Proper agronomy a final test for Rio Games course

Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:27pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) - With the Olympic golf course for the 2016 Rio Games now constructed, the only concern ahead is whether the agronomy plan will be properly executed, International Golf Federation vice-president Ty Votaw told Reuters.

The Reserva de Marapendi layout, controversially built in an environmental reserve, was taken over at the weekend by the Brazilian Golf Confederation which will oversee ongoing maintenance before the Summer Games get underway in August.

"The biggest issue we have right now is making sure that there is a disciplined approach in executing the agronomy plan," Votaw told Reuters by telephone.

"We want the golf course to be brought into a condition that is at a level where golfers of this skill set can be satisfied in playing the golf course.

"We're gratified that construction is complete, we're gratified the golf course is completely grassed ... but this is a living, breathing venue that continues to need tender loving care and attention beyond just having grass that is green."

Golf will make its first appearance at the Olympics since 1904 after being voted back in, but the Reserva de Marapendi course has been snagged with problems over the past few years.

The Gil Hanse-designed layout was originally scheduled to be finished by 2014 to give organizers two years to iron out kinks but construction was held up for several months because of legal wrangling over land ownership and environmental issues.


An aerial view of the construction site of the Rio 2016 Olympic Golf venue in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, July 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes