124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Olympic golf: Global reaction

August 14, 2009

From Dr. Wolfgang Scheuer, president of the German Golf Federation:

"The German Golf Association is very excited about the IOC Executive Board's recommendation to reintegrate golf into the Olympic family. Our prospects are good, since golf is a truly global sport with an estimated 60 million active players in about 120 countries around the world. Germany, too, has been experiencing a constant growth in the number of golf enthusiasts throughout the years. Right now, over 580,000 people in Germany are practicing golf. We keep our fingers crossed that the IOC will follow the Board's recommendation during their meeting in early October and will pave the way for golf to return to the Olympic Games. This would mean receiving the global attention and acknowledgement it has been deserving for a long time now."

From Asian Tour Chief Executive Kyi Hla Han:

"It will be tremendous if the IOC session endorses the recommendation from the Executive Board. With the growing success of Asian golfers in international tournaments, the Olympics offer a wonderful opportunity to showcase Asian golf while building national pride amongst participating countries.

"More importantly, a return to the Olympics program will also encourage governments across the region to play a more pro-active role in developing the game at all levels, from the grass-roots to the elite players."

From A. M. Luthra, President of the Indian Golf Union:

"I do believe that the inclusion of golf as an Olympic discipline will expose the game to many who do not have access to golf courses and to those who are yet unaware of the sport. This will help enhance the acceptability of the sport to those who hither to before are unaware about golf.

"This is particularly true in India and some parts of the world where golf is viewed as a rich man's, genteel sport. Further, this is also a sport where at every Olympics we will have a fair chance of bringing a medal home.

"There is considerable interest in Indian golf, both in Europe and America. I have had many discussions with leaders in the golf industry including course designers, event managers, potential sponsors, coaches, etc., who are very bullish on Indian golf and are seeking opportunities to invest here.

"If we do manage to win an Olympic medal, then the government may be persuaded to allot some much needed land both for golf courses as well as for driving ranges. The scarcity of land for golf, perhaps, is the single biggest impediment to development of the sport.

"The IGU's excellent program continues to throw up world-class talent and it is only a matter of time that the Rashid Khans and Gaganjeet Bhullars, join the Jeev Milkha Singhs. If we are able to attract more and more talented youngsters, I am sure that we will have winners in every tour as well as at the Olympics."

From Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt:

"This is obviously an important step in golf being introduced into the Olympic Games, which is something that we and over one million Australian golfers would dearly welcome.

"We are hopeful this decision is ratified later this year and we look forward to working with the Australian Olympic Committee to do what we can to ensure Australia's successful entry into the Olympic Golf Program.

"We are excited by the opportunity to introduce a new audience to golf and to attract new people to our game. It is a great chance to showcase the world's best golfers in various locations around the world.

"We are delighted by the prospect of Australian golfers having the chance to represent their country at the Olympics and most of all by the thought that somewhere in Australia in the near future a girl or boy will pick up a golf club for the first time and actually be starting their own Olympic journey."

From Dr. Milan Vesely, president of Czech Golf Federation:

"It is breaking news not only for world and European golf, but for Czech golf as well. Being one of the Olympic sports means a different economical and social position compared to what we had until now. I also expect many new golf players appearing now because of the impact of the news. As a member of executive committee of European Golf Association I remember plenty of discussions in Geneva, with Mr. Jacques Rogge and Mr. Samaranch Jr. Now we can finally say we are on the same boat. It is one of the best news for golf in its entire history."