can't do italics or other text on this blog)

  • Comment number 55.

    Dear Old Don, are you still with us?

  • Comment number 56.

    These days its a bit of a romantic notion that the olympics should be for amateurs only. Apart from maybe the shooting and archery most of the sports will have proffesionals or semi pro competitors.
    Golf got in on merit and due to lobbying by the governing bodies and players so although some question its inclusion as golfers embrace it. Would you rather watch a golf tournament containing top players or some obscure sport like rythmic Gymastics.
    As it will be an individual competition i guess each country could have been represented by their top amateur but it will be interesting to see how the players qualify. Think team GB if its one player who would get the nod Luke, Rory, Lee or Gmac it could prove an interesting dilema.

  • Comment number 57.

    great reading this morning chaps

    Firstly to respond to Jimmy reference "not the pinnacle of the sport" argument

    I am afraid that my vision of the Olympics is such, that winning a Gold medal in the Olympics should be the pinnacle of your sport - I have not yet read an argument why this should not be the general stance? I have read arguments for the inlcusion of golf and other sports (tennis, football).

    your argument about "benefits" does not cut it with me. The only real benefits could be financial gains, and of course getting the game to a wider audience.

    Financial - as with Basketball, the Texan shibber jibber owner has complained that the participation of NBA players in Olympic Basketball is merely creating money for the IOC, with players not being paid, whereas other teams have to pay their players huge sums to play for them, to get the same merchandise, TV rights etc

    now I have no problem with the game/sport of golf creating extra money for the IOC or whoever it goes to, as long as that gets channelled back into youth and into countries to promote golf as a mainstream sport

    which sort of goes along with my second point

    THE ONLY WAY I could be convinced that the inclusion of golf is correct, is to go along the lines of #25, and that is not to have a normal tournament of 4 rounds of strokeplay. Olympics is about team and individual so there would have to be perhaps something along the following lines:

    Individual x 2

    By all means have medals for the individual, but also for the team performance:

    Allocate points on whatever basis for performance in the team events, with points for each player contributing from their individual strokeplay performance also - this way even if someone cannot win an individual medal their performance still affects their team

  • Comment number 58.

    # 56

    agree on the pros vs amateur debate

    a lot of Olympics athletes are now professional in their own discipline, whether its a swimmer, 100m sprinter, archery, badminton, rowing, horsing around - they are all full time paid professionals (most of them anyway)

    and going back to my argument of the pinnacle of the sport - would an amateur golfer rather win the Amateur Open, or the Silver Medal at the Open - or olympic gold?

    they would have to answer that

    it does raise the question to my proposed outline of a format, would a gold in that be worth more than Ryder Cup or Presidents? Would it just be a glorified World Cup??

    Perhaps - so may be something more extravagant in terms of a basis for the competition?

    Par 3 competition to start
    Team Texas Scramble
    Individual with only 5 clubs allowed in bag

    ....or am I going mad.....

  • Comment number 59.

    Another interesting point to consider would be that of sponsorship. At the current games i am led to believe that if anyone who attends the medal ceremonies wearing clothing or shoes that are not one of the main sponsors they have to change into more acceptable sponsors range. If say only Nike** sponsor in Rio and the winner is sponsored by Dunlop**, how would this affect the players contractual obligations.
    ** other manufacturers available.

  • Comment number 60.

    51, 52 & 54. OK guys, back off. No need to over-react!

    It does remind me though. Jimmy, my friend, about those Honda points...

    (PS : cfc #51 - (a) no and (b) I CANT!!!!)

  • Comment number 61.

    yorkshire_blogster, to be honest I have just skimmed your posts and haven't really assimilated the content, but at first glance it looks like you're disagreeing with Jimmy.

    Great posts, well done. I totally agree

  • Comment number 62.

    YB - I fully understand the argument of a sport should be the very pinnacle of someones acheivement, or it shouldnt be included in the games, Infact I used to promote it myself. However this would mean a significant cut in the number of events that are held at the games including some that you wouldnt immediatly think of such as the cycling road race (Which we all got tremendously excited about over the weekend and wouldnt for a second want removing). This would in turn probably take something of a sheen off the games themselves. Afterall why on earth would we want the games to become less of a spectacle

    Besides this to remove golf from the games, as is essentially being advocated would have no practical benefit whatsoever as far as i can see, but would remove some of the benefits that having golf as an olympic sport could generate.

  • Comment number 63.

    wcihis They would be free to use their own gear but I would imagine bags caps etc would be devoid of sponsorship other than possibly brand logos ie adidas nike etc.
    Come medal ceremonies they would wear the official team gear, it does not become a problem at Ryder Cups so cant see there being an issue.
    YB the format from what I have heard wont be anything other than strokeplay as that was how the bid was presented.
    Regarding the gold medal being the pinnacle only individuals can answer that, a bit like the old world no 1 or a major debate its an individuals own perception.

