Exactly a year ago the Rio Olympic course opened to the first practice rounds while many of us were getting our first introduction to new smells and brutal takes on coffee. Golf's place in the Games was still very much in doubt and predictions suggested the entire thing was dead on arrival.
The Rose's, Stenson's, Fowler's, Watson's, Kuchar's, Reed's and others of the game showed up and had the times of their lives, followed by the Park's, Ko's, Juntanagarn's, Thompson's and Lewis's of the women's game putting on a similar great show one week later. The course was a huge success and to this day, is believed to be shuttered because some do not know what rustic golf looks like.
The course is very much still alive, despite the latest bizarre Tweet from the courses greatest hater (AP's Stephen Wade) that received pushback from the Mayor. On Instagram you can follow the latest from the course, including wildlife sightings and, less thrilling, images of the new cart fleet.
A year later golf is locked in through the 2024 Games and will be headed to established venues in Tokyo and Paris. However, should golf make it to the LA Games in 2028, it will be contested at private clubs for all three. The impact of such venues is bound to impact atmosphere and venue enthusiasm. But ultimately all of that will be ignored if the format is built around a great competition and the Olympic spirit instead of the schedules of players and tours. The IOC has signaled it wants bold and fresh formats, as evidenced by 3-on-3 basketball. Now it's golf's turn to pitch similar updates to classic formats in hopes of exciting a younger generation while giving us all reason to support Olympic golf.
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