Your turn: What should be the Olympic golf format?

Your turn: What should be the Olympic golf format?

With the London Olympics ongoing and our articles outlining the current and future ways the Olympic golf fields will be determined, there has been a bit of a discussion as to the best way to present golf in four years in Rio de Janeiro.

Rather than get into a lengthy column-type post explaining what I think should happen, I'd rather turn it over to you for discussion.

As a jumping point, however, here's how I'd like to see the Olympic golf tournament unfold.

Almost every week, professional golf is contested in a 72-hole, stroke-play format. Another such tournament on the Olympic stage insinuates either golf (1) can only be played one boring way or (2) the Games don't deserve a special format for a quadrennial tournament.

Why not, then, introduce a team component? Or some match play? Or both?

Let's have two tournaments over a six-day period.

The first - for individual medals - would be held over three days. The 60 players would play 36 holes on Day 1. On Day 2, the top 18 players - or the top 30 percent and, yes, note the golf symmetry - would begin competing in a match-play bracket. The top two qualifiers would have byes while the bottom four compete in two, nine-hole "play-in" matches to get into the final 16, parring down to the final four with two full rounds of play. The final four would battle it out on Day 3 for the individual gold medal where, finally, a third-place match would matter.

The next three days would determine a team champion for the nations with two or more players in the field. Two-man teams would be formed. In the case of countries with more than two players in the field, the two best finishers in the stroke-play qualifying portion of the individual tournament represent their country.

On Day 1, the teams play 18 holes of best ball. On the second day, it's alternate shot. Based on aggregate team score to par, the top four teams advance to Day 3. The final day is, again, match play. This time, the format is scramble.

Now, it's your turn. How should the fields be determined for the 2016 Olympic golf tournament and under what format should the contestants vie for a gold medal?

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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