Golf at the Olympics
Golf's first appearance on the Olympic program was in 1900 at the Paris Olympics. Both men and women competed in Paris with two Americans, Charles Sands and Margaret Abbott, taking home the gold medals.
Golf last appeared in the Olympics at the 1904 St. Louis Olympics. The only event included men from the United States and Canada where Canadian George Lyon captured gold.
Golf was initially slated to appear again at the 1908 Games in London, but in the end it was never organized and was left out of the Olympics. In 1921, the VII IOC Congress removed golf from the optional list of sports to include in future Games.
In 2009, the IOC decided to re-include golf on the Olympic program starting with the 2016 Games.
History of golf
While modern golf is thought to have originated in Scotland during the 15th century, the game's more distant past is harder to trace.
The Romans played a game called "paganica," where participants used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. It is theorized that as the Roman Empire spread, so did the game and thus modern golf evolved out of it.
During the Song Dynasty, people played "chuiwan," a game that evolved out of polo. Participants would strike a ball with a stick or a club while on foot, rather than on horseback. There are multiple paintings that seem to depict players swinging something akin to a golf club at a ball with the intent of making it into a hole.
Similar games appear across Europe and modern day Iran, but the exact origin of golf is near impossible to trace.