Golf at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Golf will return to the Olympic Games in Japan in 2020. At All Square we have put together a list of questions you may have about the event and the details of what you need to know.

When will the Olympic golf tournament take place?

The men’s event will be held between July 30 – August 2, 2020. The women’s event will take place between August 5 – 8, 2020.

Where will it take place?

Kasumigaseki Country Club

The Olympic golf competitions will be held at Kasumigaseki Country Club, a private course in the city of Saitama, about 30km north of central Tokyo.

Who are the defending champions from Rio 2016?

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Justin Rose claimed the gold medal foor Great Britain. Henrik Stenson won the silver for Sweden and Matt Kuchar the bronze for the United States. Inbee Park won the women’s gold for South Korea, New Zealand‘s Lydia Ko won the silver, and Shansha Feng from China the bronze.

What is the Olympic tournament format?

The event will be a 72-hole strokeplay format most golf fans are familiar with. The difference is that there can be no ties for the first three places, so a three-hole play-off may be required for gold, silver and bronze medals.

How many players will take part?

The Olympic field is restricted to 60 players for each of the men’s and women’s competitions.

How many nations will take part?

Of the 206 nations that will take part in the Games, it is thought around 40 will enter competitors into the golf events.

How does qualification work?

The International Golf Federation will use the official world rankings to create the Olympic Golf Rankings as a method of determining qualification. The top-15 world-ranked players will be eligible for the Olympics, with a limit of four players from a given country. Remaining positions will go to the highest ranked players from other nations that do not already have two players. The IGF has guaranteed at least one golfer from the host nation, Japan, in each event as well as at least one competitor from each continent (Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania).

Which big stars will be competing?

Justin Rose

Both gold medal winners from Rio, Justin Rose and Inbee Park, are expected to defend their titles. Rory McIlroy who missed Rio in 2016, has said he will most likely make his Olympic debut in Tokyo and will represent Ireland rather than Great Britain. “I’m excited to be going to the Olympics. I’m excited to play for Ireland,” McIlroy said. “I don’t feel a connection to either flag. Not everyone is (driven by) nationalism and patriotism.” Tiger Woods also said he wants to make his Olympic bow, and is currently 3rd-ranked golfer in the USA Olympic golf standings, so would qualify. He is currently behind Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson in the rankings. “Yes, that would be a first for me and something that I would certainly welcome if I was part of the team,” said Woods.

What is the Olympic 2020 golf course like?

Kasumigaseki Country Club 1

Founded in 1929, the Kasumigaseki Country Club has hosted several professional and amateur tournaments. It has been a men’s-only club for nearly 40 years, but it announced in May that it granted women full membership privileges, following pressure from the International Olympic Comittee. It is considered among the top 100 courses in the world. The Olympics will be played on the East Course, which has been stretched out to 7,466 yards – including the 640-yard fifth hole. Tom Fazio (Augusta National‘s consulting architect) was brought in to oversee course alterations for the event. He halved the number of bunkers, but those that remain are large, flashed up, and pinch fairway landing areas and approaches to the greens. The parkland course appears quite flat but is not without undulation, from slightly sidehill aspect of the opening tee shot to the final valley approach. The East Course is, like many in Japan, heavily treed, but the fairways are quite generous.

How popular is golf in Japan?

There are some 2,200 golf courses in Japan, almost as many as the UK and Ireland combined. Most are of incredible standard but also private and exclusive, seen as a reason for a 30% drop in participation numbers over the last 20 years. The country has started to relax membership rules as it tries to reverse that trend and Japan is now favorite vacation destination for serious golfers. The Olympics could prove a huge boost for the sport in the country.

Was the return of golf as an Olympic sport a success?

Olympic Games

After an absence of 112 years, golf returned as an Olympics sport at Rio 2016, for only the third time in history. Despite negativity and apathy in the golfing world leading up to the Olympics, it ended up being a resounding success with patriotic, sell-out crowds. After winning his gold medal, Justin Rose said: “This has resonated far wider than my US Open win.” IGF President Peter Dawson said: ” The reaction has been terrific. It is going to increase exposure in smaller countries, get more government recognition and funding, which – apart from expanding our competitive landscape – is why we did this.”

Japan 2020 Official Rankings:

Men standings (as of 23rd July)

Emiliano Grillo
Nelson Ledesma

Adam Scott
Jason Day
Replacements: Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith, Brendan Jones, Lucas Herbert, Matt Jones

Bernd Wiesberger
Sepp Straka
Alternate: Matthias Schwab

Thomas Pieters
Thomas Detry
Alternate: Nicolas Colsaerts

Adam Hadwin
Corey Conners
Alternates: Mackenzie Hughes, Roger Sloan, Nick Taylor

Joaquin Niemann

Haotong Li
Xinjun Zhang
Alternate: Ashun Wu

Chinese Taipei
C.T. Pan

Sebastián Muñoz

Lucas Bjerregaard
Thorbjørn Olesen
Alternate: Joachim B Hansen

Mikko Korhonen
Replacement: Kalle Samooja

Michael Lorenzo-Vera
Benjamin Hebert
Alternates: Romain Langasque, Victor Perez, Alexander Levy, Antoine Rozner, Robin Roussel

