Golf at the 2016 Summer Olympics

at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
VenueOlympic golf course, Reserva de Marapendi, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dates11–14 August 2016 (men)
17–20 August 2016 (women)
No. of events2
Competitors120 from 41 nations
Golf at the
2016 Summer Olympics

Golf at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was held in August at the new Olympic Golf Course (Portuguese: Campo Olímpico de Golfe), built within the Reserva de Marapendi in the Barra da Tijuca zone.

The 2016 Summer Olympics was the first time for golf to be played at the Olympics since the 1904 Summer Olympics[1] and it is to feature two events, the men's and women's individual events.


Though golf has not featured in the Olympics since the 1904 Summer Olympics, the session of the 121st IOC Session held in 2009 chose to re-introduce the sport for the games.[2] With the rapid expansion and globalisation of the sport, the 121st International Olympic Committee recommended adding golf back into the Summer Olympics.

Ty Votaw, who was the Executive Vice President of Communications and International Affairs and Vice President of the International Golf Federation, along with Peter Dawson, who was the president of the IGF and chief executive of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, were at the forefront of making golf an Olympic sport once again. [3]

Prior to the vote to reinstate golf into the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games, a presentation by a group of golf ambassadors helped sway the 121st session of the International Olympic Committee. These ambassadors included: Dawson and Votaw, along with four pro golfers: 3-time major champion Pádraig Harrington of Ireland, Michelle Wie of the United States, Women's PGA Champion Suzann Pettersen of Norway and 16-year-old 2009 British Amateur champion Matteo Manassero of Italy.[4] Dawson was quoted saying: "We are extremely grateful that Padraig, Michelle, Suzann and Matteo were able to join us to help communicate the genuine interest world-class players of all ages share in golf becoming an Olympic sport." On 9 October 2009, the International Olympic Committee had their final vote and the vote passed, which officially made golf an Olympic sport for the 2016 and 2020 Summer games.[5]


The 120 (60 men and women) competitors played two separate (one for men, one for women) 72-hole (i.e. 4 rounds of 18 holes) individual stroke play tournaments under the official rules of golf. In the event of a tie for any of the first three positions, a three-hole playoff would have determined the medal winners.[2]

Scorecard (metres)

Olympic Golf Course[6]
Tee Rating/Slope 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Par 54435343435 5444344353671
Men (m) 5524443211755001794511573373,116 5394464704382093772771225223,4006,516
Women (m) 4903982941424511623741412962,748 4813843933731743422411104652,9635,711

Scorecard (yards)

Olympic Golf Course[7]
Tee Rating/Slope 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Par 54435343435 5444344353671
Men (yd) 6044863511915471964931723693,409 5904885144792294123031335713,7197,128
Women (yd) 5364353211554931774091543243,004 5264204304081903742641205093,2416,245


The golf course as of December 2015. The surrounding Reserva de Marapendi seen in the foreground and at right.

The new Olympic golf course was built at the Reserva de Marapendi in the Barra da Tijuca zone. Hanse Golf Course Design was chosen from eight contenders to build the course. Founder and President Gil Hanse reacted to the news in saying: "I'm excited that the selection panel felt that our efforts were the ones that best matched the criteria set by organisers."[8] They have signed up with World Golf Hall of Famer Amy Alcott to work on the project.

The president of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, said: "As [the 2016 Games] marks the return of golf to the Olympic Games after over a century of absence, this course represents the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the sport. It will enable Rio to host important events in the international calendar and it would be an example of sustainability and preservation of an environmentally protected area. This course will be an excellent facility for the practice and development of golf and will inspire millions of youth across Brazil and the globe. We look forward to welcoming the athletes and spectators to the course in 2016."

After the games, the course would become a public facility and would be used to enhance golf's profile within Brazil; according to the organising committee, this would represent "one of the most important Olympic Games legacies for sport development in the country."[9]

The Olympic Committee said that one of their goals for the Olympics was to create an environmentally sustainable Games. In building the golf course, the grass selection was critical for sustainability and water use. The quality of the water as an irrigation source for the course was in question, so the grasses selected had to be salt-tolerant. The grass sprigged on the greens of the course was SeaDwarf Seashore Paspalum, a highly salt-tolerant grass variety. The grass planted on the tees and fairways is Zeon Zoysia, developed by Bladerunner Farms in Poteet, Texas. Zeon Zoysia is a warm-season turfgrass that requires little fertilizer and minimal maintenance. Both grasses were grown on a sod farm in Brazil at Green Grass Brasil. The sod farm was a licensed producer of both grass varieties.

