Olympic Golf Competition Format
The competition format for the Olympic Games golf will be 72 holes of individual stroke play for both men and women (four rounds scheduled over four consecutive days). The field size will be 60 athletes in both instances.
The men’s event will be staged from August 11-14 and the women’s tournament from August 17-21, starting at 7.30am local time for rounds one, two and three and 7.00am for round four. The last tee time and finishing times will be 11.00 and 16.00 respectively, with the exception being 10.30 and 15.30 for the final round.
Scores are cumulative from round to round with all competitors playing 72 holes. There is no 36-hole cut. The golfer with the lowest aggregate score wins. In the event of a tie for first, second or third place, a play-off or multiple play-offs shall be conducted for the purpose of determining the gold, silver and bronze medal winners.
For all four rounds, the intention is to play in groups of three off the first tee. For rounds one and two, groupings will be published no later than two days before the start of the first event. For rounds three and four, groupings will be done according to cumulative scores at the end of the previous round, with the leaders teeing off last.
In preparing for golf’s return to the Olympic Games after 112 years, it was felt that Rio 2016 would not be an appropriate place to experiment on format.
The professional golfers playing on the Tours were canvassed for their opinions and they were clearly in favour of the tried and trusted format of stroke-play as the preferred option for golf’s return to the Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Both the IOC and IGF agreed that 72-hole stroke-play, the format used for all the major champions in men’s and women’s golf and the majority of events played across all the world’s tours, would be best suited to the game re-joining the Olympic Movement.
Consequently, it was unanimously agreed that the first golf competitions staged since 1904 would be 72-hole stroke-play with field sizes of 60 men and 60 women with no 36-hole cut, ensuring all players have the opportun ity to complete all four rounds.
There is likely to be an opportunity to review the format ahead of the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.