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Golfers Can Once Again Chase Olympic Glory

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When Canadian George S. Lyon defeated Chandler Harper to win the gold medal at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, few would have imagined it would be more than a century before another golfer would have that opportunity.

Lyon, then 46, would eventually win eight Canadian Amateur titles but clearly the defining mark of his life was his Olympic moment.

As of October 9th, with approval by the International Olympic Committee, golfers of the world can now dream of achieving Olympic glory, just like Lyon.

During the 121st session of the IOC committee golf was approved for inclusion in the 2016 and 2020 Olympiads.

The process to have golf included in the Olympics was a long one that was aided by the support of many athletes and administrators. Among those speaking to the IOC committee on the final day were LPGA players Suzann Pettersen and Michelle Wie, 2009 British Amateur Champion Matteo Manassero, and 3-time major champion Padraig Harrington. Each gave a short but impassioned speech about why they felt golf should be an Olympic sport while Wie also introduced short video clips from Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, both playing at the Presidents Cup.

While the players were excited at the outcome of the day’s events nobody felt more relief than Ty Votaw. “We are elated that the IOC has accepted golf as an Olympic sport, and look forward to seeing the world’s best golfers compete for gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” said Votaw, Exectuive Director of the International Golf Federation Olympic Golf Committee.

Based on player feedback the International Golf Federation (IGF) has proposed a 72-hole individual stroke play format for both men’s and women’s competitions. A three-hole playoff was recommended as a tie breaker to determine medal winners.

Further recommendations include a 60 player field for each of the competitions using the Official World Golf Rankings to determine eligibility. The top-15 players in the world would be eligible to compete, regardless of their national origin. Outside of the top 15, players would qualify based on the world golf rankings with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top-15.

Based on the current world rankings that would qualify players from as many as 30 countries. That’s a big improvement from the 1904 field in St. Louis when some 70 Americans were joined by a sprinkling of just three Canadians.

Of course there is still a lot of work left for the return of Olympic Golf in 2016 in Rio, within the hosting bid that included a $14Billion dollar spending pledge there was no apparent provision for a new golf facility which they will most likely need.

There is a lot of time to sort that out of course, the important thing is that the first major hurdle has been crossed and for at least the the next six years there will be another reason for the world to talk about golf.

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Pro golfer Hosung Choi has the most ridiculous golf swing you’ll ever see

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Professional golfer Hosung Choi, playing in the third round of the Kolon Korea Open at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, has set the golf Internet on fire with his wildly entertaining golf swing. And while it may look ridiculous, he’s currently sitting at 8-under for the event through three rounds, only two shots back of the leader. It’s worth noting that the top two finishers in the Korea Open will earn a spot in the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie next month.

Enjoy the videos of his golf swing below!

Top-100 swing instructor and GolfWRX’s resident swing expert Tom Stckney has this to say about Choi’s golf swing: “The club goes up and away with a nice rerouting motion from the top into a perfect delivery and impact position. It’s obvious that this guy can play from those two positions, however, I’m not sure about the dismount. Nor can I even guess why he does it…I’m betting he was self-taught and made that move from day one. Great lesson to all the “golf swing” centric people playing today, why change it if it brings you to the dance?!?!”

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Marty Jertson, Ping’s Director of Product Development, qualified for the PGA Championship

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The top 20 professionals from the PGA Professional Championship–contested last weekend at Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside, California–are heading to the PGA Championship later this year.

Perhaps you saw Ryan Vermeer, at 5 under, was the medalist. What you may not have seen however, is something particularly cool for golf equipment geeks: Ping’s Director of Product Development, Marty Jertson, qualified–and he did so in spectacular fashion: the 37-year-old birdied the last three holes to finish T9.

Not bad for an engineer!

Also noteworthy: Ping confirmed Jertson played the company’s yet-to-be announced i500 irons in his 3, 4, and 5-irons, which will reportedly be available mid-summer. Yes, they confirmed that the rumors are true; Ping’s new iron will be called i500.

Related: We did a podcast with Jertson at the PGA Show, we also interviewed him back in 2017.

 

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Reddit AMA alert: Anthony Taranto, Callaway’s wedge art maestro, on his favorite designs, WITB

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If you’ve been around GolfWRX for any period of time, you’ve seen Anthony Taranto’s work. The Callaway wedge specialist is tasked with designing some of the coolest wedge decorations in the game.

Taranto did a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) yesterday, and The Wedge Art Wizard (as he introduced himself) didn’t disappoint.

Here are a few highlights (edited for spelling)

Remoolg asked: How did you start working at Callaway and get into this specific position?

AT: Back in 1999 Callaway had a job fair for their new golf ball plant Mr. Callaway was opening. I made it though many layoffs and reorganization. I was good at building clubs and I was placed in the pro tour department about 12 years ago. About 4 1/2 years ago I discovered this technique for sandblasting art onto wedges and now here we are.

Loudshorts asked: What’s the most odd art request you’ve put on a wedge and what’s the most common?

AT: Most odd: Probably Michelle Wie’s Harry Potter-themed wedges

I didn’t know anything about Harry Potter at the time so I had to do some research. Accio birdies!
Most common would just be old fashioned stamping of players initials.

Bunny said: Billy Idol, never pictured him as a golfer. What kind of design did he want on his clubs?

AT: He asked for his logo, which is this cool crown with a lightning bolt:

Iamrobert_paulson asked: What wedges are in your bag? Can we see pics?

AT: I’m gaming MD4’s: 45° (46 bent to 45), 50°, 55° (54 bent to 55), and 60°. Design wise: Skull & Crossbones and lots of stars.

Dr. Troutman asked: What is your favorite custom set you’ve ever done?

AT: Putting me on the spot! It might be these that I just recently made. Figured out how to evolve the sand blasting technique and start doing layers. Really happy with how these came out:

You can check out the full AMA here.

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