More Olympic Golf Thoughts
By Kickntrue on 8/19/09
Now that it looks pretty assured that golf will be in the 2016 Olympics I have 7 years to complain about it. I've mentioned before I'm against the golf as an Olympic sport and despite the "company line" from the golf industry- I think if you look deeper you'll see this is about a lot more than picking the best sport for the Olympics. Get ready for this groundbreaking news... it's about MONEY!! From today's New York Time's,
As stated on an official Olympic Web site, GÇ£the goal of the Olympic MovementGÇ¥ GÇö it is a movement, not just a gateway to a Wheaties box GÇö GÇ£is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination GǪ with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.GÇ¥ The culture Selcraig describes is more redolent of a gated community than amiable international populism.

That culture was discreditably displayed in 2002, when the Masters Tournament was played at the Augusta National Golf Club, a private club without a single woman as a member. Lamentably, few male golf stars joined the ensuing protest. Tiger Woods was conspicuously willing to play at a sexually segregated club (and one that did not accept a black member until 1990). He had no particular duty to step up GÇö no honorable person can play at a segregated club GÇö but his inspiring personal history made his complacency especially sad. As of last month, when the Masters returned to Augusta, the club still had no women, a fact that should worry the golf-besotted I.O.C., which trumpets its determination GÇ£to enhance womenGÇÖs participation in sport at all levels.GÇ¥
(Sorry so long... I know reading hurts.) I'm not going start throwing shots at golf, golfers or golf clubs specifically- but let's be honest, the golf the Olympics are getting is not an every man's game. I know you can say the same thing about basketball- and I think I'd agree with you about that too to some extent, though it's saving grace is that it actually has turned into a worldwide sport. Some would argue that is because of the Olympics allowing pros to play, but that's neither here nor there to this argument as far as I'm concerned. You can with very little money go pick up as basketball and start learning to play. Not the case with golf.

The fact is- like the New York Time's article hits on- golf is in the Olympics because of money- and lots of it and the fact is- Hugo Ch+ívez's view is truly more of the correct golf worldview, not the one being pushed by golf's Olympics backers.

NYT - Full Story
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[ comments ]
mjaber says:
I'm not against golf in the Olympics. I'm against the proposed format, as it is simply going to be "just another tournament." It should be about a team mentality and playing for your country. Adding that "team" aspect, I think would make it much more appealing and create alot more drama. I'd like to see the same thing done with Track & Field. Their should be tema scoring, just like when we were in high school. Keep the individual tournament, but let's add some team match play into it. Better ball, or alternate shot. Make it more interesting than just 4 rounds of stroke play. We see that every week.

I also disagree with the use of the World Rankings to determine who plays. Every country who wishes to enter golfers should be able to make their own determination as to who those players are. Every other sport has a selection process, golf should as well. The IOC should not be determining which golfers are playing.
8/19/09
 
mjaber says:
I also don't think the golfers on the PGA tour should be playing. The Olympics used to be about the sport, not the player. Up until the "Dream Team", only amateur athletes were eligible. Let's go back to that. Let the college kids have their day. Leave the Tiger's and Phil's and Sergio's and Yang's off the list of eligible players.
8/19/09
 
Lerxst says:
@mjaber

Well said - I agree 100%
8/19/09
 
kidputter says:
Every other country funds their athletes. That's why the Dream Team and NHL players began competing.
As for the selection process, they allowed a bobsled team from JAMAICA. All they had to do was meet MINIMUM requirements. Any PRO golfer can meet them.
The format should be based on individual accomplishments, not a TEAM aspect. Golf is an individual sport.
8/19/09
 
mjaber says:
@kidputter- Golf in the format proposed is an individual sport. However, it is possible to create a team format. It's done all the time. High school and college golf do it. The Ryder Cup and President's Cup do it. They do it on the Olympics with gymnastics, by adding a "team" gold, with competitor's competing in different events for a team total score.

The Jamaican bobsled team had to qualify to international standards, just like every other bobsled team to get a berth in the Olympics. Bobsled to golf is apples to oranges.
8/19/09
 
mmontanaro says:
I don't see the relevance of including the "no women at Augusta" argument against golf in the Olympics. It's a private club operating legally. I disagree with their no-women policy, but it is legal. Yes, this is about money. But not how much it costs to get started in the sport. It's about TV contracts, endorsement deals, etc. That's why the IOC wants an assurance the top players will be there and why it rejected baseball- MLB would not alter their summer schedule to allow top pros to play.
8/19/09
 
kidputter says:
I agree with your gymnastics correlation. My comparison with the Jamaicans was simply regarding the selection process. The Jamaicans never made a run until the time trials AT THE OLYMPICS. The team was permitted to go SIMPLY because they were entered representing their country. My feeling is each country should select their representatives using their own process.
8/19/09
 
mjaber says:
@kidputter- I think, the Jamaican bobsled team needed to run a qualifying time prior to the Olympics, just like every other team. This is assuming that "Cool Runnings" was accurate. :)

I agree that each country should select their representatives using their own process. I believe that currently, the IOC has deemed that the top 50 in the World Golf Rankings get an automatic berth into the tournament.
8/20/09
 
mjaber says:
I was incorrect. It is not the top 50, but the top 15. It sounds like a little bit of a confusing setup. The top 15 are in. The next 45 slots are decided based on 2 per country world golf rankings. I wonder how they are going to work it for countries that have more than 2 players in the top 15...

www.golf.com/golf/tours_news/article/0,28136,191
8/21/09
 
KVSmith59 says:
I think it will be cool to watch. And more exciting than a normal tourney since it's the olympics..however, they should have some sort of team setup.
8/24/09
 
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