St Augustine, Florida, United States: With the growing excitement for golf’s return to the Olympics this summer, the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum has announced the opening of its ‘Road to Rio’ Olympic exhibition.
Amy Alcott, World Golf Hall of Fame Member and architectural design consultant on the Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, cut the ceremonial ribbon to signify the opening of the new Hall of Fame exhibition.
“I think we created a special golf course that the city of Rio will be proud of long after we’re gone,” said Alcott. “And as I stand here in the World Golf Hall of Fame’s ‘Road to Rio’ exhibit, I feel much closer to the project. While I wish I would’ve had the opportunity to play in the Olympics for my country, being here is really the next best thing.”
Located upstairs adjacent to the Nancy Lopez exhibit, the ‘Road to Rio’ exhibition takes guests on a historical journey through Olympic golf, beginning in 1900 when golf was first played in the Olympics, to the 1904 Games in St Louis – the last time golf was included in the Olympic schedule.
Fast-forward to 112 years later, golf will make its return to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August.
The featured artifacts in the ‘Road to Rio’ exhibition are two rare gold and silver medals won by H. Chandler Egan at the 1904 Summer Games. Egan’s medals represent his achievements in the individual and team competitions.
Egan, a Chicago native and a member of the Exmoor Country Club, was captain of the Western Golf Association team that won the gold medal at Glen Echo Country Club in St Louis. Additionally, he won the individual silver medal, finishing runner-up to Canadian George Lyon.
The medals, which have been insured for US$350,000 by the Egan family, are on loan to the Museum for a limited period.
“As the anticipation for golf’s return to the Olympics continues to mount, we are honoured to showcase these rare medals and help champion the Egan legacy,” said Jack Peter, President of World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum. “The family deserves to be commended for preserving these medals for so many years and for choosing to show them to golf fans everywhere.”
In addition to seeing the Olympic medals, fans visiting the exhibit can learn more about the Olympic qualifiers, the Olympic uniform changes from 1900 to 2016, and even take a photo atop the Olympic podium holding their country’s flag.
Visitors can also dive into Egan’s extraordinary golf career, which included back-to-back US Amateur Championship victories in 1904 and 1905, as well as four Western Amateur titles. Egan, who later designed nearly 20 golf courses, was a member of USA’s Walker Cup-winning team in 1934.
The Olympic men’s competition in Rio is scheduled for August 11-14, with the women’s competition scheduled for August 17-20.