The IOC name the 2016 Olympic host city on Friday and the world's top golfers will have a keen eye on the announcement as they look to see whether Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid or Rio de Janeiro will host golf's first Olympic event.
Seven years seems a long time away, but few who watched another superb performance from Rory McIlroy at the Seve Trophy last weekend would bet against the young Northern Irishman being one of the top contenders to win Olympic gold for...well what a minute...for who exactly?
McIlroy has already been asked by the media what he refers to as being an "awkward question" - who to represent at the Olympics: Ireland or Great Britain?
It is a horrible question to inflict on someone who is a dream poster boy for those who preach cross-community tolerance in the North.
McIlroy is a Catholic who grew up in a Protestant suburb; he went to a non-denominational school and has never uttered a word or shown an interest in religion or politics.
You suspect that if he ever moved to Glasgow and was looking to pick a local football team to support he would plump for Partick Thistle.
Irish golf, much like rugby, has always presented a united front, and indeed McIlroy will represent Ireland with another Ulsterman - Graeme McDowell - at the forthcoming World Cup in China.
So McIlroy has never before had to worry about choosing who to represent and you suspect he would prefer not to have to. However, the Irish and British Olympic associations have an agreement whereby sports stars from the North are free to choose who they would 'prefer' to represent.
When the question was put to him, McIlroy went for the least controversial answer he could think of.
"I'd probably play for Great Britain. I have a British passport," he said. "It's an awkward question still. It would be huge to play in an Olympics. I'd love to get an Olympic gold medal one day."
If that proved to be his final decision then you would hope that people respect it, but it is still sure to disappoint some in success-starved Ireland who have only ever won eight Olympic gold medals (less than half the 19 Great Britain won in Beijing alone) and whose last Olympic winner, triple swimming champion Michelle Smith in 1996, was banned for tampering with a urine sample later in her career.
Interestingly, if golf was in the Olympics tomorrow and McIlroy decided to compete for Great Britain he would not actually qualify.
The proposed format of the Olympic event would see 60 players compete. The top 15 in the world would qualify automatically and then the rest of the field would be made up of players who do not already have two representatives in the field.
That would leave Britain being represented by Paul Casey and Lee Westwood and McIlory missing out.
However, the Hollywood youngster would be eligible for the Irish team as the country's second highest ranked player after Padraig Harrington.
Nevertheless, you suspect, given his progress to-date, that McIlroy will be firmly entrenched in the world's top 15 come 2016. And if he manages to get on to that podium in Chicago, or Tokyo, or Madrid, or Rio would it really matter what flag was unfurled in his honour?
In such a scenario, both Ireland and Britain should jointly celebrate his triumph, as they should do with each of his successes along the way.
FIRST PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2009