Competition schedule

The men's competition was scheduled for 11–14 August and the women's for 17–20 August.[10]


Qualification will be based on world ranking as of 11 July 2016, with a total of 60 players qualifying in each of the men's and women's events.[11] The top 15 players of each gender will qualify, with a limit of four golfers per country that can qualify this way.[12][13] The remaining spots will go the highest-ranked players from countries that do not already have two golfers qualified.[14] The IGF has guaranteed that at least one golfer from the host nation and each geographical region (Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania) will qualify.[13][15] The IGF posts weekly lists of qualifiers based on current rankings for men[16] and women.[17]

A number of golfers withdrew, for reasons including the Zika virus epidemic and their schedules, while others were not selected by their national Olympic committee. Top male golfers withdrew in larger numbers than top female golfers. Some said that women's golf needed the exposure from the Games far more than men's golf.[18] Missing eligible golfers, with their rankings at the qualification date, were:

Both male and female golfers cited the Zika virus as cause to withdraw from the Games. The virus can live longer in semen than in blood, and might thus infect a male golfer's partner for up to six months later or even more, therefore also causing birth defects this way. Other reasons for the withdrawals have been suggested.

Participating nations

Number of male golfers from each country participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics:
Number of female golfers from each country participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics:
Country Men Women Total
Argentina 2 2
Australia 2 2 4
Austria 1 1 2
Bangladesh 1 1
Belgium 2 1 3
Brazil 1 2 3
Canada 2 2 4
Chile 1 1
China 2 2 4
Chinese Taipei 2 2 4
Colombia 1 1
Czech Republic 1 1
Denmark 2 2 4
Finland 2 2 4
France 2 2 4
Germany 2 2 4
Great Britain 2 2 4
Hong Kong 1 1
India 2 1 3
Ireland 2 2 4
Israel 1 1
Italy 2 2 4
Japan 2 2 4
Malaysia 2 2 4
Mexico 1 2 3
Morocco 1 1
Netherlands 1 1
New Zealand 2 1 3
Norway 1 2 3
Paraguay 1 1 2
Philippines 1 1
Portugal 2 2
Russia 1 1
South Africa 2 2 4
South Korea 2 4 6
Spain 2 2 4
Sweden 2 2 4
Switzerland 2 2
Thailand 2 2 4
United States 4 3 7
Venezuela 1 1


Medal summary

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Great Britain1001
South Korea1001
3 New Zealand0101
5 China0011
United States0011
Total 6 NOCs 2 2 2 6


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's individual
Justin Rose
 Great Britain
Henrik Stenson
Matt Kuchar
 United States
Women's individual
Inbee Park
 South Korea
Lydia Ko
 New Zealand
Shanshan Feng

See also


  1. Shiekman, Mike (12 August 2012). "2016 Olympics: New Events Debuting in Rio". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  2. 1 2 "Golf". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  3. "R&A Chief Executive Dawson, PGA Tour's Votaw take on global jobs". PGA of America. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  4. "Golf Approved For 2016 Olympic Program On Vote By International Olympic Committee Membership". International Golf Federation. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  5. "Golf, rugby added for 2016 and 2020". ESPN. Associated Press. 9 October 2009.
  6. "rio2016 spectator guide og golf en" (PDF).
  7. "rio2016 spectator guide og golf en" (PDF).
  8. "Hanse Golf Course Design to design Olympic golf venue". PGA Tour. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  9. "Hanse Golf Course Design selected by Rio 2016 to design golf venue for the Olympic Games". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  10. "International Golf Federation Event Schedule". Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  11. Harig, Bob (5 March 2014). "Olympic golf qualifying date set". ESPN.
  12. "Olympic Games - Qualification System - IGF". International Golf Federation. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  13. 1 2 Axson, Scooby (14 July 2014). "Rules for golf qualifying in the 2016 Olympic Games: U.S. will only get four players no matter how many in Top 15".
  14. "International Golf Federation". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  15. "Golf Qualification System for 2016 Olympics". 14 July 2014.
  16. "Olympic Rankings – Men". IGF.
  17. "Olympic Rankings – Women". IGF.
  18. Eubanks, Steve (4 July 2016). "Women Pros See Olympics Differently". Golf Today. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  19. Porter, Kyle (July 10, 2016). "2016 Rio Olympics: A list of all the golfers who will not compete this summer". CBS Sports.
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