What You Need to Know about Golf in the Olympics

All you need to know as golf returns to the Olympics after 112 years

Golf in the Olympics

Golf is returning to the Olympics this year for the first time in 112 years at Rio, here's what you need to know about Golf in the Olympics from the course, the timings, the players, and more...

What You Need to Know about Golf in the Olympics

Golf will be played at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as the sport returns to the Games after a 112 year absence.

Golf Monthly Olympics Homepage

Here is what you need to know:

When is it?

The men's tournament takes place from Aug 11-14th and the women's tournament takes place from 17-20th.

The first three rounds of both tournaments begin at 11am UK time, and the final rounds both start at 11.30am.

Who are representing Team GB?

Masters Champion Danny Willett and 2013 US Open Champion Justin Rose make up the men, and 2009 Women's Open Champion Catriona Matthew and Solheim Cup star Charley Hull are the women.

Golf in the Olympics

From left to right: Danny Willett, Justin Rose, Catriona Matthew and Charley Hull

How many golfers are playing?

There are 60 men and 60 women playing. Each country is allowed a maximum of four players, but only if they have four inside the top-15 of the world rankings. USA's men and South Korea's women each have four players.

What's the course?

The course is located around 6km south of Rio and has been designed by Gil Hanse, who's also designed Castle Stuart in Scotland and Las Colinas in Spain. It has a linksy feel to it mixed with an Australian sandbelt course.

Rio Olympic Golf Course Hole by Hole Guide

What is the format?

72-hole individual strokeplay.

What happens if there is a tie?

There will be a play-off. In some sports you see more than one person get a medal if there they are tied, but there will only be three golfers on the podium. It should make for excitement as nobody will want to miss out on an Olympic medal in a play-off!

Will the golf be on TV?

The BBC is the host broadcaster and here are the different places their broadcasts can be found:

BBC One, BBC Four, Red Button, up to 24 HD video streams on mobile, desktop and connected TVs, Radio 5 live and live text commentary.

Golf is in the Olympics for the first time in 112 years and, in Justin Rose and Danny Willett, GB has two major winners who have a great chance of winning at least a medal so we expect at least the final stages to be on TV.

Who are the favourites?

Henrik Stenson is the world's highest ranked male golfer at world number five. USA, with four players, have a great chance of a medal, similarly with South Korea in the women's tournament.

World number one Lydia Ko is favourite to win gold for New Zealand and can become a national hero.  New Zealand have won just 42 gold medals in Olympic history, put that in to context - USA have won 1072 golds.

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x