The Boston neighbor that is home to the golf course that hosted the 1999 Ryder Cup and will likely welcome the 2022 U.S. Open wants nothing to do with the 2024 Olympics.
The Boston Globe reported that Town Meeting members in Brookline, Mass., voted Thursday night to oppose the efforts of pro-Olympic organizers to welcome the ’24 summer games, which presumably would include golf at The Country Club.
The vote occurred amid increasingly bitter public debates between those for and against efforts to host the events by Boston 2024, the organization that has also undergone a recent overhaul of those in command of the city’s bid to the United States Olympic Committee. In addition, the potential Olympic marathon course, a route different from that of the yearly Boston Marathon, would apparently snake through the leafy Massachusetts suburb.
The Country Club “trustees” support the proposed use of the championship course for the Olympics, according to Boston 2024’s early listing of possible sporting venues. Organizers, however, apparently never consulted with the town that houses the club that has staged three U.S. Opens and the 2013 U.S. Amateur in which amateur Francis Ouimet triumphed.
The famed venue will likely be remembered most fondly as the place where Justin Leonard drained the dramatic putt on the 17th green that brought the Americans from four points down to win the legendary 1999 Ryder Cup.
For sure, Brookline is no stranger to hosting major golf events. Last month, the town agreed to discuss plans to stage the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club, negotiations for which must be wrapped up by the end of October.
“The Town is proud of its historical and cultural association with the Country Club,” town administrator Melvin Kleckner told us in an e-mail at the time. “I believe the U.S. Open would celebrate this historical and cultural value and provide a boost to the local economy.”
A potential Olympics running through Brookline was obviously not so well-received after Boston triumphed over Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., as the only U.S. city with a chance to host the ’24 games. The town has now officially added its voice to opposition to the Olympics that has been vehement and growing.
Even if Boston 2024’s attempts to win the Olympics bid were to prevail, by the way, there is no guarantee that golf would be on the docket. The sport will return to the Olympics next year in Rio de Janeiro for the first time since 1904 and will be included in the 2020 games in Tokyo, but its future in the summer games beyond that remains us up in the air.