Gil Hanse provides Rio 2016 Olympic Course update

Gil Hanse provides Rio 2016 Olympic Course update
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

With the 2016 Olympics now less than 18 months away, golf course architect Gil Hanse has given an update on the course he has designed for the games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Speaking to the Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella, Hanse said that from a construction standpoint the course is complete and now in ‘full grow-in mode’.

The architect said that the grass is coming on despite very dry conditions at the Reserva da Marapendi site. 

“Unfortunately it has been very dry. They’re in some kind of record drought right now and that’s not helpful to the grow-in of the course,” he said, “But, all-in-all, (it’s looking) very good.”

The project has encountered some hiccups along the way, but Hanse said that he felt none of the eight architects that bid for the project could have foreseen the process working out as it has.

“Every construction project you have is going to have ebbs and flows, and challenges,” he said. “I think that perhaps because of the enormity of this project and the potential ramifications of failure or success, there was a lot more pressure on this job.”

Hanse made it clear that any delays or disruptions have only affected the project’s timeline, and not the quality of the final product.

“(The delays) have not impacted the quality of the golf course, they’ve not impacted the design, and we’ve been allowed us to build what we want to build,” Hanse said. “We’ve just given a tour of the golf course to a pretty high-profile bunch and thankfully they all came away impressed.”

The course’s superintendent Neil Cleverly is now overseeing the grow-in of the course, which will host the first Olympic golf competition since 1904 in June 2016.