  • Comment number 64.

    @The Lion

    Scoring is pretty simple 1st = 10 points, 2nd or T2nd =5 points, 3rd or Tied 3rd = 3 points.

    Picking the hottest player in the world after they have already carded a -4 1st round = 0 points

  • Comment number 65.

    It would seem the current vogue is to 'get one in early'... though it could be said that has been somewhat of a theme since the now legendary "What are the perfect preparations for the Open?" blog (ahem) came into the public eye.
    Without further ado and with all my spelling checked:
    WGC - Donald, Fowler, Poults
    The Other One - Harrington, Appleby, Kokrak

  • Comment number 66.


    you could give the exact same argument in terms of benefit if you swapped the word "golf" for any other sport/game that is not included, squash would benefit much more from being in the olympics than not - so its a bit generic

    interesting point about the road cycling. I think for Wiggins possible the TDF will just edge a gold medal at the olympics, but only just. whereas how close to winning a major would a gold medal rank?? as daveyboy says only the individuals involved can say that

    as for taking a sheen off the olympics, would be it less of a sheen if squash were includuded, or another sport, instead of golf?

    I think my main umbridge is that golf is already a hugely successful worldwide sport and enterprise - a financial juggernaut in the world of sport

    I think lesser recognised sports would benefit from inclusion in the olympics

    hence the road race, in the UK we had no real interest in TDF or road cycling before we started being good at it, and if a similar thing happened in squash or some "lesser" sports, by which I suppose I mean less commercially attractive,

    I think, after all my waffle, my crux is a sport/game should only be included in the olympics if it enhances that particular sport from the pedestal it is currently on

    and i do not believe that golf being part of the olympics will make it a greater sport in general, it will create more revenue streams and opportunitys, already admittied these positives, however the true sense of the sport , in my opinion, will not be enhanced

    road racing has been enhanced by its inclusion many years ago, squash would benefit,

    football and tennis have not

  • Comment number 67.

    Jimmy you missed one of the most critical rules of scoring ( BMG take note)
    All picks must be posted prior to the events start anyone placing picks once an event has started will not score with said picks( Again BMG take note.)
    Jimmy has the final say and is always right( Again BMG take note)
    Although Jimmy is open to discussion he is without fail correct and his will be the only voice heard ( apart from the pitiful wailings of BMG).
    For further clarity visit the website www.Jimmy is always
    I hope that makes things clear ( BMG still taking note?)

  • Comment number 68.

    WGC picks:

    Woods, Choi, Poulter

    t'other un:

    boo weekly, john daly, JB Holmes

  • Comment number 69.

    Yb The thing with football is its a massive global game already and there is no benefit to it being in the olympics, proof in the cant give the tickets away issue.
    You make a good point in golf already being huge, Tiger Woods love him or hate him is still one of the most well known sports people in the world.So I see where your coming from , without the olympics Sir Steve, Hoy etc could pass you in the street and you would not have known who they were.
    Regards Wiggins I guess he would love a gold medal but history will say the first Brit to win the tour de France. Will his win and the olympics bring a top class road race back to Britain time will tell.
    Golf at the Olympics will be a great event and draw interest but the Gold medal will not carry the prestige of the majors. Just as a point to back that up who won the last Tennis gold medals not a clue.

  • Comment number 70.

    YB - The case for the exclusion of Golf has nothing at all to do with squash. Its not like having them both in the games would cause any sort of logistical problem whatsoever, the venues would be different, the competitors would be different, only the arbitrary number of Sports included in the games meant that golf got in at the expense of squash. It didnt have to be that way

    Its interesting that you introduced degrees of importance once i mentioned the cycling where as before your argument was in black and white. Cavendish is on record as having said in the past that the TDF, Giro D'Italia etc are more prestigous to road cyclists than the olympics.

    The Olympics is better for having golf than not having golf. So why lobby to remove it? If other sports are more deserving (As squash is in my opinion as well) then its upto their governing bodies to prove it.

  • Comment number 71.

    Unfortunately it is difficult to look beyond the money already awash within the sports mentioned and - whether we like it or not - the fact that the IOC will want a slice of that pie.
    Let's say that over 4 days in Brazil, 40,000 paying customers turn up each day on a brand new purpose built golf course. Are those c.160,000 people who would have normally gone to the athletics/swimming but went to the golf instead or are they 160,000 (x $100, perhaps) incremental sales? Hopefully for the organisers the latter.
    Then there's the new facility... much like the 2018 World Cup process the 'event' is far more likely to be given to a country where new stadia/course/facilities need building. That way millions are generated creating the infrastructure, contracts are awarded to 'the chosen few'... if nothing new is needed then the circualtion of money is vastly reduced.
    Sad as it is - that's the way of the world.

