By: Melynda Post
Finally, the time we were anxiously waiting for arrived a little over a week ago, when we got to watch the world’s best female golfers compete in the Olympics. It was a long time coming, and the women did not disappoint. Everyone around the world was able to witness Inbee Park, Lydia Ko, and Shanshan Feng win Olympic medals for their respective countries. These three women made history and will be remembered for earning these medals during Golf’s long awaited Olympic return.
As the summer approached this year, concerns and hesitations from golfers, fans, and media were becoming more and more evident. Zika was the biggest culprit. Golf was the sport that had the most athletes skip the Games. But, not one of the top-ranked females decided to skip due to Zika.
Another concern that had a lot of golfers talking publically was the format. Multiple athletes said they were expecting it to be a team format, but unfortunately, it was not. When thinking about Golf’s return to the Olympics, some people immediately pictured a team format, like the Ryder and Solheim Cups. Instead, it was an individual 72-hole stroke play format for the three medals.
These two negative points aside, another big aspect was the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Golf Course. This course was specifically built for the Games and features 18 beautiful holes. Not only was it landscaped as part of an environmental recovery project (Rio2016), but following the Games, it will also be the first public golf course in Brazil. Now anyone can play where the world’s best golfers made their Olympic debut. I cannot even imagine walking up to the green on the 18th hole, where Inbee Park secured her Gold Medal after a big lead. Suffice to say, not many of us were alive in 1904, so to be able to play at a course where some of our favorite golf professionals won Olympic Medals is a huge deal.
Winning a Major is arguably the highest achievement you can earn in the game of Golf. However, during this historic time of Golf’s Olympic return, the three women winning the gold, silver, and bronze medals will be remembered forever. They are the first women since 1904 to wear Olympic Medals around their necks. Also, in 1904, the women only competed in a 9-hole championship. This is even more of a reason why every single woman that competed this year should be proud of how far the Women’s game has come. I know I’m proud to play every single time I step onto that tee box, and why I watched every single day leading up to the moment that Inbee Park won the Gold Medal for her country. There has got to be no better feeling than earning an Olympic Medal for your country, especially when your sport has not been represented in over a century.