Golf returned to the Olympics for the first time in more than 100 years at Rio 2016 and it was fantastic to watch, writes Chris McDonnell, Golf at Goodwood academy manager.
I’m thrilled golf is being recognised as an Olympic sport again, as having it shown as part of such a well-recognised event will drive participation.
For those countries developing the game of golf it is a real boost for them to have players there and hopefully it will encourage their governing bodies to invest more in the sport. Seeing players from South America and Asia competing for their nations on the global stage can only benefit the game.
From a UK perspective, it was particularly great to see Justin Rose – a former Golf At Goodwood ambassador – take gold for GB.
Justin is a top bloke and you could see he really embraced the Olympic spirit. He stayed in the Olympic village with other GB athletes and showed huge emotion when he stepped on to the podium.
Those golfers who chose not to compete at the Games, such as Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Jordan Speith, will, I believe, have to have a serious think about their position for the next Olympics in Tokyo 2020. It was a shame they did not play this time and I hope they will be involved next time.
At the Golf At Goodwood Academy, we have been busy holding our summer camps for juniors and we have another before the end of the school holidays. We are really keen to encourage young players to come and try the game and are delighted with the uptake we have had.
One thing many people don’t realise is that golf doesn’t have to be formal or stuffy. We have a very relaxed approach, where families can come and enjoy the game together. We don’t have a dress code and you can even walk your dog on the course.
Both the Downs and Park courses are looking stunning at the moment as we are finally getting some long-overdue summer weather – long may it continue.
Looking ahead, I’m starting to get quite excited about the Ryder Cup next month, where Europe will be hoping to retain their crown against the USA. It is always and enthralling contest.
www.goodwood.com/sports/golf / @goodwood_golf on Twitter
Read Chris McDonnell’s column in the Chichester Observer and on this website monthly
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