The Road to Rio – The 2016 Olympic Games

Golf was last an Olympic sport at the 1904 Games in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, when the United States and Canada were the only two competing countries. An indication of golf’s globalisation since 1904 is that, in 2016 in Rio, at least 30 countries, from all five continents, are expected to be represented in both the men's and women's competitions.

Prior to the vote to reinstate golf into the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games, a presentation by a group of golf ambassadors helped sway the 121st session of the International Olympic Committee. These ambassadors included: Peter Dawson (R&A, IGF) and Ty Votaw (PGA Tour, IGF), along with golf professionals Pádraig Harrington of Ireland, Michelle Wie of the United States, Suzann Pettersen of Norway and 16-year old 2009 British Amateur champion Matteo Manassero of Italy.

Dawson was quoted saying: "We are extremely grateful that Padraig, Michelle, Suzann and Matteo were able to join us to help communicate the genuine interest world-class players of all ages share in golf becoming an Olympic sport."

On 9 October 2009, the International Olympic Committee had their final vote and the vote passed, which officially made golf an Olympic sport for the 2016 and 2020 summer games.

Format and Qualification System

The IGF format proposed to the IOC of a 72-hole individual stroke play competition for both men and women reflecting leading players’ opinion of the fairest and best way to identify an Olympic champion. In the event of a tie for either first, second or third place, a three-hole playoff will determine the medal winner(s).

The IOC has restricted the IGF to an Olympic field of 60 players for each of the men’s and women’s competition. The IGF will utilise the official world golf rankings to create the Olympic golf rankings as a method of determining eligibility. The top-15 world-ranked players will be eligible for the Olympics, with a limit of four players from a given country. Beyond the top-15, players will be eligible based on the world rankings, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top-15.

Barra da Tijuca – Venue for the Golf Competitions of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

The final touches are underway on the construction of the golf course at Reserva de Marapendi in Barra da Tijuca, the district that will contain the largest number of Rio 2016 Olympic Games venues. It will be a unique Olympic Games venue, located approximately five kilometres from the Athletes’ Village and seven kilometres from the Main Press Centre (MPC) and the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), South of Avenida das Americas and North of Lagoa de Marapendi.

After the 2016 Olympic Games, the course will be used as a public facility with the chief purpose of promoting golf in Brazil and the globe, representing one of the most important Olympic Games legacies for sport development in the country.

Relevant web links (the IGF link has a running update each week of the top 60 players who would qualify under the IOC criteria)