Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vidanta Vallarta


No. 7 -- The Olympics

By Ron Sirak Illustrations by Dale Stephanos
December 13, 2009

When Rio de Janeiro was selected as the site of the 2016 Olympics a week before the International Olympic Committee voted on whether to include golf in those Games, there was concern the outcome was not the slam-dunk most thought.

Of the candidates -- Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid were the others -- Rio had the weakest link to the game. But when the IOC voted 63-27 on Oct. 9, organizers praised Brazil as the kind of place with the potential for the growth spurt the Olympics is expected to bring to golf -- a country of nearly 200 million people, only 25,000 of whom play.

Immediately, architects and even the PGA Tour were scoping out the South American city for sites to build new courses.

And if a TPC is built, expect it to include a First Tee program. That's a win-win situation.