Olympic Golf approved for the 2024 Olympics and it’s a great thing

Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports /

After a successful run in 2016, Olympic golf will again return o the Olympic Games through 2024 and beyond!

Olympic golf, as we all know, reemerged at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. It was a glorious moment for the game because golf had been last played at the global event in 1904. Now, after a solid showing in Rio, the International Olympic Committee has ensured a place for the game on the Olympic stage for at least two more events.

We knew golf would be part of the 2020 Tokyo games – that assurance was a part of the original arrangement – but the IOC decision keeps golf in the Olympic venue through the quarter part of the century. 2024 and 2028 will be the two next times we’ll get to experience golf at the Olympics.

Having golf in the Olympics for more years is a great thing because it brings out a unique perspective of the sport. Having multiple golfers representing their countries in full color while playing at their best is a great experience for sports fans.

Sure, we say “grow the game” a lot but it’s more than that. Golf is a sport that is perfect for the Olympics, because there aren’t many sports that feature country pride quite like it.

Olympic golf is more than just a way of building the popularity of the sport.

Golf is the one sport where an Australian can win his first major on American soil (Adam Scott) and an American dominated The Open Championship (Tom Watson). It’s a sport where a boy from Holywood, Ireland can leave utter devastation in his wake at the 2011 U.S. Open.

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This stuff speaks volumes, in that golf has an amazing culture about it. It’s not just the silly stereotypical rich man at the American country club. Golf brings countries together, with or without the Olympics, and that’s why it’s so unique and a great fit. Not to mention, there are great players at all ages – just take a look at this year’s Drive, Chip and Putt champions – which fuels the fun.

You have Jon Rahm for example, a 22-year-old who has the potential to win majors. On the the other side, you have Steve Stricker, a 50-year-old who is the hottest putter in the sport right now. Not to mention there’s a two-time major winner named Jordan Spieth who is only 23. The rich level of talent with multiple age ranges just adds to the game’s greatness.

This isn’t a mushy, love fest for the sport. These are just a couple of reasons why golf is great and worthy of multiple Olympic appearances. Because it simply make sense.

Yes, golf has the Ryder Cup. However, the legendary team event is only Team USA vs Team Europe. In the Olympics, it’s every single country dueling it out for golf domination.

Olympic golf also helps introduce new golfing talents to fans who haven’t had the chance to follow other professional tours. It helps put golf on the competitive sports map in certain countries as well, which is always cool to see.

Other variations of golf can truly showcase golf’s deep versatility in the Olympics. Long Drive, the explosive relative of golf that has dazzled fans for years making, is a fun potential Olympic sport.

One of my hopes now that golf could be in the Summer Games for the long run, is to possibly add another variation of the sport. Long Drive and disc golf certainly come to mind. It probably wouldn’t be the best idea to include both of them, as that may be a little too much golf in the Olympics. However, including one of them would be cool to see.

Long Drive would be a hit because it’s a showcase of pure power.  As you may have seen at the “Clash in the Canyon” last week, the drama can intensify.

A long drive event would most certainly be a draw for anyone, especially kids who want to see these golf titans battle it out. It would draw fans who didn’t even know it existed, and due to the jaw dropping length of the tee shots, would raise eyebrows.

One of the fun things about the long drive competitions is the multiple unique swings you see. No two swings are alike, and make the events more interesting to witness. Furthermore, the events can be played under the lights at night, setting a dramatic scene.

Disc golf is a variation of the sport that just continues to blossom in popularity due to its simplistic charm and beauty, making it a good choice for the Olympics.

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Then we come to disc golf, which is currently one of the hottest sports around. Just because golf clubs and balls are replaced by discs (or frisbees), doesn’t mean it’s not golf. It’s still the same sport with the same rules.

The heavy popularity of disc golf is due to a couple of things: its convenient, only needing two or three discs to play, and then it’s almost always free to play. There are a few exceptions where you come across a disc golf country club, which usually charges under $10 per round.

Like the traditional sport, disc golf features beautiful, lush green locations to gaze at as you play. So much like the golf courses that will host Olympic tournaments, the disc golf venues will be easy on the eyes.

Overall, having golf remain in the Olympics is great and will be fun to follow for years to come. If it opens doors to another format of the sport, or a new variation, then that just will make things sweeter.

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What are your thoughts on golf being locked in for the Olympics for the next three Games? Is there a different version of the sport you would like to see? Let us know in the comments section or let me know on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio