The modern Olympic games began in 1896. For centuries prior to this, there were games that were played and considered the pinnacle of athletic achievement. These games were also believed to be religious ceremonies for the gods who lived on Mount Olympus, in ancient Greece. In 396 A.D., the emperor of Rome, Theodosius banned the games, and they would not return until 1,500 years later, in 1896.
For the first time in 112 years, golf will again be an Olympic Sport. Golf made its maiden voyage into the world of the Olympics in 1900. The format consisted of two competitions; one for the men, and one for the women. The competition was a 36-hole format, held at the Compiegne Club, just north of Paris. Golf continued to be played the following Olympics in 1904, in St. Louis while the World’s fair was going on. This would be the last time golf was played at the Olympics, due to lack of entries in 1908, and not being placed on the docket for events in 1912. You can watch an overview of the history of golf at the Olympics here.
The course was designed by Gil Hanse, who was chosen by the International Golf Federation, in a closed-door meeting. He was seen as a compromise between other leading candidates, but by all accounts he has done a great job turning what was once a dump site into a world-class golf course. It will play to a par-71, and will host both the men and women competitions. You can see an overview of the process Gil Hanse took to build the course here, and see a hole by hole shot preview here.
— GCA magazine (@gcamagazine) July 22, 2016
Golf is an individual game, and thus will be played individually in the Olympics. Rather than play in the format of a team competition, a-la the Ryder or President’s Cup, the Olympic competition will be conducted like a major: a 72-hole, stroke play event with no 36-hole cut. The lowest aggregate score will be the champion, and in the event of a tie for first, second, or third there will be a three-hole playoff. The format has received some criticism, yet according to the International Golf Federation, “in preparing for golf’s return to the Olympic Games after 112 years, it was felt that Rio 2016 would not be an appropriate place to experiment on format.” Still, with this published, players had just recently come to realize the stroke-play format they would be competing in.
This is amazing: Just asked Matt Kuchar about Olympics. He thought it was team format. Didn't know individual stroke play. And he's playing.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) August 3, 2016
Men: see a complete list here. OWGR = Official World Golf Ranking
|Olympic Rank||OWGR||Player Name||Country|
|1||5||Bubba Watson||United States|
|3||7||Rickie Fowler||United States|
|4||9||Danny Willett||Great Britain|
|5||11||Justin Rose||Great Britain|
|7||13||Patrick Reed||United States|
|8||15||Matt Kuchar||United States|
|9||28||Rafa Cabrera Bello||Spain|
|10||31||Byeong Hun An||South Korea|
Women: see the complete list here. OWGR = Official World Golf Ranking
|1||1||Lydia Ko||New Zealand|
|2||2||Brooke M. Henderson||Canada|
|3||3||Inbee Park||South Korea|
|4||4||Lexi Thompson||United States|
|5||5||Sei Young Kim||South Korea|
|6||6||Amy Yang||South Korea|
|8||8||In Gee Chun||South Korea|
|9||9||Stacy Lewis||United States|