Golf · Olympic Sports · Rio 2016

O-Minus 38: Perhaps a Bogey Decision

Fever level: Low to moderate

So golf paid talked its way into getting back onto the Olympic program (I’m not talking about bribes. I’m talking about the phenomenal amount of money it can cost a sport to promote itself to the IOC. I can’t not think that the International Golf Federation didn’t spend well when it came down to it), but now it’s having a whole bunch of issues, to the point where IOC members are saying, Boy, this was a mistake.

The big issue is that a lot of the big name male golfers have decided not to go–and this is after the IGF promised the best golfers in the world for this tournament. Seems that there are a couple of main reasons they’re not going:

  • Zika (legit concern, but since female golfers aren’t dropping out of the tournament, it does seem like the easy excuse)
  • Too many tournaments. Guess what? The regular pro golf schedule is already pretty packed. Adding in another tournament doesn’t seem ideal, particularly if many golfers have to travel a long way to get to Brazil.

Add in to that the fact that an Olympic medal doesn’t necessarily have the same cache as winning one of the other major golfing tours, and you have yourself a pretty expensive trial run–according to Bloomberg, the design of the course alone cost $300,000.

Still, Rio now has a new golf course for a sport that apparently most Brazilians don’t play. And it will be on the docket for the Tokyo 2020 Games as well. Beyond that, who knows? But it will be interesting to see how this issue plays through.

Where’s the torch?

Londrina, Paraná — We’re now heading south along the western part of Brazil. Getting closer to Rio!