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I hope you have been enjoying the “News & Notes”
blogs our interns have been posting from the road. There’s no way I can be out to
all of our events at once, so taking a look at fun stories and facts from each
tournament is one of my favorite ways to catch up with what’s going on at each
tournament site.

Today, I want to talk to you about a little bit of a
special project. In just three days, on June 23, it’s Olympic Day. ‘What is
Olympic Day?’ you might ask.

From the Olympics website

23 June, Olympic Day is celebrated all around the world: hundreds of thousands
of people – young and old – participate in sports activities, such as runs,
exhibitions, music and educational seminars. Over the last two decades, the
event has helped to spread the Olympic ideals to every corner of the world.”

At the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero,
golf, after a pause of 112 years, will once again be a contested sport. I don’t
know about you, but I’m very excited about this. I love watching international
events like the Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, and Palmer Cup, and Olympic golf will
be another great contest between countries in one of my favorite sports. As I’m
always in favor of history lessons, let’s take a quick look back at golf and
its history in the Olympic Games.

In 1900, golf was first played in the Olympic Games
when twelve men and 10 women from four countries teed it up at the Paris Games.
Margaret Abbot and Charles Sands, both of the United States, were awarded gold
medals. The 1900 Paris Olympics were where the Haskell (rubber cored) ball was
first introduced. The new ball, which flew further and cost less, had a big
role in golf’s surging popularity in the following years.

Golf was again contested four years later at the
1904 St. Louis Olympic Games. The format, changed from 1900, included both a
team and an individual component. The 36-hole, stroke-play team event was won
by the United States and the individual event was won by Canada’s George Lyon.

Fast forward to 2003 when the World Amateur Golf
Council becomes the International Golf Federation (IGF) which is dedicated to
promoting golf as an Olympic sport and encouraging the international
development of golf. In addition, the IGF serves as the governing body for golf
in the Olympics movement and organizes the golf competitions at the Olympic
Games, Youth Olympic Games and the World Amateur Team Championships. Finally,
in 2009, the International Olympic Committee voted in favor of golf returning
for the Rio Games in 2016.

(Members of Team USA sit together during the closing ceremonies of the 2009 PING Junior Solheim Cup in Aurora, Ill.)

As players and fans of the great game of golf, we
have even more to celebrate this year on June 23's Olympic Day as our sport officially
returns to the Games in just three short years. I encourage you to check out
the Olympic Day webpage and join the conversation on Twitter using #OlympicDay.
Whether you’re just out practicing, competing in one of our TaylorMade-adidas
Golf Qualifiers
, or watching the final round of a professional event on
television, tweet us a picture to show us how you’re celebrating. (Make sure
you tag the International Golf Federation, @OlympicGolf, so they can keep up as


Until next time –

Alexis (@AJGAWitman)