A truly international game, golf has enthusiasts across the globe and is one of the most universally recognized sports. The International Olympic Committee voted it into the Olympic program, beginning in 2016 in Rio. The sport is not currently on the Pan American Games program.
This won’t be the first time, though, that golf was contested at an Olympic Games. Golfers competed at both the 1900 and 1904 Olympic Games. In fact, the last man to win an Olympic gold medal is Canadian: George Seymour Lyon was Olympic champion in St. Louis in 1904. Golf has existed as a sport for at least 500 years, with possible roots first in Scotland though investors of the game are still subject to debate.
Golf consists of playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with internationally-recognized rules. Every four years, the rules are updated in a joint effort by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Scotland and the United States Golf Association. A committee is charged with revising, modernizing and improving the rules of golf.
In 2016, men and women will golf a 72-hole stroke-play tournament, with an expected 60 Olympians on each side. The competitor who finishes the tournament in fewest strokes wins gold.