“With the Olympics picking up golf, it can only help the game with more exposure. Hopefully we can send over four great players to represent us. My dream team would be Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson. Those four would be great to grow the game and keep the attention of our juniors while watching Jordan and Rickie.”
—Anthony Hollerback, Baywood Greens, Long Neck, Del.
“The Olympics represent everything that’s supposed to be good in sports, and it’s seen on TV all over the world. From that standpoint it can only be good for golf. My personal opinion is I wish the Olympics would go back to allowing only amateur athletes, as the Games were intended.”
—Bob Crowther, Bayside Resort Golf Club, Fenwick Island, Del.
“The only thing that would make it even better would be to have a healthy Tiger Woods in his prime. As we know by watching the Ryder Cup, emotions run extremely high when players represent their country. I expect Jordan Spieth to win the gold for the men, and Stacy Lewis for the women.”
—George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club, Villanova, Pa.
“In the same way the Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup take competitive televised golf to a new level, the Olympics have the opportunity to have the same type of cultural impact. As for who will win, I think you have to be confident in the team from the United States—a great mix of young talent and experienced veterans with high-level international golf experience. Regardless of which nation’s players are wearing golf medals at the closing ceremonies, I’m hoping the ultimate gold goes to golf itself.”
—Michael Tobiason, Deerfield Golf Club, Newark, Del.
“I doubt the Olympics will have much effect on the game of golf, at least not locally. We may see an increase in rounds played during the events, as we typically see with the major tournaments through the year. But golf is very much seasonal, and regardless of what else is going on, the weather is the No. 1 factor for driving rounds of golf. Personally, I would love to see the U.S. bring it home.”
—Frank Horton, Back Creek Golf Club, Middletown, Del.
“I’m excited that the game of golf is finally a part of the Summer Olympics. I believe it will promote the game in a big way and will be exciting to watch. As far as who will win the gold, I want to say the red, white and blue. But there are a lot of great players. And who will take home the gold … We’ll have to wait and see.”
—Rodney King, Moccasin Run Golf Club, Atglen, Pa.
“Golf in the Olympics could have a very positive impact on the sport. Our goal as PGA professionals is to grow the game. My pick? Of course, the United States.”
—Ben Ingles, Honeybrook Golf Club, Honey Brook, Pa.
“If we end up seeing the top players in the world battling down the stretch for a gold medal, I think it will provide some drama that we haven’t seen before. Hopefully, one of the top Americans—like Spieth, Fowler or Mickelson—will be taking home the gold.”
—Dean Kandle, St. Davids Golf Club, Wayne, Pa.
“Unfortunately, I don’t feel it will have a positive or negative impact on the sport, mostly due to TV coverage—especially if it’s like the other non-major Olympic sports like wrestling. I’d think the USA would be the favorite in this format.”
—Mike Moses, Concord Country Club, Concordville, Pa.
“I may sound a bit crazy—especially as a PGA member—and I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think that Olympic golf will have the wide impact on the sport that many believe. If it was truly an amateur golf event, maybe. But the qualification process used for this year’s Olympics places the best professionals in the world against each other. Whoever has the putter going that week will win the gold.”
—Kurt Zolbe, Garrisons Lake Golf Club, Smyrna, Del.
“Being a Ryder Cup year will likely hurt interest in the Olympics. The casual golf fan is not going to get too excited about another major. Golf is all about tradition and history, and Olympic golf has virtually none to speak of.”
—Steve Spross, Mainland Golf Course, Mainland, Pa.
“Golf is now a very global game, and the Olympics will certainly help perpetuate that trend. It’s hard to predict who will win, since only a few players from each country will be competing. The gold will go to the ones with the hot putter that week.”
—John Kellogg, Radley Run Country Club, West Chester, Pa.
“Golf appears to have grown globally so much over the past 10 to 15 years, with the best players from all over the world gaining more and more exposure. I think the Olympics will be an extension of that, and hopefully shine an even brighter spotlight on our game. As far as a winner, it would be hard to bet against world No. 1 Jordan Spieth, but I’m going to go with Rickie Fowler, who I expect to have a breakout year.”
—Dave McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club, Malvern, Pa.
“There will be many youngsters worldwide tuning in to see who’s playing for their homeland, and to see the stars from other countries. This can only inspire some of them to take up the game.”
—Jack Skilling, Sussex Pines Country Club, Georgetown, Del.
“Golf is already experiencing an explosion globally. The Asian golf market has been on the rise for a number of years, and the South American golf market should experience exponential growth by hosting the Olympics in Rio. Let’s face it—other than Soccer’s World Cup, no other sporting contest is watched more worldwide than the Olympics.”
—Tommy Moore, Applecross Country Club, Downingtown, Pa.
“I’m not sure you’ll see an increase in golfers in the United States because of the overall expense and time it takes to play the game. The lack of junior caddie programs, along with all other activities that families are involved in, has definitely impacted the golf industry.”
—Ryan Lagergren, Stonewall Links, Elverson, Pa.
“The design of the event will showcase some relatively unknown players and, in turn, create excitement in those countries. I think Jordan Spieth will win the gold this year. The small field will benefit him, and he plays well on every style of course.”
—Will Scarborough, Heritage Shores Golf Club, Bridgeville, Del.
“The Olympics has a chance to entice and engage more golfers around the world than perhaps any other event in the history of the game. I’m going far out on a limb by picking Jordan Spieth as the gold medalist, Rory McIlroy for silver and Henrik Stenson for bronze.”
—John Dunigan, White Manor Country Club, Malvern, Pa.
“I don’t expect there to be much of an immediate impact, participation wise, in this country. What the Olympics will do is introduce U.S. golfers to emerging talent from the European and Asian tours—talent that will be appearing in regular and major tournaments in coming years.”
—Pam Porter, Turtle Creek Golf Course, Limerick, Pa.
“Any exposure the game gets on a global stage is tremendous. The diehard golfers will always watch, but a non-golfer may get some exposure that will turn them onto the game. The course is a huge question mark. I would pick someone in good form entering the event. My prediction: Rory McIlroy.”
—Matthew Devers, Phoenixville Country Club, Phoenixville, Pa.