HAVE you heard of Charles Sands or George Lyon? I’m guessing not.

I hadn’t and had to look them up to see who won Olympic gold medals on the two occasions golf has been included in the Games.

The last time golf graced the Olympic Games was in 1904 in St Louis, Missouri. A total of 77 players competed in an individual and a team competition. This comprised 74 from America and three from Canada, hardly a worldwide event.

With an individual medal and a team medal up for grabs, (USA won gold silver and bronze as a team consisted of eight players), George Lyon came out on top.

So on to Rio and the inclusion of golf this year. They say there is no such thing as bad publicity and the withdrawal of some of the major names in the sport has certainly generated several talking points. So what can we expect to see from the Olympic golf?

Well, it’s going to be played at the Olympic Golf Club in Rio de Janiero. The course has been specially built for the Olympics in the Marapendi Nature Reserve and both the men’s and ladies’ events will be strokeplay, with three-hole play-offs for any ties for medal positions.

It could get interesting nearing the final few holes, but does professional golf really need the Olympics?

The Olympics for should be the pinnacle of the chosen sport, in golf I’d argue it isn’t – but it could be.

If I had the power to create the perfect Olympic event I’d firstly make it exclusively for amateurs and grant the winner an invitation to the four majors the following year.

What an event that would be and it would certainly attract the best amateur golfers in the world. Can you imagine Rory McIlroy turning down that opportunity as an amateur? I don’t think so.

I’ll still be watching and I’ll be interested to see what happens. Golf is included in the next Olympics, but after that it is up for discussion. So this Olympic golfing gold could really end up being the rarest of all winners’ medals.