Hanse wins Olympics design race

Gil Hanse will lead the golf course design team for the 2016 Olympics, not Nicklaus, Player or Norman.

Lesser known Gil Hanse has been preferred to World renowned Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Greg Norman as the man to lead the team that will design the golf course in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic games.

The fact that Nicklaus, Player and Norman have, between them, designed some of the world’s most highly-rated course seems to have counted for nought.

The Rio 2016 committee responsible for selecting Hanse and the LPGA’s Amy Alcott, who will assist him in planning the layout set to host the first Olympic golf contest in 112 years, have announced that they had selected Hanse’s design company because it was “the candidate that most aptly met the selection criteria.”

A key factor in their choice, the committee said, was that the course should be designed in such a way so as to best accommodate both elite and amateur athletes, one of their main legacy objectives.

“It also addressed the environmental sustainability directives for the Games and efficiently conformed to the building restrictions on the land.”
said Peter Dawson, president of the International Golf Federation and chief executive of the Royal and Ancient Club.

“The selection process adopted by Rio 2016 was extremely thorough and reflected the importance of the project.

“I am delighted Hanse Golf Course Design has been appointed to design the Olympic golf course, which promises to provide an outstanding venue for the Games and a tremendous legacy for our sport in Brazil,” Dawson added

Nicklaus was set to team up with Swede Annika Sorenstam, while Norman had arranged to work alongside Mexican Lorena Ochoa.

After the 2016 Games the course, about three miles from the athletes village, will be used as a public facility.