‘Road to Rio’ exhibit features rare Olympic golf medals, turn-of-the-century artifacts


There’s less than a month left before the start of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but Olympic enthusiasts won’t have to travel that far to experience Olympic history.

“The Road to Rio,” a new Olympic golf exhibit at World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum, opened June 23 and features rare gold and silver Olympic medals won by H. Chandler Egan at the 1904 Summer Games in St. Louis – the last time golf was part of the Olympic schedule. The sport will make its highly anticipated return to the Summer Olympic Games this August: The Olympic men’s competition in Rio is scheduled for August 11-14, with the women’s competition scheduled for August 17-20, both at 72 holes of stroke play.

“As the anticipation for golf’s return to the Olympics continues to mount, we are honored 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.”

Egan’s medals represent his achievements in the individual and team competitions at the 1904 Olympics. A Chicago native and member of the Exmoor Country Club, Egan was captain of the Western Golf Association team that won the gold medal at Glen Echo Country Club in St. Louis. He also won the silver medal in the individual competition, finishing second to Canadian George Lyon.

The medals, which have been insured for $350,000 by the Egan family, are on loan to the museum for a limited period.

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 golf career, which included back-to-back U.S. 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.