Olympic Preview: The Olympic Golf Course
The newly-created Olympic Golf Course, Barra da Tijuca, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will host golf's return to the Olympic Games, beginning August 11.
Released on 8/2/2016
|Director of Photography:||Christian Iooss|
(serene piano music)
I was blown away by the golf course.
Both by how it looks
and by what went into making it look the way it does.
Just on its own merits,
it's a beautiful piece of land.
It's a beautiful design with a lot of clever touches,
but the superintendent also had to hire workers
and train them from scratch to build this place,
and when you think about what was there,
you know, this was a dump site essentially.
You had tires and rebar and alligators
that were all over the property.
They built this amazing place
with labor they trained from nothing.
It's a fascinating, a fascinating place
and I think it's gonna look great on TV.
When I went out on the course,
it just looked fantastic (laughs).
It looked like as well groomed
and well maintained a golf course as you can imagine,
I mean, the bunker faces are just like razor cut,
and just one of the most gorgeous things I've ever seen.
The process to select the Olympic course architect
was a closed door process.
Golf Digest architecture editor Ron Whitten
did a lot of dogged reporting talking to every source
and checking it over and over again
to find out the real story
of how Gil Hanse was selected,
and what really emerges is that
he was kind of a compromise pick between the judges.
Gil's just a very good architect
who the players will, I think, end up
appreciating the course, speak highly of it.
The quality of the play will be reflected
because it will test the best players
and reward the best players.
Neil Cleverly is the only man who can claim
the title of Superintendent Olympic Golf Course.
He had an impossible task of taking
a hundred acres and turning Gil Hanse's design
into a world class golf course.
In addition to just the challenges with labor,
land, terrible sand,
everything, they also had to deal with protesters
on an almost constant basis
during the first few months of construction.
So, it's a triumph that this thing got built.
The Olympic golf course,
I think is gonna be a big success.
It might be sort of the sleeper element
in why the Olympics
will end up welcoming golf.