Rio Golf, Brinkmanship And The Future

To kick off Morning Drive's Design Week, we had to discuss the sad news out of Rio that not a thing has changed with the ownership, operational obstacles and overall state of affairs.

And I spoke with Gil Hanse to get the architect's side of things. Having seen just about everything imaginable there, he offered that he was bitterly disappointed but also said this for our Monday Golf World.

“We witnessed this type of brinksmanship during the construction of the course, and we are hopeful that this is another example of having to hit a low point before things get better.”

A friend emailed to say he debated the Rio golf course situation and came down on the side of letting it fail, with a quick return to the capybaras and many birds that have taken up residence. Given the poverty issues in Rio, the corruption of its government and the well-documented troubles of the past, I get that point of view.

In fact, I'd support walking away if the golf course and Brazillian Golf Federation had given things a shot and things just didn't pan out. But since we learned the course does not have signage, a website or any sign that an attempt is being made less than four months since golf made a magnificent return to the Olympic Games, it just doesn't feel right for the course to not have been given a chance to excite young players, test burgeoning ones or take the money of folks who want to test a brilliant design amidst a thriving natural environment.