In less than two years, golf will end a 112-year Olympic absence, presenting a 60-player tournament for men and women in Rio de Janeiro. The field for each of those events will be drawn from their respective pro rankings, making it practically impossible for an amateur player to qualify.
Adam Scott, an Aussie likely to qualify for the 2016 Olympic tournament, believes that is not the best way to maximize golf’s opportunity in the Olympic program. Speaking ahead of this week’s Australian PGA Championship, Scott said the tournament would be better were it reserved for amateur players.
“People watch us (as pros) play 45 weeks a year,” Scott said, according to the Courier-Mail in Australia. “If you really wanted to grow the game you’d have the Olympics for amateurs.”
As golf talent deepens worldwide, the speed limit has been raised on the road to pro golf and its millions. Offering Olympic golf as one last carrot before turning pro might well have great impact not only for the sport in terms of participation, but in showcasing some of the game’s greatest future talent in front of a billion-person audience.