Olympic Golf Qualifying Explained

How do players qualify for golf at the Olympics due to be held at Tokyo's Kasumigaseki Country Club?

Olympic Golf Qualifying
(Image credit: Getty Images)

How do players qualify for golf at the Olympics due to be held at Tokyo's Kasumigaseki Country Club?

Olympic Golf Qualifying Explained

Qualifying for golf at the Tokyo Olympics featured an extended three-year process, due to the years delay of the Games.

The Men's competition will tee off at Kasumigaseki Country Club from July 29-August 1, while the Women take to the same course from August 3-6.

60 players will feature in both the Men's and Women's competitions, but what is the qualifying process to play golf at the Olympic Games like?

In order to qualify for the Olympics, athletes accumulated Olympic Golf Ranking (OGR) points during the period between 1 July 2018 and 21 June 2021 for the men's OGR, and between 8 July 2018 and 28 June 2021 for the women's OGR.

The OGR is calculated by variable factors: each tournament earns a strength-of-field rating, which in turn determines how many ranking points are awarded to the top finishers.

A player's final position in each event awards them points towards their OGR, but stronger-field events offers more OGR points, as approved by the International Golf Federation (IGF).

Dividing the total number of ranking points a player has earned by the number of tournaments that they have competed in during the qualification period then determines each player's final OGR.

A maximum of 52 events calculates both the Men's and Women's OGR, with a minimum of 35 events necessary for the Women's OGR and a minimum of 40 events for the Men's.

60 players comprise both competitions, with 59 qualifying through OGR and Japan, the host country, filling the final space.

The top-15 ranked players in the Official World Golf Ranking for the men, and the Women's World Golf Rankings at the end of the qualifying period were eligible for the Olympics, irrespective of their OGR.

There is a limit of four players representing each individual country, though.

Related: The big names missing from the Olympics

The United States have filled their maximum quota of four players in both the Men's and Women's competitions, while South Korea have also managed to ascertain four players in the Women's tournament.

Beyond the top-15 players, players were eligible based on their OGR, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top-15.

The IGF published the Men's OGR on 22 June 2021 and on 29 June 2021 for the Women's OGR, the day after the end of each respective qualification period.

The IGF also published the Reallocation Reserve List, while also informing National Olympic Committee's (NOCs) of their allocated quota places.

Each NOC then had to confirm their use of allocated quota places to the IGF by 1 July, who in turn reallocated any unused quota places.

The 60-player field for the Men's and the Women's competitions are now confirmed, though the end of reallocation runs up until the day before each tournament tees off.


Ryan has worked as a junior staff writer for Golf Monthly since 2021.