  • Comment number 72.

    # 70


    I only mentioned squash because golf was chosen ahead of it, i agree logistically it would not have made a difference, but as cfc says the money generated from golf will be of much greater value to the IOC, whereas the olympics would have done much more for squash than it will for golf

    I think "pinnacle of sport" is a direct reference to degrees of importance is it not......??? I agreed TDF would be regarded above an olympic gold, but is a very close second to what they normally do.

    would a professional golfer rather win a PGA/European tour event, or an olympic gold is probably the fairest comparison. certainly a lot more money for a PGA tour event and the larger Euro events, but would a "lesser" golfer rather have an olympic gold on his CV because then he would have something the big boys didn't have? individuals would have their own say.

    its harder for the governing body of squash to stand in front of IOC committee and tell them they are worth more to the olympics, when the governing bodies of golf can wave a big cheque and the inclusion of worldwide sporting stars who happen to be golfers - mr Tiger Woods

    if you asked the average person on the street to name ten golfers and ten squash players I think most would pass the first but would anyone be able to name ONE squash player????

    and this is my point, the olympics should be doing more for participation in sports such as squash, rather than rub their hands at the prospect of filling their coffers.

  • Comment number 73.

    Very good, Squash is very possibly a more deserving sport to host the olympics. I repeat again though, that in itself is no argument at all for Golf not being at the Olympics.

    As for the argument with respect to degrees of importance, what i was pointing out was the inconsistency in your argument. You Originally argued that no sport should be in the Olympics unless it is the pinnacle of the sport, however after i pointed out that a sport such as road cycling wouldnt fit that criteria you amended your argument to saying that cycling is fine because it is only just surpassed by the Tour De France. Rather than the clear cut defenition you stared with, you started clouding the water in order to justify the inclusion of sports that didnt meet your initial criteria.

    Of course the old shaking your head and tutting about the horrible malignant effect of money doesnt do much good, its the lavish amounts of money that are spent that help make the truly great events great. Someone should host a shoestring olympics, or world cup. And when it all goes belly up we'll see then how much people complain about it being all about them money

  • Comment number 74.


    I think you have been jumping to conclusions, but I will happily clear these muddied waters for you to make them crystal clear like the ones I saw at dorny yesterday.

    It may have been my fault, but I did not distinguisgh between my own ideals and then why I could understand why other sports which did not meet my criteria could get away with it more than golf

    so, I may be old fashioned, but I think Olympics should be for the sports where that medal should be the pinnacle of the sport, then I have added sub-section clause "get with the times" to include sports that do not have the commercial and already worldwide success such as golf and tennis which was achieved without the olympics, whereas messrs Hoy, Bolt etc would not have had the same worldwide fame without it,

    as for squash vs golf, if it is the case that golf was chosen ahead of squash (which I think it was), then I disagree with you, it is an argument in itself for golf not being at the olympics because it earned itself a place over squash - which I think is wrong - as do you.

    Thus, if you think it is wrong then you should agree that golf therefore should not be at the olympics ahead of a more deserving sport who were also up for the inclusion on 2016.

    I have not changed my mind about my own personal reasons, but I can live with the road cycling being at the olympics because there is already cycling at the olympics, and I think the Olympics adds to the sport of road cycling.

    Now, this is not to say that the olympics would add nothing to golf, it would add another worlwide platform for people to be able to see the game of golf, but we all know in effect it is just another strokeplay tournament and will mean very little to the fans and players once the furore and excitmement of the games has gone.

    I also have no problem with a lot of money being spent at or by the relevant sponsors and organisers of the olympics, such a worldwide show could not go ahead without it. Usain Bolt will earn more in sponsorship than he will in any performance money in the races he runs. My opinion is only that squash is more deserving of the money than golf who do not really need it.

  • Comment number 75.

    trevthetrainer @55:

    Unfortunately not.

    After being accused of "plagiarising other people's work and ideas" (i.e. just "copying and pasting" from newspapers) and writing overly long/tedious/bitter critiques, I completely lost interest in the whole blogging thing.

    I am now content to keep my (ill-informed/second-hand/unwanted) opinions to myself and, as always, enjoy my hot chocolate and (favourite Olympic flag bearer) Maria Sharapova.

    P.S. - ABW (Anybody But Wozzilroy)!

  • Comment number 76.

    #75 So you are _are_ still with us Don, in some lurking capacity.

    It's a shame we don't hear from your - I, for one, greatly miss your contributions. I have to watch my language on this blog so I say "a plague on all the naysayers and gleogairs".

    At the moment, I have to rely on Jimmy for relatively sensible and intelligent comments but, excellent chap that he is, he ain't no Don247.

