After a 112 year hiatus, this summer marks a historic moment – golf is once again an Olympic Sport and will be part of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Having only featured at the 1900 Summer Olympics in France and St Louis in 1904, golf’s triumphant return is fantastic news for enthusiasts and players alike.
There will be two tournaments – the men’s and women’s individual events – which are scheduled to be held at the new Olympic golf course, built within the Reserva de Marapendi in the Barra da Tijuca zone of Rio de Janeiro.
Kevin Smith is our Head Professional at Warley Park Golf Club. He shared his views on what impact golf at the Olympics may have for him and the golfing world.
“It goes without saying that I will be more interested in watching the Olympics! Not that I really need that, but golf’s return to such an event will hopefully bring the finest golfing athletes to the forefront of the sports world for all to see.
“When it comes to homegrown golfing talent representing Great Britain, I have to say that I am particularly looking forward to watching the new US Masters champion, Danny Willet. Justin Rose is performing well and for the ladies, Charley Hull is a very exciting talent.
Do you think the Rio Olympics will inspire others to take up golf?
“Increased global coverage can only be beneficial in growing the game – the more people who see it, the more people will be inspired to try out golf or take it up again. Everyone is trying really hard to encourage youngsters to play golf, from worldwide brands such as Nike marketing more exciting fashion, to our very own golf professionals offering a wide range of start-up options to enable younger people to get involved.
“Golf is such a great game – it offers so much to its players. Exercise, mental challenges, an active social life… and for children, golf helps to teach them many qualities they can use throughout life, including etiquette, honesty and patience.
“Plus Rio’s new golf course will become a public facility, which is sure to boost golf’s profile in Brazil. In fact, according to the organising committee, the Reserva de Marapendi course will ‘represent one of the most important Olympic Games legacies for sport development in the country’.
What can Warley Club offer children and adults who want to give golf a try?
“Warley Park Golf Club has a multitude of options for those who are considering taking up golf. Children from 5 can enrol in one of our group classes, during which you will learn the fundamentals of golf whilst making new friends and having fun.
“As you get older and more experienced, you can join Warley Park’s Colts section, which includes more time on the golf course and free lessons once a month, which have been very generously funded by our academy sponsor, Mix ‘N’ Lay Concrete.
“If you are an adult wishing to get into golf, you can start with individual lessons. We have four teaching professionals at Warley Park who can’t wait to help you get started. Alternatively, if you’re not too sure if golf is for you, our group lessons are perfect. All you have to do is register by visiting Get Into Golf.
“Warley Park will have four large television screens in the clubhouse, which will be showing non-stop coverage of the Olympics. There really isn’t anywhere better to play a round before enjoying a pint and catching up on the day’s events.
“So from all of us here at Warley Park Golf Club, we’re firmly backing Great Britain for gold!”