Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Phil Mickelson Wants Olympic Gold

On his way to Shanghai for the HSBC Champions Tournament, Phil Mickelson has said that he expects golf be part of the Olympic games in the near future. He argues that having golf in the Olympics would help the game, both with funding and exposure.

Now my thoughts on all this are a little mixed. Firstly golf is a very old game with a rich history, and has even been played at the Olympics before. However golf at the Olympics would probably only be open to amateurs. Would this mean that many amateurs will wait until after the Olympic cycle to turn pro? And will that mean we miss out on having some great players on the tour until another Olympics comes around?

This is only a quick little ramble, but I would love to hear what everyone else thinks about this topic - feel free to leave a comment.

EDIT: I should have made it clear that Phil himself has suggested it be open to amateurs, it wasn't my idea (quote below)

"Hopefully I'll still be playing and maybe have a chance but I think it would be better if it was for amateur golfers.

"As professionals, we have a chance to compete in Ryder Cups, President Cups and World Cups and represent our country in so many different ways.


Matthew Frost said...

Why do you feel that Olympic golf would be open only to amateurs? The concept of the Olympics as "amateur athletics" is long gone. The other major US sports (basketball, hockey, baseball) all send pros to the Olympics. Why would golf be any different?

J├╝rgen Kalwa said...

Tennis at the Olympics is not taken seriously by the players who have four Grand Slam tournaments and some other stuff to deal with. Why would pro golfers appreciate the Olympics as anything but one more dreadful stop on the circuit? To show up at the four majors, the FedEx-Cup, the Players Championship, the Ryder Cup and those so-called World Championships make them all cringe already. Mickelson is the least qualified to address the topic. He did not even show up in Chicago for the BMW Championship this year, because he had other (more lucrative) things to do (in Chicago, of all places).

Tom said...

Thanks for leaving comments. Phil himself has suggested that amateurs should only be accepted because golfers have enough world events it wasn't my idea. Sorry for not making that clear.

As for not taking the Olympics seriously it could be a problem, but if it was open to amateurs only it may be less of a problem.


Andy Brown said...

I have always felt in competitive sports there could be no greater honour than representing your country and winning the coveted medal at an international meet. Unfortunately most of the professional sportsmen don’t seem to see the point in going out there to win a medal when they might be pocketing a good few hundred thousand dollars elsewhere. My message seems coated with cynicism but unfortunately pro athletes seem to be too busy fulfilling their contractual obligations and chasing ranking points that it becomes difficult for them to be available for the country at the Olympics and even if the game was inducted into the meet it is quite likely that Amateurs will be going out to represent the country which is unfortunate because that helps no ones cause except maybe the amateurs who could use the experience before turning pro and then turning a blind eye to such events. That is already the case with games like Tennis where more often than not the top rung players do not turn up for the meet except for a few exceptions like Andy Roddick and Agassi in the recent past. At such a stage you need to showcase the game and the talent and if that is the aim there is no point in making it open only for amateurs.

Golf Club Reviews said...

Being an avid golfer myself I of course think it's great that golf is again included. However, it's going to be the same professional golfers playing at the Olympics who already play against each other almost every weekend. In addition we already have a number of international events for the pros, i.e. the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup etc. I would have much preferred to see top talent golf amateurs from all over the world competing against each other. In the distant past the Olympic Games were only for amateurs, but nowadays it's just another media events with the same professionals that get paid huge fees for their appearance alone.