Golf as an Olympic sport ? why not?
Six years ago, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem didn’t support the idea of golf becoming an Olympic sport. Now he’s had a change of heart.
The reason is that Finchem believes that bringing golf to the Olympics (there’s a push for 2016) will help grow the sport around the world. Speaking from Hawaii before the start of the PGA Tour’s 2009 season, Finchem said: “There’s over 100 countries where government supports sport in those countries, but only sports that are in Olympic programs. So if golf is added to the Olympic program, those federations will immediately start giving financial support to help build the game. That’s what turned us from looking at it just from a standpoint of what the competition meant to the overall mix in professional golf.”
I can’t fault his reasoning, although my first inclination is that golf shouldn’t be an Olympic sport simply because I’ve always thought the Olympics should be reserved for sports that mainstream fans wouldn’t otherwise watch. You know, like track and field, swimming and fast-walking.
But those days of the Olympics ?- when it used to be relegated to so-called amateurs as well – have been long gone, so why not add golf? As to how that would affect professional golf tours ? who cares? If the United States or other countries don’t send their best professionals because it conflicts with the PGA Championship, then send players who aren’t playing in the PGA ? even if they are amateurs.
We’ve got plenty of great players in college who would love to go, and that might make it more interesting. As it is, it’s hard to get jazzed about Olympic basketball competition because even though the U.S. team of professionals hasn’t always won the gold, they certainly should. It was a lot more interesting when we were sending our best college players.
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