Rio golf course will be ready on time: Hanse

Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:33pm EDT
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By Bernie McGuire

CRAIL, Scotland (Reuters) - The Rio de Janeiro golf course for next year's Olympic Games will be ready for the start of competition in just under 18 months' time, according to designer Gil Hanse.

Golf is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 and the International Golf Federation (IGF) has proposed a 72-hole stroke play tournament for the men's and women's events.

Hanse won the role to design the Rio course ahead of the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Nick Faldo and the combined bid of Greg Norman and Annika Sorenstam.

Now, some 2-1/2 years after being handed the Rio design, Hanse, who won acclaim for his design of the Castle Stuart course in Scotland, has signed off on the troublesome project.

"Everyone who has been following the story knows the project went on a bit longer than we anticipated so to now have the design complete and turned over for growing is a huge hurdle we've negotiated," Hanse told Reuters in an interview.

"It's also very timely because any later and the golf course would not be mature enough for the Olympics.

"I now feel good about the time frame as it relates to preparations for competition and we feel about what we designed and how it's all come together so it's all positive."