Mark this date on your calendar because this is the day that golf design changed and changed for the better. Talent, pure talent won out over big names.
Gil Hanse's team is chosen to design the Rio 2016™ Olympics Golf Course
Hanse Design in my mind has been the most underrated design firm on the planet and now everyone from Donald Trump to the rest of the civilized world seems to know it.
Check out this from Hanse Golf Design's website:
Hanse Golf Design chosen as a designer for the Rio 2016™ Olympics Golf Course
(Official Statement from Gilbert S. Hanse for publication)
We want to take this opportunity to say how honored and humbled we are to have been selected to design the golf course for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. On behalf of everyone involved with the Hanse Golf Course Design presentation, thank you to the City of Rio de Janeiro, the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, and the International Golf Federation for placing their trust in us to deliver a course that will become the first course to host golf in the Olympics since 1904.
It has always been our goal to produce pleasurable and interesting golf courses, so needless to say 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 inBrazil. We will strive to produce a course that will maximize the benefits of the site while creating an identity that is in keeping with the natural terrain, vegetation and wildlife indigenous to what we believe will be transformed into a “picturesque” landscape which will make the people of Rio proud. As the interest of any course is ultimately felt in the way it plays, we hope to construct something that will prove to be a fascinating study in the many faces it presents: options, recovery shots, and a sense of whimsy are all critical components which we think will make the 2016 Olympic course fun to play. The traditions of the game and of its most artful designs have taught us so much, and it is within these traditions that we will seek to provide a joyful design that will reinforce in future generations the unique character of the courses upon which golf is played can be a singular experience in the world of sports.
As you can imagine and as only such an once-in-a-lifetime design commission deserves, this was a comprehensive process and I need to first and foremost thank Jim Wagner, my incredibly talented design partner. His creativity makes all of our work better. Also, a great debt of thanks to our partners on this project, Owen Larkin, head of The Larkin Group, Margie Larkin, David Fay along with Jeff Carlson and Frank Rossi, for creating an environmentally-sustainable golf course template that will set the standards for this emerging golf market. Furthermore, we have benefited greatly from the support of Hall of Famer Amy Alcott, who unselfishly accepted a supporting role on this project and brought her great playing and teaching credentials to our team. The technical support and advice of Tommy Naccarato, Andrea Lynch, Ian Andrew,and Larry Rodgers helped us to prepare a solid presentation that would certainly have been lacking if not for their considerable help. We also want to thank all of the clubs, co-workers, and friends who have supported us with work over these nearly 20 years, the sum of those experiences has put us in this position today. And lastly my deepest thanks and gratitude to my wonderful wife Tracey and family, Chelsea, Tyler, and Caley. They have sacrificed much in the way of my time, I hope in some way that the enjoyment of this accomplishment will help to repay that sacrifice.
Gilbert S. Hanse
Hanse Golf Design