Martin Kaymer
Maxmillian Kieffer

Great Britain 
Justin Rose
Tommy Fleetwood
Alternates: Paul Casey, Matt Wallace, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Eddie Pepperell, Tyrrell Hatton

Shubhankar Sharma
Gaganjeet Bhullar

Rory McIlroy
Shane Lowry
Replacements: Graeme McDowell, Paul Dunne

Francesco Molinari
Andrea Pavan
Alternates: Guido Migliozzi

Hideki Matsuyama
Shugo Imahira
Alternates: Satoshi Kodaira, Yuta Ikeda, Masahiro Kawamura, Ryuko Tokimatsu, Yuki Inamori

Gavin Kyle Green

Abraham Ancer
Carlos Ortiz

The Netherlands 
Joost Luiten
Darius Van Driel

New Zealand 
Ryan Fox
Danny Lee

Kristoffer Ventura
Viktor Hovland

Fabrizio Zanotti

Ricardo Santos

Rory Sabbatini

South Africa
Louis Oosthuizen
Justin Harding
Alternates: Branden Grace, Erik van Rooyen, JC Ritchie, Shaun Norris, Dylan Frittelli

South Korea
Byeong Hun An
Sungjae Im
Alternates: Sung Kang, Si Woo Kim, Sanghyun Park, Jung-gon Hwang, Hyungjoon Lee

Jon Rahm
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Alternates: Sergio Garcia, Jorge Campillo, Adrian Otaegui, Adri Arnaus, Ignacio Elvira Mijares

Henrik Stenson
Alex Noren
Alternates: Alexander Bjork, Marcus Kinhult , Jonas Blixt, Henrik Norlander

Jazz Janewattananond
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Alternates: Poom Saksansin, Prom Meesawat

United States
Brooks Koepka
Dustin Johnson
Tiger Woods
Bryson DeChambeau
Alternates: Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler

Jhonattan Vegas

Scott Vincent

Women standings (as of 23rd July)

Minjee Lee
Hannah Green
Alternates: Su-Hyun Oh, Katherine Kirk, Karis Davidson, Sarah Smith, Sarah Kemp

Christine Wolf
Sarah Schober

Manon De Roey

Brooke Henderson
Alena Sharp
Alternates: Brittany Marchand, Anne-Catherine Tanguay, Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Maddie Szeryk

Shanshan Feng
Yu Liu
Alternates: Jing Yan, Haruka Morita-WanyaoLu, Xiyu Lin, Weiwei Zhang, Wenbo Liu

Chinese Taipei
Wei-Ling Hsu
Teresa Lu
Alternates: Hsuan-Yu Yao, Yu-Ju Chen, Peiyun Chien, Pei-Ying Tsai, Min Lee

Mariajo Uribe

Czech Republic
Klara Spilkova

Nanna Koerstz Madsen
Nicole Broch Larsen

Daniela Darquea

Ursula Wikstrom
Alternates: Noora Komulainen, Sanna Nuutinen

Celine Boutier
Perrine Delacour
Alternates: Celine Herbin, Karine Icher, Camille Chevalier, Astrid Pradenne

Caroline Masson
Sandra Gal
Alternates: Esther Henseleit, Olivia Cowen, Karolin Lampert, Sophia Popov, Laura Fuenfstueck

Great Britain
Bronte Law
Charley Hull
Alternates: Georgia Hall, Jodi Shadoff, Melissa Reid, Charlotte Thomas, Meghan Maclaren

Hong Kong
Tiffany Chan

Aditi Ashok
Diksha Dagar

Leona Maguire
Stephanie Meadow

Laetitia Beck

Giulia Molinaro

Nasa Hataoka
Ai Suzuki
Alternates: Mamiko Higa, Hinako Shibuno, Yui Kawamoto, Momoko Ueda, Minami Katsu

Gaby Lopez
Maria Fassi

The Netherlands
Anne van Dam

New Zealand
Lydia Ko
Munchin Keh

Marianne Skarpnord
Tonje Daffinrud

Julieta Granada

The Philippines
Dottie Ardina
Yuka Saso
Alternates: Princess Superal, Clariss Guce

Puerto Rico
Maria Torres

Katja Pogacar

South Africa
Ashleigh Buhai
Lee-Anne Pace
Alternate: Stacy Bregman

South Korea
Sung Hyun Park
Jin-Young Ko
Jeonguen Lee6
Inbee Park
Alternates: Sei Young Kim, So Yeon Ryu, Amy Yang, Eun-Hee Ji, Hyo-Joo Kim

Carlota Ciganda
Azahara Munoz
Alternates: Nuria Iturrioz, Beatriz Recari, Luna Gaimes, Noemi Jimenez, Marta Barrio

Anna Nordqvist
Pernilla Lindberg
Alternates: Madelene Sagstrom, Caroline Hedwell, Linnea Strom, Daniela Holmqvist, Jenny Haglund

Ariya Jutanugarn
Moriya Jutanugarn
Alternates: Pornanong Phatlum, Jasmine Suwannapura, Saranporn Langkulgasettrin, Patty Tavatanakit, Pajaree Anannarukarn

United States
Lexi Thompson
Nelly Korda
Danielle Kang
Jessica Korda
Alternates: Lizette Salas, Angel Yin, Marina Alex, Annie Park, Austin Ernst

Full standings; Men and Women:

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