Olympic champion David Wilkie has rubbished claims by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player that golf won’t grow globally due to top stars not playing in this summer’s Games in Brazil as “absolute bulls**t”.
Wilkie, who won the 200 metre breaststroke at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, was responding to claims that the likes of major winners Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel pulling out of the Games in Rio would hurt the sport.
The Scot said that, as an already wealthy game, golf wouldn’t get a boost from being in the Olympics.
Wilkie said: “Golf doesn’t need any stimulation, it doesn’t need a wider audience, and if people in these countries are going to play golf, it’ll never, ever filter down to the poorer people so I think what they’re saying is absolute bulls**t.”
Speaking to bunkered.co.uk, Wilkie, referring to remarks by Nicklaus and Player, added: “I think they’re just looking after their own psyche in the sense that they want to build more golf courses because of the money they’ll get paid for designing them.
“It’s utter rubbish to pretend that, by making golf part of the Olympic Games, you’re going to attract a poor guy in India to play. They just can’t afford it.”