Who: 120 athletes
from 41 countries
What: Men’s and
Where: Olympic Golf Course
When: Men’s: Days
11-14 Women’s: Days 17-20
Golf makes it return to the Olympic Games after 112 years
with Rio preparing to crown the first Olympic champions since 1904.
The Olympic format will follow the traditional stroke-play
rules, with players competing over four rounds of 18 holes, with the objective
being to shoot the lowest total score.
The concept is simple; get from the tee to the hole with as
few strokes as possible. The practicality however, makes it any but. Each holes
presents different challenges and is measured over different average strokes,
referred to as par.
Scores are benchmarked against the course par. Each of the
18 holes will set either a Par 3 (three stroke average), Par 4 (four stroke
average) or Par 5 (five stroke average) depending on the length in yards from
the tee to the hole. If a player achieves the par score, their score will stay
on par (neutral or zero). If a player scores less than par, their score will
reflect this (-1 or one under par) and if they shoot over par, this will also
be reflected (+1 or one over par) with their total score indicating how many
shots over or under par they have been over the course of the four rounds.
Each hole also presents what are known as traps or hazards.
These take the form of bunkers (sand traps), rough (thick course grass) or
water hazards (lakes or ponds) and are intended to further test golfers’ wares
and challenge the skills and decision making of competitors.
Golfers use 14 different clubs, comprising of; Woods (Teeing
off or hitting longer distances), Irons (Controlled tee shots or long to mid
range shots) Wedges (Open faced clubs, for chipping short distances or escaping
bunkers) and a Putter (Flat-faced, used on the putting green, designed for
precision over shorter defined distance).
Golf first appeared at the Paris 1900 Olympics and exited
after the St Louis Games in 1904. USA golfers dominated at those events and
even celebrated the first golfer on the moon, when US astronaut Alan Shepaherd
hit a six-iron after stepping out from Apollo 14 on February 6, 1971.
Although the men’s competition has been plagued by a number
of high profile withdrawals – the women’s competition is set to be a high
quality spectacle with many of the world’s best in action.
Australia will have four golfers competing in Rio with two
in the men’s and two in the women’s. WA will be represented by emerging talent
Minjee Lee, who has already won two senior LPGA titles in a professional career
not yet in its third season.
Ranked 41st in the world, Lee isn’t an instant
favourite for a medal, but such is the nature of 72 holes of tournament golf, anything
can happen. The Perth product has certainly shown she has the talent to be one
of the world’s best for many years to come.
To follow Minjee’s campaign in Rio, view her bio below,
including information on when she’s in action in Brazil.