Golf and rugby sevens are set to return to the Olympics in 2016 after being shortlisted from seven candidate sports by the IOC's executive board.
The two sports last featured in the Olympics more than 80 years ago, and a final vote on their inclusion will be held at the IOC session in Copenhagen in October.
The other five sports - squash, softball, baseball, roller sports and karate - will need to wait another four years before attempting to make it on to the Games programme.
The IOC president Jacques Rogge says the decision came down to which sports would add most value to the Games programme.
Rugby was first to be shortlisted, getting the necessary majority votes in just two rounds of voting, but another two rounds were needed before golf was chosen ahead of karate.