Following the inclusion of golf into the last two Olympics we will now see it being a part of the 2026 Commonwealth Games. It will join BMX and coastal rowing as Victoria is the first state or region to be awarded the Games – for the record wrestling and judo will make way.
As yet the details of how golf will be incorporated are unknown with no info on the venue, format or qualifying criteria but hopefully it will capture a bit more of people’s imaginations compared to the Olympics. The organisers have added that they intend to include golf as part of nine fully integrated para sports.
There is also the possibility of Royal Melbourne or another of the great sand-belt courses to provide the stage for golf’s debut in the Games – they will be held from March 17-29.
Golf Australia CEO James Sutherland celebrated described it as ‘a great win for golf’ adding, hopefully, that there will be the possibility of something different with the format.
“This announcement validates golf’s increasing popularity and the enormous growth that the sport has enjoyed over the last three years. The golf industry has embarked on an aggressive growth strategy that involves bringing new people to the game. We encourage innovative thinking around a competition format that is inclusive of men and women, and attractive to golf fans new and old."
Gavin Kirkman, the chief executive of the PGA of Australia, added: “This is a terrific result for our sport. It's going to provide playing opportunities for our young stars from around the Commonwealth.
"We absolutely love golf in the Olympic Games and we’re sure that the sport being in the Commonwealth Games will be important for golf going forward as well. It’s a big stage, the Commonwealth Games, and we’re privileged to be finally on it.”
The Australian golfers have captured two of this year’s majors with Cam Smith (Open) and Minjee Lee (US Women’s Open).