What do the 100 meter dash, parallel bars, and golf have in common? They could all be Olympic events in 2016. That's if the chieftains of the controlling, world wide golf organizations have their wishes. P.G.A. Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, European Tour chief George O'Grady, L.P.G.A. commissioner Carolyn Bivens, U.S.G.A executive director David Fay, and R&A chief executive Peter Dawson recently met informally with International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge to discuss the notion. Wow, that's more titles than Netflix. Let the record state that international golf's pitch for Olympic inclusion was presented by a united front.
Olympic golf, despite it's advocates, is no shoe in. In 2002 the International Olympic Committee decided to limit the number of sports in it's summer games to 28. A vote is subsequently held on the roster of sports for the next games. Any sport that gathers a simple majority of over 50% of the vote stays in for the next games. So, a sport has to be dropped before a new sport can get in. Rugby, tiddley winks, or Guitar Hero could be golf's competition for 2016. Surely golf has built in advantages. No arena need be constructed, it already has international appeal, and a large number of counties participate. In 2016, the earliest possible debut for golf, Tiger Woods will be 40, Chicago would be the host city, if chosen. The lucky winner is selected on Oct. 2nd, 2009, in Copenhagen. Lots of planets would have to align to be watching Tiger play for his country in Chicago. The Olympics' history though begins with naked Greek guys wrestling, so time they have.
Then there's the question of whether golf needs the games and vice versa. It would have to be rammed in somewhere with the year's last two majors, the Fedex Cup, and the Ryder Cup. Perhaps the matches could be nine holes? If given the spot I'm sure all the details would be ironed out. It's eight years off, if at all, but worthy of speculation at least. I'm curious as to average golfer's reactions and comments. Lay 'em on me.
Curiously, golf's been an Olympic sport before. At the St. Louis games in 1904, two teams competed for Olympic hardware, the U.S. and Canada. 74 players from the U.S. and 3 from Canada teed it up. George Lyon, (CAN), captured the individual gold. Chandler Egan, (USA), took home silver, and Burt McKinnie, (USA), and Francis Newton, (USA), split the bronze. Guess there were no playoffs back then. Mr. Lyon was obviously the Mike Weir of his era. I can't wait for the Saudi golf team to make a run in 2016. I hear they're the world's best bunker players.