Course designer Gil Hanse has said that the Rio de Janeiro golf course, which has faced multiple setbacks due to lawsuits and environmental concerns, is “now in full grow-in mode.”
After a series of setbacks, the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro is finally finished. Course designer Gil Hanse said on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” that construction on the 2016 Olympics course is done and that “we’re now in full grow-in mode,” NBC Sports reported.
“By all accounts it’s going well,” Hanse said. “We’re still hopeful—the project has obviously had a lot of setbacks here and there along the way, so I can’t expect that it’s going to be completely smooth going forward.
“But we’re all enthused; the design is intact. They didn’t ask us to make any changes, so we’re proud of what’s being built.”
Despite lawsuits and delays because of land and environmental concerns, Hanse reported that those issues are “all behind us” and that “it’s full steam ahead.” Hanse said the last tees were sprigged in early December and that only the driving range needs to be grassed. Golf course superintendent Neil Cleverly has taken over the project, NBC Sports reported.
A test event will be staged in Rio later this year or early 2016. Golf is returning to the Olympics in summer 2016 for the first time since 1904, NBC Sports reported.
In other Olympic news, Boston, the U.S. city selected as the one that could stage the 2024 Olympic games, boasts a number of top golf courses, but at this early stage of the process, none of them appears to be in the running to host potential Olympians, SB Nation reported.
The Country Club in neighboring Brookline welcomed the 1999 Ryder Cup and would be an excellent venue for the ’24 games. Norton’s TPC Boston, site of the PGA Tour’s annual Deutsch Bank Championship, is some 35 miles from downtown, but would also make sense, especially since it so readily accommodates the thousands of fans who flow through the gates every Labor Day weekend, SB Nation reported.
With billions in private funds promised to construct and improve Boston’s infrastructure, athletic venue specifics are scant, dissent to hosting the Olympics is vocal, and the only course mentioned as a possible site for the games has been Franklin Park, which boosters concede would require a massive overhaul to become Olympics-ready, SB Nation reported.
Boston mayor Marty Walsh “said potential Olympic venues like Boston Common and the golf course at Franklin Park would also see an upgrade if Boston hosted the games,” according to the Boston Globe.
“‘Those all get restored to better than they were when we went in there,’” Walsh said. ‘There’s really an opportunity here.’”
With that in mind, here are some of the courses within the Boston metropolitan area that may or may not be under consideration in 2024:
- William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park
- George Wright Golf Course
- The Country Club
- TPC Boston
- Boston Golf Club