A small field of Brazilian competitors has played the first official round on the new 2016 Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The course was designed and built by Architect Gil Hanse, winner of an international competition in which he partnered with the Larkin Group as Sustainability Managers. “I’m extremely pleased to be able to marry Gil Hanse’s aesthetic with the Larkin Group’s model of environmental sustainability,” said CEO, Owen Larkin. We think this will be a rare opportunity to present golf and sustainability on the international stage.”
When the original announcement was made, the president of Rio 2016,Carlos Arthur Nuzman, applauded the return of golf to the Games and also the potential of this course to have an impact. “As it marks the return of golf to the Olympic Games after over a century of absence, this course represents the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the sport… it will be an example of sustainability and preservation of an environmentally protected area,” said Nuzman.
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Gil Hanse acknowledged the Larkin Group, for “creating an environmentally sustainable golf course template that will set the standards for this emerging golf market.”
“We have the opportunity to influence golf in a way it never has been,” said Dr. Frank Rossi, turfgrass expert. “During the Olympics, the whole world will see that it’s possible to design a course that’s challenging for professionals, playable for amateurs and with less environmental impact.”
David Fay, the former USGA Executive Director, threw his support behind Gil Hanse and the Larkin Group in the highly competitive competition to build the Olympic Course, because of their “record of demonstrating environmental concern”Fay said, “They take a golf course and treat it in a minimalist fashion, understanding that after the games are completed the course returns to the people of Rio and Brazil.”
The golf course is several miles south of Rio at the Reserva da Marapendi, which is adjacent to a lagoon. After the 2016 Games it will be used as a public course with the primary purpose of promoting golf in Brazil and throughout South America with an Academy to teach the next generation of Brazilian golfers.
Zoysia Fairways for the 2016 Olympic Golf Course: Golf Digest.com
© Larkin Group 2015