News & ToursOctober 18, 2009

An anti-Olympic perspective

John Huggan of Scotland On Sunday suspects that some of those who lent their influence to the effort to convince the International Olympic Committee to add golf to the Olympics in 2016 were doing so for self-serving reasons, that their lucrative golf course design businesses might benefit should Olympic exposure indeed grow the game globally.

"Sadly...golf had a pretty good prima facie case to take to the IOC," he wrote. "For one thing, it had Tiger Woods, the most recognisable - and bankable - sporting figure on the planet. It also had the eager backing of almost every other well-kent face amongst the game's elite, especially and significantly those for whom the designing of golf courses has become a lucrative sideline.

"For those savvy guys and gals, golf in the Olympics could well prove to be a nice little earner.

"What does this 'growth of the game' stuff really mean? Is it the game itself that is likely to grow, or is it simply the business of golf that will see global expansion?"

Huggan further makes the point that those golfers who wouldn't qualify to play in the Olympics could theoretically hold their own tournament opposite Olympic golf and have a stronger field.

"At the moment the top-15 players on the world ranking, plus two from each participating country, will take part. All of which will make the list of those players not flying to Rio far more attractive than those who are. Rory McIlroy, for example, would not be eligible if the games took place next week."

-- John Strege

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