Ivan Morris: Olympics are a waste of time for golfers

Ivan Morris


Ivan Morris

Ivan Morris: Olympics are a waste of time for golfers

I met Mutt & Jeff once again last week and I couldn't shut them up or stop them from dissing The Olympics.

Me: Apart from taking a keen interest in how Ireland does in the hockey tournament I could hardly care less.

And, do you know what else? 50-years ago, I refused the invitation to sign professional forms to play for Ewan Fenton's Limerick FC in case I might ever have the slightest chance of competing in the Olympics (as an amateur.) How misguided was that? Just another of my many regrets going through life, I suppose?

Mutt: Did you hear the latest garbage about The Olympics Committee? They have notified companies who are not official sponsors that they must pretend the Games are not happening.

Jeff: What do mean, not happening?

Mutt: In a letter sent to sponsors of all the athletes, the Olympic Committee is warning about using the Olympic's 'intellectual property.'

Jeff: I still don't follow you!

Mutt: Commercial entities may not post anything about the Games on their social media accounts. This restriction includes the use of trademarks in Hashtags such as #Rio2016.

Nor, must they ever refer to, or publish, any Olympic results by sharing or reposting anything from the official Olympic account and they cannot use any pictures taken at the Olympics either.

Jeff: But, I thought the Olympics were about the taking part and glorifying athleticism and not about money? Isn't that why the golfers who withdrew were criticized?

They were perceived to be only interested in money and protecting their sponsor's rights over The Olympics Games rights.

Would they really sue, I wonder? If not, it's just hot air that creates a bad atmosphere and will boomerang instead. On what grounds would they sue? It seems pointless and I would hope they'd lose.

Mutt: Instead of opening up the Olympic Games to the whole world, as they claim - they are demonstrating that they really are more interested in protecting commercial rights in order to make money than spreading any gospel or growing an interest in any sport.

Do they want us to pretend the Olympics are not happening? Surely, this is not in the true spirit of The Olympics?

If Usain Bolt wins, his shoe sponsor can't use a picture of him from the Olympics. Or mention the words "gold medal." Sheeeeesh!

Jeff: In heaven's name why would golf want to be associated with such hypocrisy? It's all about money but there is no prize money in a golf tournament for professionals!

Mutt: In spite of the skepticism expressed, the Zika threat is very real and the consequences are extremely grave. There is an emerging 'Zika Situation' in Florida too where Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy live.

Will that influence them to consider their future residency there, I wonder?

Jeff: I have seen a flyover video of The Olympic Course at Rio - it looks beautiful but brutally hard; water and swamplands on every hole.

I can't see how playing on such a difficult course in 'average winds of 25mph' will help 'grow the game' - picking a winner will be relatively easy because most of the field won't be able to hack it. Expect some big numbers.

I am sad for the Track and Field athletes who are genuine Olympians that work so hard but are dependent on such a corrupt organization. Golfers don't need The Olympics for recognition. It's a waste of their time and resources.

Mutt: I can't see how certain Hashtags could be illegal or how pursuing them litigiously is enforceable.

Jeff: Instead of all of this talk about the dangers of Zika and sponsors and 'commercial partners' protecting their turf, I'm more interested in criticizing the PGA Tour and European Tour's lame, non-transparent, anti-doping policies.

I wouldn't be surprised if some players are dodging The Olympics because they don't want to submit to a much more stringent regime.

Wise Quotes From Ace Golf Coach Pete Cowen

IF you can get rid of one side of the course, golf is easy to play but if you bring both sides of the course into play, well, hard luck! We do too much punishment practice.

Punishing yourself into being a good player or punishing yourself for not playing well enough is not productive. In 1979, I finished 56th in the OoM.

56th would win E600000 now but I lost money that year. I was 28 and had responsibilities, so I took a club job. The guy who finished one place in front of me that year was Bernhard Langer – he was four or five years younger.

I'll never know how things might have turned out if I had carried on but I couldn’t afford to. Club head speed and initial velocity are close to the limit. Driver technology is running out of ideas. Any extra distance, in future, will be dependent on the properties of the golf ball. Previously, golf balls tended to reach a peak in flight before dropping to earth quite sharply. Golf ball dimples are now being created to improve 'aerodynamic fly-ability.' Manufacturers are working on how toslow down the descent of the ball by keeping it in the air longer. It's a more sophisticated version of what I have always known: If you want to hit the ball further, hit it higher!