Does Golf Even Belong in the Olympics?
If you’re like most golfers, you love seeing our favorite sport in the Olympics. After a century of not having it in the biggest sports competition in the world, it’s good to see it back.
But there’s only one problem… the event was extremely boring to watch. Even as an avid fan, I turned it on Thursday for about 15 minutes and watched the highlights over the weekend.
What made the competition such a snooze fest?
Are Golf in the Olympics Boring?
First off, the course in 2021 wasn’t challenging enough (Xander won at -18) and the format itself is just boring. How many times can we watch the same four round stroke play style?
If the Ryder Cup has taught us anything, it’s that we all love to watch play. And as a player, I love it too (and so do they). Just look at Rory and Patrick Reed a few years ago, now that was entertaining even if you don’t care about golf.
You just don’t get those kinds of fireworks with stroke play. Not to mention, a lot of the players were completely unknown to a foreign audience.
How to Make Golf in the Olympics Better
I think there are tons of ways to make golf better in 2024. While I’m not part of the IOC, I’m 99.99% confident these changes would help significantly:
+ Make it a team event: We see solo golf all the time, mix it up with a 2-man event or even a mixed men-women format.
+ Switch to match play: Everyone knows that match play is 100x better to watch, especially when representing your home country.
+ Have amateurs compete: How cool would that be to see!?
+ Make the course harder: This is the Olympics and these are the best players in the world. Set the course up like a major and let’s watch them struggle a bit. I would much rather see even par win than -18.
Or, a combination of them all!
Even though the 2020 Olympics (I love that we’re still calling them 2020 despite it being 2021) were boring, it doesn’t mean we should remove them. If “sports” like “race walking”, duet artistic swimming, and sailing then golf deserves a spot, just in a different format.
Written by Michael Leonard