The Olympic Golf Format: Stroke vs. Match Play?

The Olympic Golf Format: Stroke vs. Match Play?

Posted on 06. Apr, 2010 by in Olympic Golf

The Olympic golf format that was agreed upon by the IOC in early October, 2009 stipulates that Olympic golf would be played as a 72-hole stroke-play tournament in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  It would be a limited field consisting of the top players in the world, combined with some lesser known golf figures who qualify, in order to fill a national quota.  This creates the field that will compete for golf’s first Gold Medal in more than one hundred years.

The Olympic golf format will combine  60 competitors to go for golf Gold  in Rio. The criteria for the most part is fairly straightforward; it would consist of the top 15 players in the OWGR (Official World Gold Rankings) regardless of country.  After that, players would be eligible based on world rankings as well, but with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that do not already have two or more players among the top 15.

The return of golf to the Olympics is exciting; inevitably bringing golf enthusiasts and a whole new crowd.  Along with the excitement of the return of the sport comes a question about the chosen format.  I don’t understand why the choice was not a match play format like Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup, seemingly a much more compelling sport to watch on TV for the rest of the world.  Although I can sit down and watch hours of golf–stroke format– (albeit with the help of my trusty DVR), the every-day non-golf-obsessed  Joe seems much more likely to become interested, even excited, about watching golf in the match play format.  I suppose I should just be happy that golf’s back in and let it play out–we shall wait and see…

Let me know your opinion with a comment on the stroke play versus the match play formats for Olympic golf.

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10 Responses to “The Olympic Golf Format: Stroke vs. Match Play?”

  1. wade

    25. May, 2011

    I think stroke play is fine it gives everyone a equal chance to win but what about amateurs instead of pros it would seem like a major that happens every 4 years.

  2. Ian Boddy

    27. Sep, 2011

    Is there just one golf gold medal ? Other sports have both team and individual medals. Surely there is room for both stroke play and Ryder cup formats.

  3. Golf Guy

    27. Jan, 2012

    As of right now I believe there is just going to be the stroke play format in this Olympic games.

  4. Srikant Mishra

    13. Apr, 2012

    The format in my opinion should be a Stroke Play format. Further, it should be only the ametures who should be allowed to participate and not the professionals.

  5. Golf Guy

    14. Apr, 2012

    I have to disagree with you on the stroke play format only from the standpoint of tv viewership. I think match play appeals to larger range of people including non golfers. Finding the best player through a 72 hole stroke format has always been a great way to find a true champion just like the Masters, US Open, and the Open Championship. Yes I do agree on Olympic golf being eligible for amateurs only, overall I am just glad that golf is back in the Olympics.

  6. george

    30. Jun, 2012

    I think stroke play is the best. It’s simple, like the marathon, in that the best player over four days wins the gold. It’s fantastic. The selection process also sounds good, allowing the world’s top 15 ranked players plus allowing every country to qualify and play against the best. Can’t wait. Golf should absolutely be at the Olympic Games – but only in the stroke play format. It is NOT a team sport. You would never make the marathon a team sport – my only wish as a fan is to see who is the best golfer over four rounds.

  7. george

    30. Jun, 2012

    One more thing, I’m sorry but I disagree that Olympic golf should only be for amateurs. The gold medal should go to the best player regardless – if an amateur beats a professional to win the gold then it makes for an amazing story. Abebe Bikila won the marathon in bare feet, beating all the ‘professionals’ with the best shoes. Amateurs versus professionals – what a tantalising prospect! What is an Olympic gold medal worth if you disallow the best players from competing? There will be much more interest in Olympic golf if the very best are allowed and encouraged to compete.

  8. Golf Guy

    30. Jun, 2012

    I would also have to agree with your point on the amateur players. I have to say with that you need to make the opportunity of getting to the Olympics just as easy for the amateur as the pro.

  9. Vaughan

    01. Aug, 2012

    I believe it should be the top 15 players regardless, then there should be qualifiers australasia, Africa, Americas, Europe ect with top spots rounding out a field of 100. It should be stroke play and There should be a cut of top 60 plus ties. Also there should be a teams match play event. That would satisfy the purist and tv audiences.

  10. Golf Guy

    02. Aug, 2012

    Vaughn, I think you have some great ideas for Olympic golf especially your comment on having a team match play event. Golf in the Olympics is relatively unknown at least in the modern era of television. I love watching golf week to week but the majority of people don’t enjoy watching stroke play tournaments. The President’s Cup and even better the Ryder Cup are great TV and most importantly the best players most often rise to the top with compelling matches. Thanks for visting the site.

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