Forty shades of green: Golf, national identity and the Olympic Games

Katie/K Liston, niamh kitching

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The arrival of the Ryder Cup in 2006 initiated a period of unprecedented golfing successin Ireland. From 2007 to 2014 nine of the thirty two major golf championships werewon by players from both north and south of the border: Padraig Harrington, DarrenClarke, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy. With the advent of golf into the 2016 Olympic Games, itself a key site for the construction of the nation, the allegiances of golfers from Northern Ireland has become more prominent in media coverage. This research examines how print and online newspapers have reported the national and regional identities of the four golfers in the years 2006 to 2015. Content and thematicanalysis are carried out on four news media outlets in order to assess the presentation of the national character on the island of Ireland. Anderson’s derivation of the nation asan ‘imagined community’ in the context of time, circumstances and environment is important throughout. The researchers are sensitive as to whether the coverage has changed over the time period, and what it reveals, if anything, about patriotism, national identities, and the sport-media nexus. While golf in Ireland is governed on an all-island basis, initial analysis on coverage of the players’ feats identifies a variety of labels, from European to Irish and British. With golf historically identified as an individual, classbasedsport devoid of flags and nationalistic tendencies, this study aims to make a new contribution to sport, media and the mobilisation of ethnic, civic or banal nationalisms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherNot applicable
Number of pages0
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 12 Jun 2015
EventEuropean Association for Sociology of Sport - Dublin
Duration: 12 Jun 2015 → …


ConferenceEuropean Association for Sociology of Sport
Period12/06/15 → …


  • Golf
  • national identity
  • Ireland


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