The Alliance: The International Golf Federation — led by Ty Votaw, 47 — has helped make golf's Olympic dream a reality

Ty Votaw.
Ben Van Hook

"The effort to make golf an Olympic sport for 2016 started with a meeting at Augusta in April 2008 with Augusta officials, leaders of the PGA of America, PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour and the R&A.

\n"I was asked to lead the campaign on the American side, but many people deserve credit, especially my partner [R&A Executive Director] Peter Dawson. It's amazing — I don't think so many disparate golf organizations have ever cooperated in this way.

\n"Everyone agrees that this Olympic berth will mean enormous global growth for the game, bringing it to people who have never picked up a club. If our effort was a tournament, then you could say we made the cut in June, with a well-received presentation to the International Olympic committee in Lausanne [Switzerland]. It was on a Monday at IOC headquarters. I arrived on Saturday, but my luggage didn't make it. I ran out to a department store to buy a new charcoal suit, a tie, shirt and dress shoes.

\n"The committee members burst into applause after our video presentation, which featured Tiger Woods and Lorena Ochoa. That's my lucky tie now. It would have been a shame if the Olympic bid had fallen through because I showed up wearing seersucker pants."
— Ty Votaw, executive director, International Golf Federation

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