By Paul Myers
With all of the major professional golf events concluded for the year, it is time to turn our attention to the 2016 season – a season that is lining up to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. It has been a long time since golf has been as stocked with young talent as it is currently, with players such as Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and others leading the charge. The ‘new wave’ of professional golfers has come onto the scene in a big way over the past couple of seasons, and those players appear poised to make a mark again in 2016.
While there are plenty of great global events throughout the year that keep golf interesting, the big events are the four major championships. However, in 2016, you can add two other events to that list – the Olympics, and the Ryder Cup. It will be a busy year for the world’s best players, especially those who qualify for both the Ryder Cup team (either for the U.S. or for Europe) and the Olympics. The opportunity to win a Gold Medal in golf is something that hasn’t existed for a long time, and there is no doubt the top players will all be fighting to claim that prize.
Of course, The Masters will be played at Augusta National, as always. The U.S. Open will move to Oakmont Country Club, where defending champion Jordan Spieth will attempt to be the first repeat winner of the event since Curtis Strange. The Open Championship will be played at Royal Troon in Scotland, with Zach Johnson defending his title at The Old Course. PGA Champion Jason Day will attempt to reclaim the crown at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey, and the Ryder Cup is going to be defended by the Europeans at Hazeltine National GC in Minnesota.
Gold Medal Dreams
For the Olympics, the competition will be held over a brand-new golf course that has been built specifically for the event. The men’s competition in the Olympics will be held from August 11th – 14th, however the drama will begin well before those dates arrive. With a limited number of spots available in the event, some of the world’s top players may not even make the field if they don’t meet one of the qualification requirements. That means that players will be striving to amass as many World Golf Ranking points as quickly as possible in 2016 in order to rise to the top of the qualification list. Only 60 spots are going to be available for the event, meaning there are sure to be some well-known players who miss out on the trip to Brazil.
Heading into 2016, it is hard to remember a better time to be a fan of the game of golf. With great young stars and plenty of experienced veterans still hanging around, each and every tournament is a chance to witness some special performances. Jordan Spieth stole most of the headlines in 2015, and for good reason, but there is a long list of players right behind him that plan to make headlines of their own.