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.
"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!