Golf is scheduled to make it’s return to Olympic competition after an absence of a Century in Rio, when the men hit the course on August 11 and the women and week later. However, given the horrendous warnings leading up to these Games and the abnormally-long absence of the sport from the Games, I can only wonder why we couldn’t have waited JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER.
Let’s start with the most obvious obstacle. Given the already well-documented condition of the country’s water supply, golfers will be faced with a whole new, deeper meaning of the term WATER HAZARD. Four prominent Americans (Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy ) pulled out of consideration specifically because of the fear of sickness and the mosquito-borne Zinka virus. Ask a result, the two recognizable names on the men’s side will be Bubba Watson and Rickey Fowler. In all, 21 eligible golfers both men and women, will remain home at the 19th Hole in their favorite country clubs.
As if that wasn’t enough, the participants will have to face opponents that I am sure very few faced before. Inexplicably, the Olympic Golf Course was designed on the site of a Nature Preserve. As a result, it is the home of various forms of wildlife (and I am NOT talking about the revelers who visit Carnival each year). Among these are monkeys and a species of rodents deemed to be the largest in the world. I can just imagine the scoring nightmares that will ensue should a playful simian dart out of the woods and, wanting to “play through ” makes off with a player’s ball as he is lining up a putt.
Usually, golfers only have to worry about what clubs they have in their bag. Before they left for Rio, I hope the competitors packed plenty of DEEP WOODS OFF! and some traps (and I DON’T mean sand traps).
The IOC will determine if golf will return to the Olympics after Rio. We may not see golf for another hundred years!