HISTORY OF GOLF IN FISU
Often considered as an elite sport, Golf has lately become very popular amongst university student-athletes. During a visit in Sardinia, Italy in 1984, the former FISU President Dr Primo Nebiolo submitted the idea of including this sport in the competitions organised by the NUSFs. Two years later, in October 1986, the first World University Golf Championship was held in Cagliari, on the island of Sardinia, Italy. The event was staged by the Is Molas Golf Club, also known for the organisation of the Italian Open in 1976.
This very selective course enabled FISU and mostly the public, to form a first impression about the level of participants, some of whom had already had impressive records. The line-up was of a very high level at the time; there were such figures as the first World University champion, Ko Cockerill (USA) who was also the first US female champion in 1986, and Marco Durante from Italy, who was the winner of the Orange Bowl in 1979.
The Golf event always takes place on magnificent sites. The prestigious settings of La Grande Motte in France, Palma de Mallorca and San Lorenzo in Spain, and Lausanne in Switzerland have hosted previous editions. The following World University Golf Championship, which was played in San Lameer Golf club in South Africa, was also remarkable.
On the course, both beautiful and complicated, a few players managed to complete the rounds in less than 70 strokes (on a 72 par), with Taipei’s Wei Yun-Jie scoring 68, and America’s Jones and South Africa’s Albert finishing with 69. Bubba Watson competed at this event and is now a multiple Major winner having won the Masters Tournament in 2012 and 2014.
Other prestigious courses that have hosted events are Sun City (South Africa), Mission Hills (Shenzhen, China) and Crans Montana (Switzerland). We may conclude that the World University Golf Championship maintains its status as a favourite, not only among the world’s amateur Golf tournaments, but also and especially, among FISU competitions. In 2010, the Championship was hosted by the Spanish University Sport Federation (CEDU) on the course of Antequera (Malaga) and was really successful, setting at the time the participation record for a FISU World University Golf Championship with 135 golfers, but only to be surpassed by Liberec (Czech Republic) with 146 in 2012.
This is the record for a Championship but 157 golfers from 30 countries participated in the Shenzhen 2011 Summer Universiade when Golf was an optional sport. The Men’s Individual Champion was Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) on 19 under par who turned professional in 2013 and won in January 2014 won the Memorial Tournament.
The 2020 WUC Golf was supposed to take place in Taichung (TPE) and was unfortunately cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.