Given how many people around the globe participate in the sport, it may surprise you to learn that golf was removed from the Olympic games in 1921, just 21 years after it was first introduced as an Olympic event. Golf was then reinstated as an Olympic event in 2009.
Suffice it to say. There will be plenty of spectators tuning in to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics to watch the world’s best golfers swing their way to the gold, silver, and bronze medals.
Today, we’ll share everything you need to know about Olympic golf, including a breakdown of the sport, the number of events to occur, and who on the green is expected to make their mark as the best in the game. Plus, we’ll give you insight on the quality golf mats to practice your own short game at home while you tune into the Olympics taking place in early August.
A Breakdown of Olympic Golf Events & Scoring
The qualifying rules of Olympic golf state that the top 60 golfers from around the world will get their chance to go for the gold at the Olympic games, with up to four qualifying golfers per country, per division (men’s and women’s).
A country can have three or four golfers, only if they all rank in the world’s top 15 golfers compiled by the International Golf Federation. Otherwise, each country is limited to two golfers per division. Once at the Games, each golfer will compete in a series of four stroke-play events in which they will play one round of 18 holes every day for four days and a total of 72 holes. Each round will be played in groups of three golfers.
Olympic Stroke Play Event Rules & Guidelines
Each hole in the stroke play event is assigned a set number of expected strokes. This set number ( known as a par) is decided based on the difficulty of the shot and the distance between the tee and the green. Each hole could be a par-three, par-four, or par-five.
Depending on the par number the hole is assigned, the golfer must get the ball in the hole in that many strokes or less. Here are more golf scoring terms you should know if you plan to watch golf at the summer Games.
Par: The expected number of shots it takes to make the hole (example: par-three, par-four, par-five)
Eagle: Two strokes under par (only possible on a par-three or higher)
Birdie: One stroke under par (example: it took four shots to complete a par-five)
Bogey: One stroke over par (example: it took five shots to complete a par-four hole)
Double Bogey: Two strokes over par (example: it took six shots to complete a par-four hole)
The objective is to get the ball in each hole in as few strokes as possible, with cumulative scores at the end of the day determining a golfer’s spot on the leaderboard. The golfer with the fewest strokes will climb the ranks, and the tables can turn for any player from one hole to the next.
What You’ll See in Tokyo 2021
Stacked with four golfers for each division, the US Olympic golf team is ready to give number one ranking golfer Jon Rahm (Spain) a run for his money, with U.S. underdog Colin Morikawa someone to pay special attention to. Returning to the Games is also Sweden’s silver medalist Henrik Norlander, fourth place finalist Thomas Pieters (Belgium), Spain native Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, and many others.
We can’t leave out the ladies, either! The stacked US women’s team features Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, Lexi Thompson, and Jessica Korda up against defending South Korean gold medalist Inbee Park, New Zealand silver medalist Lydia Ko, and Chinese bronze medalist Shanshan Feng. Returning to the Games is also Australia’s Minjee Lee, Ireland’s Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow, and several other names from around the world who were seen at the 2016 Rio Games.
Work on your Short Game at Home with Golf Simulator Mats
Whether you’re a novice golfer or you’ve been swinging your favorite 9-iron for decades, you can brush up on your short game any time of the day or week with a golf simulator mat from We Sell Mats™. You’ll love lightweight and easily portable these thick carpet top mats are, so you can set them up anywhere you want or take them to a friend’s house to work on your skills as you watch in anticipation for your favorite golfer to show the world what they’re made of.
Shop today to discover your new favorite golf simulation mats!