Junior Golf: Olympic Golf

In today’s Wednesday Waggle let’s go somewhere we’ve never been before or at least since 1904, let’s visit Olympic Golf. (golfdigest.com)img_0102

This is a very busy and exciting time for golf fans. The Open Championship just ended and the Olympics and men’s PGA Championship are coming up soon. So let’s talk some Olympic Golf.

What could be better than playing the sport you love while representing your country! Yes, golfers have multiple international men’s and women’s cups that are amazing spectacles for players and fans alike. But The Olympics is different, I mean it’s THE Olympics for goodness sakes!

An Olympic Gold Medal is in a level of prestige all by itself. It is a world championship of the highest order! So why are so many of the top men golfers dropping out of the Olympics? Many have mentioned health concerns about the zika virus as their reason. Others who are playing have said they are not worried about a few mosquitos. There are some rumblings about schedule problems with PGA Tour events conflicting with the Olympics. And there is no prize money. And the men’s tour doesn’t need the exposure as much as the women’s tour does, and on and on and on.

I am not judging here. Any and all worries have some degree of validity and I respect them. The fact remains that when the competition is over, a men’s and a women’s 2016 Olympic Champion Golfer will be crowned along with 2nd and 3rd place. If you are qualified to go but choose not to go, that’s fine. That’s your choice, but please don’t knock someone else who is going. Guess what, if you’re not going to Rio, you’re guaranteed not to be the Olympic Champion, but someone will be!

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1of your competitors took advantage of your absence and scarfed up the gold medal. He/she is the 1 who will be remembered as being a pioneering champion who helped bring back prestige and glamour to Olympic Golf! (Rio photo archive.golfweek.com)

What does this mean to your junior golfer? In the short-term, record the men’s and women’s golf and watch all of it. Your youngster will get excited just soaking up the Olympic atmosphere. In the long-term, it means enter all the tournaments that budget and schedule can allow. Don’t worry about how many entrants there are or who’s playing. When the event is over there will be a champion and nobody will remember if there were only 3 people or 300 people in your child’s division. Go play!

See you on #1 tee ready for The Olympics… Sam

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