Golf In Rio 2016 - A Referee's Perspective

Victoria's Dale Jackson is in Rio as a golf rules official for the 2016 Olympic Games and is providing a daily blog on what he sees and experiences as Canada attempts to defend its Gold Medal from the 1904 Olympic Games the last time golf was a part of the quadrennial event.

And So It Begins

by Dale Jackson

I have been given the great privilege of representing Canada as a referee in golf at the Rio Olympics.

For the next eight days I will be immersed in the technical details of the first golf competition in the Olympics in 112 years (and if you did not already know, Canada is the defending champion, thanks to George Lyon winning in St Louis in 1904), getting to walk the golf course for four days in a row accompanied by some of the best male golfers in the world (the women play the following week) and experiencing the excitement of the Rio Olympics.

The plan during these next eight days is to communicate to all of you (whether few or many) about the Rio Olympics and golf in the Olympics. And to communicate, I hope, from at least a semi-unique perspective.

Given the social media world we live in, I am sure there will be no end of Facebook posts, Twitter tweets and other types of messaging about which I have no knowledge, from athletes and coaches. I get to experience the Olympics from the perspective of a referee, or an International Technical Official (ITO) as the IOC prefers to call us. And so I hope to communicate what the Olympics are like from that point of view.

I write this at 35,000 feet somewhere between my home town of Victoria and Toronto. Later I will be making my way from Toronto to Sao Paulo and then to Rio (at which point, I am sure, I will retire to a very welcome bed after 24 hours of travel). A very long way to travel but I hope very much worth the effort.

Over the next three or so days, before the actual tournament begins (on Thursday, August 11), I hope to talk about the format of the golf competition, my impressions of the golf course and anything else that strikes me at the moment.

And then it will be time to provide some perspective on the competition itself, were there any interesting rulings, how are my Canadians playing and offering a peak to what goes on inside the ropes.

I invite all of you to join me as I make my way through all things related to golf in the Olympics , convey something of what it is like to experience Brazil during the 17 days of the Olympics and to otherwise transmit the good, bad and just plain strange and interesting tidbits of Olympic golf.

And now back up to the mediocre movie I was watching and the long journey ahead of me.

I will be back after some much needed sleep!