2016 Olympics conundrum for Northern Ireland’s top golfers

Photo by Lauren Teague
Golf returns to the Olympics in 2016, last appearing in 1904 where only two countries were represented (Canada and the USA). The International Golf Federation have proposed the following eligibility scheme to determine which of the world’s top golfers will challenge for Olympic medals in Rio:

The IGF is recommending an Olympic field of 60 players for each of the men’s and women’s competition, utilizing the official world golf rankings as a method of determining eligibility. The top 15 world-ranked players would be eligible for the Olympics, regardless of the number of players from a given country. Beyond the top 15, players would be eligible based on world ranking, with a maximum of two available players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top 15.

Currently golf’s top 15 male players are drawn from the USA (9), England (3), Northern Ireland (2) and Australia (1). It may look different in four years’ time, but wherever they are ranked, Northern Ireland’s top golfers will face a unique and delicate choice between TeamGB and Ireland. We might see pragmatism or friendship put before personal feelings of national identity. Continue reading “2016 Olympics conundrum for Northern Ireland’s top golfers”

Why do I bother playing golf?

Quality approach shots at 10th hole, East Clare
Paul (19 hcap) and Tony (20 hcap) admire the three birdie opportunities on the 10th hole at East Clare

Golf is a game I enjoyed playing from a pretty early age. I actually got reasonably good at it through my teens (12 handicap). In recent years I have returned to the game only to find I’m now pretty crap at it (20 handicap). Continue reading “Why do I bother playing golf?”