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Golf in the Olympics: Do you believe in frequent-flyer miles?

CHASKA, Minn. -- So now that it's official that golf will be recommended for inclusion in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, one can at least begin to contemplate how an Olympic competition might impact a golf season.

An initial reaction: rest up now.

While PGA Tour vice president Ty Votaw said today that the tour schedule can't be adjusted until the host city is selected -- each city has its own proposed dates -- one can safely assume that the Olympics will fall some time in late summer, most likely in August. 

Last year, for instance, the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing fell on August 8, which was the same date as the first round of the PGA at Oakland Hills. In golf's new FedEx Cup era, the end of the season is already a frenetic dash, with the British Open, the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, the PGA Championship, the four FedEx playoff events, and then either a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup all jammed into a 10-week period. 

Now throw in a proposed 72-hole stroke-play Olympic tournament and the best players in the world risk being pulled literally in a half-dozen different directions in 2016. Asked today if he would be open to adjusting the Ryder Cup date to the Olympics that year, PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka said he would.

"So many things would have to be addressed with venues, with television partners, but we are all committed to do that because the prize for golf is that good," Steranka said.

Incidentally, the 2016 Ryder Cup is scheduled to be played here at Hazeltine. Talk about coming full circle.

-- Sam Weinman
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