  • Comment number 77.

    Damned by feint praise :-(

    And so the prodigal old git returns, to tell us that he's not returning, Lovely stuff.

    YB - I think rather than questioning the inclusion of golf, which will no doubt add a little bit of stardust to the next olympics, it would be a more pertinent question to ask why there was a system in which sports have to compete against each other for inclusion in the games.

    If a number of sports are bidding and they are all found to be a worthy addition then add them all, if none would be worthy, add none. What kind of ridiculous process arbitrarily sets a fixed number of new events without first evaluating each sport on their own merits?

  • Comment number 78.

    #74... YB, please bear with Jimmy - he's from L****shire, you know!

  • Comment number 79.

    Dont they usually have a demonstration sport at each olympics as a prelude to it being included at the next one. If so what is it this year.

  • Comment number 80.

    #79 WCIHIS, there haven't been any demonstration events since Barcelona in 1992 (when they had taekwondo, roller hockey and pelota). I think they should have had crazy golf this time.

  • Comment number 81.

    I had forgotten about Pelota, i quite enjoyed that. A very fast sport.

  • Comment number 82.

    is Jonah Barrington still around and playing?

  • Comment number 83.



    1 T.Woods
    2 D.Johnson
    3 Z.Johnson

    The other:

    1 M.Bettencourt
    2 J.Rollins
    3 J.Teater

  • Comment number 84.

    Jimmy : "Picking the hottest player in the world after they have already carded a -4 1st round = 0 points"

    Fair enough

    What about "Picking the world number 1 after you have formally stated that you will pick the top 3 ranked players in any tournament unless stated otherwise, and when he has played about 2 holes and when you didn't even know he'd teed off"?

    Don't tell me - 'no'?

    Do you think it's about time I let this go?

  • Comment number 85.

    @84..BMG.....You're not referring to Rory as the "hottest" player in the world are you!? Maybe in air-miles!!

  • Comment number 86.

    #75 Don Glad you're still here - even though you're not. (Oirish??)

    Was worried that you had fall foul of the moderators or, worse, just fallen foul!

  • Comment number 87.

    At last Don is back, or not or maybe he's just giving us a glimpse of the future. Just what this blog needs. We need to hear from you? A Don long is required give us one now please. Bring some sanity to the blog.

  • Comment number 88.

    @86/87....I agree, Don's due some humble stuff as well (his creation, along with the league I might add!) and needs to admit it. I've got to say his doubts over "my glum boy" need an immediate update (when he's stopped drooling over Maria, I quite like her though.....for sporting reasons I'll say!?).
    @Don...How long before he gets back to where he belongs!? Move along (sorry cool hand) Luuuke's time at #1 is looking ever more precarious!?

  • Comment number 89.

    With regards to the 'irish question' rory will make the right decision either way. I'll put my opinion on the matter - I think he should represent ireland. Purely because golf is governed via the G U I. My political beliefs would certainly lean towards calling myself British, but golf is based more in 'scotland' ' england' 'wales' and 'ireland'. Rather than UK.

  • Comment number 90.

    #84 BMG If you DO let it go the blog will reduce by about 50% overnight.

  • Comment number 91.

    We need some collated data from bilo, who likes who type of stuff!?

  • Comment number 92.

    Just how many countries play golf. I just assumed that there were courses in most countries across the world but looking at the fields for Reno and the PGA I can only count about 25 different countries.

  • Comment number 93.

    @gbell...I keep meaning to ask you, what you doing in the states..studying/college or something like that. Also have you played any good tracks whilst you've been out there!?

  • Comment number 94.

    I think golfers are just behaving like the girl in Common People by Pulp. A wrestler might say to Tiger in the village 'pretend you've got no money, but he'll just laugh say oh you're so funny. And the wrestler will say he can't see anyone else smiling in there. Then Tiger will say he just wants like common athletes, he wants to see whatever common athletes see. But the wrestler can't understand as he is there to win the greatest medal he can in his sport.

    Look, golf is a great sport and I will watch any old golf related rubbish on TV. But golf, as well as football and tennis have bigger championships. And for Olympic sport to be worth its name it's got to mean something. The other day I saw a French table tennis player crying his eyes out because he got knocked out in the 3rd round. I somehow doubt any golfers will be so upset if they shoot a double bogey in the Olympics.

  • Comment number 95.

    @ gbell....I assume it's down to whomever "invites" you to be part of their team then ? I know some of the Scots/Welsh didn't want to play for Team GB at football so may be it's the same for t'Olympics.

  • Comment number 96.

    BMG where are you. I sense your hovering somewhere.

  • Comment number 97.

    But if not

  • Comment number 98.

    The I will

  • Comment number 99.

    Go for it

  • Comment number 100.

    Nearly there


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