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Wednesday
Jan212015

Rio Olympic Course Has No Name, But Grass Is Growing

Ryan Herrington of GolfDigest.com reports on the PGA Show unveiling of initial images (below) from Rio of the 2016 Olympic course, where the name has not been settled on but at this point no one seems to mind.

Herrington writes:

"We're just happy to have a golf course right now," joked Gil Hanse (below right), who along with Amy Alcott designed the course and participated with Peter Dawson of the R&A, Ty Votaw of the PGA Tour and tour pros Graeme McDowell and Suzann Pettersen in the discussion.

The laughter that followed from the entire panel underscored the relief being felt that finally, albeit months later than expected, all 18 holes of the course had been grassed and legal challenges to its construction had ended.

Golfweek's Brad Klein writes about the initial impressions of the layout, which have arrived as Hanse and Alcott billed in their presentation to win the job.

What counts is that the layout – at 7,350 yards, a par 71 – has a wide-open, linksy feel to it. It’s built on sand, brings no trees into play and offers several paths and avenues for greenside recovery from the side and behind. It also features lots of what Hanse calls “half-par” holes – short and long par 3s and par 4s and reachable, risk-reward par 5s. Amy Alcott, an LPGA Hall of Famer and design consultant to Hanse on the project, is especially proud of the finishing stretch. Those present opportunities for birdies if players take the risk – as they well might at the reachable par-4 16th hole.

The images presented in Orlando and courtesy of Hanse Design. The sandbelt influence is strong in this one!

 

 

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Reader Comments (18)

Looks surprisingly good - even the mixture of mountains and high rises in the background are 'nice' - but all will depend on whether the grass will be fast or slow to play over.
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
......and wind. Any wind in that part of the world or sideways rain?
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
Looks a lot more like Queensland than the sandbelt
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterSwan
Just call it Trump Rio GC because he'll own it eventually
Still young, but the brilliance is already there. Gil's bunkering is both beautiful and diabolical (at times).
Goff: Looking at the last photo, and comparing it to the original routing map, do you think we are looking at the corner where 16/17/2 come together?
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterSouthSHore
I think it looks a bit unnatural, actually. On a piece of land that would be thick with trees if you left it alone, a golf course gets built where the cut down every tree? That's dishonest to that plot of land's native environment, even if it looks nice. I don't like it when people try to make a course in Arizona look like Florida, and I don't think you should try to make a course in a jungle look like the Australian sandbelt.
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterJim S
Funny enough I'v never seen high rise buildings in a jungle!
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterScott
Just to be helpful:

First image is the 8th from the dune left of the 7th green
Second is short par four 9th from about 200 yards back
Third "appears" to be the landing on the 7th - green is against dune in distance
Ariel shows 13 (dogleg right), 14 (par 3) playing towards water and 15 (dogleg left) in foreground
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterIan Andrew
Quite impressed with the first sighting although you would need to play it to know. Anyone wanting to build a Florida course would have to be crazy surely?! Is there a hill or natural feature in the county?!
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterChico
So, if it survives there are now two good reasons to visit Rio, one more compelling than the other!
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
@ Jim S - Thick with trees? Here's a google streetview image of the site...taken long before construction begun.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Parque+Natural+Mun.+de+Marapendi,+Rio+de+Janeiro+-+RJ,+Brazil/@-23.000262,-43.40726,3a,45y,201.76h,90.32t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1slGO4wd5k60MnrYXCNblQGA!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x9bdc976d43a4ad:0x1dc174513e0618

Doesn't look like there's any trees there...maybe closer to the water, but generally all I see is a lot of fescue and scrub. Maybe that's the result of development around it...but more likely, if left alone, the place would have grown thick with a shopping mall and hotel.
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlex H
Looking good. I feel bad for Gil and the drama he's dealt with. I'm hoping his course shines and golf makes a successful debut in the 2016 Olympics.
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterCraig A
Hoping this project leads to more work for Amy Alcott, one of the great people in the game.
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterMedia Driven
Yeah, it needs some trees.
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterGW
Thanks Ian Andrew- I see it now.
01.22.2015 | Unregistered CommenterSouthShore
"I've been to a city had a course with no name, it was good to be..."
Hey, I got the earworm and misery loves company.
01.22.2015 | Unregistered Commenterdbh
I kind of like it. Looks a bit links-y with the bumps and lack of trees.
01.23.2015 | Unregistered CommenterThe O

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