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IGF History

Jan 1958The USGA has received many invitations for international matches against individual countries and was unable to attend them all. The USGA Executive Committee, discussing yet another generous invitation – this time from Japan – proposes that it’s time an international team competition be established so that all countries can take part in these types of events.
March 1958Representatives from the USGA go to Scotland to discuss the idea with representatives from The R&A. The concept is enthusiastically received.
May 1958Representatives from 35 countries meet in Washington, D.C., hosted by the USGA and The R&A, to establish the World Amateur Golf Council, so that it may conduct the World Amateur Team Championship. The meeting is arranged through cooperation with Pan American Airlines and the U.S. Department of State, and the trips of all attendees are funded by an anonymous group, the Friends of American Golf. President Dwight D. Eisenhower welcomes the group in the White House Rose Garden. The Council is begun with 32 Member Organizations and governing Articles are established.
Oct 1958The first Championship is hosted by The R&A on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. The Australian team defeats the U.S. team in an 18-hole playoff by two strokes. Bobby Jones is the Captain of the U.S. team. With the permission of the President of the United States of America, the competition is played for the Eisenhower Trophy, which is inscribed, “To foster friendship and sportsmanship among the Peoples of the World,” the Council’s guiding principle. The trophy is presented to the USGA and The R&A by the Friends of American Golf.
Sept 1960The second Championship is hosted by the USGA at Merion Golf Club (East Course) in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Although the original 1958 Delegates envisioned that the Championship would probably be match play by this year, it has remained at stroke play through the present day. Jack Nicklaus’s 72-hole record of 269 still stands today (Ben Hogan won the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion with a 287.)
1964The French Golf Federation proposes that the U.S. Curtis Cup Team come to France for an informal match after that year’s Curtis Cup Match in Wales. The USGA accepts the invitation but also suggests inviting other nations to create a women’s counterpart to the World Amateur Team Championship. The French are delighted to do so. Vicomtesse de Saint Sauveur (otherwise known as Lally Segard), of France, and Mrs. Henri Prunaret, of the United States of America, plan the Championship. In addition, Vicomtesse de Saint Sauveur has the idea to ask her friends from Portugal if they would be willing to donate a trophy she’d heard they had in their possession. Ricardo and Silvia Espirito Santo confirm they have a gold-plated Cup, originally owned by Nicolas II, the Tsar of Russia, which was purchased in an auction after the Russian Revolution of 1917. The Espirito Santos had originally intended the trophy for a Portuguese International event that was no longer being played, and are delighted to give the Cup for the benefit of a World Championship.
Oct 1964The French Golf Federation holds the first Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. Twenty-five teams compete. France beats the USA by one stroke. With sincere thanks to France, it is unanimously agreed that the World Amateur Golf Council will hereafter sponsor and conduct the Women’s event.
2003The World Amateur Golf Council changes its name to the International Golf Federation.
2008The IGF membership approves the formation of the Olympic Golf Committee to coordinate golf’s bid on to the Olympic Programme.
Oct 2009At the International Olympic Committee Executive Session in October 2009 in Copenhagen, golf is voted in as one of the new sports on the Olympic Programme after having been absent for 113 years – since 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, USA.
Oct 2010Since it is a prerequisite of the International Olympic Committee for every sport on the Olympic Programme to have an International Federation as its representative body, the IGF is deemed the most appropriate existing body to do this. At the IGF biennial meeting in Argentina, the new constitution of the IGF is ratified and the federation’s headquarters moved to Lausanne, Switzerland. The IGF Board is formed and the IGF is granted 'Professionals' as an additional category of membership.
Aug 2014The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) begin in 2010 and are open to athletes aged 15-18. Golf is staged for the first time at the YOG in Nanjing which took place between 16 and 28 August 2014, marking golf’s historical return to the Olympic stage following readmission onto the Olympic Programme in 2010. The golf competitions are held from 19 to 26 August 2014 at the Zhongshan International Golf Club. In the Men’s Individual Stroke Play competition, Italy’s Renato Paratore wins the Gold, followed by Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult who takes the Silver medal and Thailand’s Danthai Boonma who takes Bronze over Norway’s Victor Hovland, following a play-off. In the Women’s Individual Stroke Play competition, Korean Lee Soyoung claims the Gold Medal, followed by Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Ssu-Chia, who wins the Silver Medal and Supamas Sangchan, from Thailand, who claims the Bronze. In the Mixed Team event, Sweden wins the Gold Medal after a dramatic play-off victory over Korea, which is followed by another play-off for the Bronze Medal, won by Italy over Denmark.
Aug 2016Golf makes its historic return to the Olympic Games after an absence of 112 years since it was last played in St Louis. The opening tee shot of the men’s Individual Stroke Play competition is struck at 07.30 am on Thursday, August 11, 2016, at Reserva da Marapendi Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro. Justin Rose makes history by becoming golf’s first Olympic Champion since 1904, followed closely by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson who claims the Silver medal and American Matt Kuchar who finishes third, taking Bronze. In the women’s Individual Stroke Play competition, Inbee Park of the Republic of Korea wins the first Olympic Gold Medal in Women’s Golf since 1900 in a tight race with world number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand who wins the Silver medal, followed by China's Shanshan Feng who claims Bronze.
Oct 2018The third edition of the summer YOG took place in Buenos Aires between 6 and 18 October 2018. It was staged at the Hurlingham Club. The Hurlingham Club is a Golf and Polo Club located within the Province of Buenos Aires. The club was founded in 1888 and it hosts a wide range of other activities, such as cricket, gymnastics, horse riding, polo, squash and tennis. The first golf course consisted of 9 holes and was opened in 1892. George Gadd and Arthur Havers designed the existing 18-hole course in 1922. The Australian Karl Vilips wins the Gold in the Men’s Individual Stroke Play competition, followed by Akshay Bhatia from United States with Silver and Jerry JI from Netherlands who takes the Bronze Medal. In the Women’s Individual Stroke Play competition, Grace Kim from Australia wins the Gold Medal, followed by Alessia Nobilio from Italy and the Austrian Emma Spitz. In the Mixed Team event, Thailand wins over United States and Argentina who takes the Bronze Medal home.
Jul 2021Golf returned to the Olympic stage again in Tokyo, Japan in 2021 following a 1-year postponement of the Games caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. 42 National Olympic Committees entered athletes in the golf events with medalists coming from five different countries and four continents. The competition at the Kasumigaseki Country Club delivered in an extraordinary way, culminating in a seven-way playoff for the men’s bronze medal and a playoff for silver and bronze in the women’s event. 
On Sunday 1 Aug 2021, Xander Schauffele (United States of America) claimed the Gold medal, followed by Rory Sabbatini (Slovakia) for Silver and C.T. Pan (Chinese Taipei) for Bronze.
In the final round of the women’s event on Saturday 7 August 2021, the Gold medal was won by Nelly Korda (United States of America), followed by Mone Inami (Japan) for Silver and Lydia Ko (New Zealand) for Bronze.

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