Rio 2016: Gilbert Hanse Will Design the Golf Course for the Olympics

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2012


It's official, Hanse Golf Course Design has been selected by the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games to create the course that will welcome back golf after a 112-year absence.

Gilbert Hanse, founder and president of the company, decided to team up with Amy Alcott, a former LPGA member. Together they came up with a eco-friendly project that suits men and women, but also that will make Brazilians more interested in the sport.

He wasn't the only one to take a partner. Jack Nicklaus was working along with Swedish former world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam, and Greg Norman did the same with Lorena Ochoa, with whom he's working in other courses, like Mayakoba II in Mexico. Gary Player was also part of the bid.

So, when will the construction start? "The time line that's been developed is to break ground in October of this year. I think given that climate, warm season grasses, we should be able to get the golf course up and running by the middle end of 2014," he said in a live conference.

Gilbert Hanse also pointed out that he and his family are moving to Rio and that he is open to hear from other bidders about what they see on the land where the course will be set up.

In a statement published on his website, Hanse said that "we are excited that our body of work has been deemed to be of a standard that will provide a great stage for the Olympic games while providing a long lasting legacy for the game of golf in Brazil."

According to the Rio 2016 organizers, the Hanse Golf Course Design project "addressed environmental sustainability for the Games and efficiently conformed to the building restrictions on the land."


Hanse Golf Course Design has built nine courses in the United States and two in Scotland. Some of their new projects will be located in South Korea, China, Mexico and Canada.

Take a look at Rio 2016 golf course blueprint.