Introduction to Olympic Golf

Golf | Published: Thu 4 August 2016

Who: 120 athletes from 41 countries

What: Men’s and women’s tournaments

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.


Minjee Lee