Rio course gets first major test ahead of this summer’s Olympic competition


Rio course gets first major test ahead of this summer’s Olympic competition
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

The course that is to host the first Olympic golf competition in more than a century later this year has been tested in Brazil.

Nine Brazilian golfers took part in the Aquece Rio Golf Challenge as part of the new course’s inauguration last week.

Designed by architect Gil Hanse, the course is located at Reserva de Marapendi near Barra da Tijuca to the south-west of central Rio de Janeiro, around 9km from the Olympic Village.

During the Olympic tournament, the men’s course will extend over 6,522m, while the women’s competition will be fought out over a course of 5,944m in length.

“It’s been a long haul to get here,” said Peter Dawson, president of the International Golf Federation. “But at long last we’ve got a terrific golf course that’s going to ensure golf will have a successful turn in the Olympic Games.”

Dawson added that ‘very little needed to be done’ to the course ahead of the tournament itself taking place.

“We just need to attend to the details that will make the difference between a good tournament and a great tournament,” said International Golf Federation executive director Antony Scanlon.

A report from the Rio de Janeiro Department of Justice issued earlier this month found that the golf course has had a positive effect on the biodiversity of the site, including a 167 per cent increase in vegetation.

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games take place from 5-21 August, with the men’s golf event scheduled to take place from 11-14 August, and the women’s event from 17-20 August.