If you’ve followed the NCAA Division I men’s golf championships for the past handful of years, you’ll understand where I’m going with this post. You’ll also understand that my motivation for what I’m about to write stems from my high school coaching experience, where more is more.
I played high school golf at Amherst High in the early 1980s. We rarely had more than 8-9 guys on the team. I coach two separate high school teams (one girls, one boys) and I don’t have teams with fewer than 12 golfers. Part of my theory is the “get them young and develop their game/their familiarity with competition” approach, while the other portion of my approach is grounded in the “yo! teammate!!” approach. It’s great to have guys and girls in the hallway that you can fist bump, forearm bash, chest slam or shake hands with, with whom you share a commonality. Larger teams know this; golf should, too.
The NCAA D-I championships have a 54-hole medal portion, during which an individual titlist is crowned. The top eight teams move on to a single-elimination, match-play portion, after which a team champion is determined.
I want to see individual golfers receive gold, silver and bronze in Brasil in 2016; I also want to see 4 or 5 guys per team crowd onto that podium to receive their gold, silver and bronze team medals. Golf has been an individual athletic undertaking for too long. It needs to show off its team side. The Olympics is the perfect stage.