Rio 2016: What will the return of golf add to the Olympics?

After two outings over a century ago in the Games, golf makes a triumphant return to Rio.

Rio 2016: What will the return of golf add to the Olympics?
The picturesque course is just one of the draws of the competition (photo : Getty Images)

Following 112 years in the wilderness, the sport of golf is set to make a comeback at the Olympic Games on Thursday. 

Quality in abundance despite the withdrawals

It is a decision that has been marred by controversy. Some experts have argued that the format should be rectified to allow amateurs to take part rather than their professional colleagues. The sport has also been rocked by more withdrawals drew to the Zika virus threat than any other competitions, with Rory McIlory claiming he will be "watching the sports that matter".

Yet some will argue that the absence of six of the top ten players in the world will open up a thrilling and unpredictable men's competition. The women's rounds have no such problem and will bring a high quality contest to the golf course. If anyone is in any doubt of what representing your country at the Olympic Games means to these players, just ask Emiliano Grillo who was almost inconsolable when his clubs were lost en route. Thankfully his clubs have been found and returned to the Argentine. 

Friendship, respect and excellence

The course itself will offer another picturesque setting that has become synonymous with the Games so far. With the sport growing in popularity over recent years, it is likely to be well populated, particularly with no outstanding favourite heading the way.

The Olympic Values are made up of friendship, respect and excellence, all of which will be in abundance come the start of the men's event on Thursday. Golf is one of the most social sports around and will see friendships blended as the athletes tackle the course with their playing partners, whilst keeping a competitive edge against their fellow opponents. A sport of skill and precision, excellence will be hard to ignore on the golf course over the coming days. This competition will be seen by all involved as on a par with the Majors that have gone before them.