Hanse says Olympic Golf Course is complete

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After a series of setbacks, the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro is finally finished.

Course designer Gil Hanse said Monday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” that construction on the 2016 Olympics course is done and that “we’re now in full grow-in mode.”

“By all accounts it’s going well,” he said. “We’re still hopeful – the project has obviously had a lot of setbacks here and there along the way, so I can’t expect that it’s going to be completely smooth going forward. 

“But we’re all enthused; the design is intact. They didn’t ask us to make any changes, so we’re proud of what’s being built.”

Despite lawsuits and delays because of land and environmental concerns, Hanse reported that those issues are “all behind us” and that “it’s full steam ahead.”

Hanse said the last tees were sprigged in early December and that only the driving range needs to be grassed. Golf course superintendent Neil Cleverly has taken over the project.

A test event will be staged in Rio later this year or early 2016. Golf is returning to the Olympics in summer 2016 for the first time since 1904.