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This summer all paths lead to Paris and its surrounding cities for the much-awaited 2024 Summer Olympics. After over a century of missing in action, golf returned to the games in 2016. Now, golfers and National Olympic Committees worldwide are working round the clock to ensure participation. The golf tournaments will take place at Le Golf National’s Albatros course in Guyancourt just outside Paris, famous for being the site for the 2018 Ryder Cup and host of the Open de France on the DP World Tour. So how can the world’s best qualify for the competition?


Golf’s debut in the Summer Olympic Games is officially acknowledged to have occurred in 1900 and 1904, even though the 1900 competitions were not considered to be official games at the time. In 1908, there was supposed to be a golf tournament, but it was cancelled less than two days before it was supposed to begin. In 1920, there were two scheduled golf tournaments, but they were cancelled because not enough people entered.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to bring back the sport for the 2016 Summer Olympics during its meeting in Copenhagen in October 2009. The organisation that oversees golf at the Olympic Games is the International Golf Federation. The Official World Golf Rankings for men and women serve as the primary basis for qualification. The top 15 players in each gender automatically qualify (up to four players per nation), followed by the top two players from the remaining nations.


“The Game of Golf consists of playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules” is the first rule, which succinctly summarises the basic rules of the game. Different clubs are used by players according to different factors, such as playing surface and distance to the hole.

Counting the number of shots a player needs to finish an 18-hole course played four times over four days is the Olympic golf format, known as stroke play. At the conclusion of the four rounds, the player with the fewest strokes wins the competition.


The International Golf Federation (IGF), of which Annika Sörenstam is president, is the body tasked with overseeing golf at the Summer Olympics. The organization employs an Olympic Golf Ranking (OGR) system to determine which players will participate, which essentially mirrors the men’s and women’s World Rankings. The OGR considers several ranking tournaments, with points awarded to golfers based on their final positions in each event. The IGF’s points distribution schedule is such that performances in events with stronger fields earn more points.

Golfers accumulate OGR points over a two-year “rolling” period, with points earned in the most recent 13-week period weighted at a full percentage of their original value. After that initial phase, points lose value by 1.1% for each of the remaining 91 weeks before dropping off the player’s 2-year record entirely. Going by this criteria, qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics began in July 2022. The OGR is ordered by average points per player, calculated by dividing the player’s total number of ranking points by the number of tournaments played. A minimum divisor of 35 events applies to the women’s OGR, with 40-52 events applying for the men’s OGR.


120 golfers, 60 for each of the men’s and women’s competitions, will participate. Out of the 120 quota places, two quota places, one per gender, are set aside for the host nation, France. The remaining 118 quota places (59 per gender) will be allocated based on the OGR rankings, with a deadline of June 17, 2024, for men and June 24, 2024, for women. 

The top 15 players in the OGR men and women categories will be selected by name for the Olympics, with a limit of four players per NOC/country. The remaining spots will go to players beyond the top fifteen, with a maximum of two eligible athletes per NOC that doesn’t already have two or more golfers among the top 15. Each of the Olympic Movement’s five continents must also be represented by at least one athlete in each of the men’s and women’s competitions, respectively.

The continental spots are allocated to the highest-ranked players on the OGR from the regions without representation. The IGF publishes Reallocation Reserve Lists every week outlining the next highest-ranked athletes by name. France reserves a direct spot in both the men’s and women’s tournaments as the host nation, but if French golfers qualify regularly through the OGR rankings, their unused spots will be reallocated to the next highest-ranked eligible players. OGR rankings are updated on the IGF website every Tuesday.


Olympic golf events will run from August 1-10. The men’s competition will occur from August 1-4, with the women’s tournament running from August 7-10. Both events will feature 72-hole stroke play competitions across four days, with the top three finishers bagging gold, silver, and bronze medals, respectively. The stroke play format involves counting the total shots a player takes to reach the end of the course, so the male and female golfers with the fewest strokes after the four rounds will win Olympic gold.


Winning an Olympic medal is a great honor in every athlete’s career, and so many of the world’s best will be putting up their best fight at Le Golf National. Defending gold medallists Xander Schauffele and Nelly Korda will seek to retain their titles, but they will face stiff competition from the rest of the field. Host nation France will look up to Celine Boutier, Mattieu Pavon, and Victor Perez, who have been flying the country’s flag high in the golfing world. Some golfers have also reportedly opted out of the 2024 Olympics, such as Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott, and Tyrrell Hatton.

As of writing, the top 5 male golfers on the OGR are:

  • Scottie Scheffler
  • Rory McIlroy
  • Xander Schauffele
  • Jon Rahm
  • Wyndham Clark

Top 5 female golfers on the OGR:

  • Nelly Korda
  • Lilia Vu
  • Celine Boutier
  • Ruoning Yin
  • Minjee Lee


The 2024 Paris Olympics are only a few months out, but golfers still have a couple of OGR-eligible events where they can try to improve their ranking. Players must also respect and comply with the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of Manipulation of Competitions, the World Anti-Doping Code, and the Olympic Charter. Golfers must also be listed by name on the OGR and be in good standing with the IGF and their National Federation.