IOC Expresses Concern Over 2020 Olympic Golf Venue

The Guardian's Justin McCurry reports that while the IOC has "reportedly expressed concern" and has contacted the International Golf Federation over Kasumigaseki's male-only and no-Sunday play membership policy.

The club's GM told McCurry that they are prepared to review their policies if asked by the IOC. However, a non-profit launched last year to "modernize" the game in Japan is calling for the event to move.

The Japan Golf Council, a non-profit organisation launched last year with the aim of modernising the game, is lobbying to have the tournament moved from Kasumigaseki to Wakasu Golf Links, a public course near Tokyo Bay. Wakasu was initially proposed as the 2020 golf venue, but was replaced by Kasumigaseki in early 2013, several months before Tokyo was chosen to host the Games.

The council’s vice chair, Yutaka Morohoshi, said staging the golf competition at Kasumigaseki made no sense given its distance from Tokyo, and the availability of an alternative course that could be used by members of the public after the Olympics had ended.

“The Olympics is all about legacy, but we won’t have that if the golf tournament is played at a private club,” Morohoshi told the Guardian. “The ban on women at Kasumigaseki is certainly a problem. It runs contrary to what the IOC stands for in spirit.”

Established in 1990, Wakasu was designed by Ayako Okamoto and is 6881 yards with a tiny 20-stall, 200-yard deep driving range. Judging by the aerial, it's a fantastic location severely landlocked and design deficient to handle the competition.