Nicklaus comments on Hanse's winning design


Following the announcement of Gil Hanse as the winner of the Olympic design contest in Brazil, the other finalists in the quest to shape the stage for golf’s return to the Games after a 112-year absence offered congratulations.

“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Gil and his design team,” said Jack Nicklaus in a statement.

“Obviously, Gil’s commitment and desire to do the best possible job, along with his all-in commitment to the committee in Brazil, was an important determining factor to the group. I am sure he will do a fine golf course. The Olympics, and the legacy that golf course will have the opportunity to create, will be in good hands,” he said.

Partner Annika Sorenstam said in a post on her website, “I would like to congratulate Gil Hanse and Amy Alcott on being awarded the bid to design the 2016 Rio Olympic golf course. It is an honor to have been a finalist for this opportunity. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jack and his team and learned a lot from one of the best in the industry. This is an exciting time for golf.” 

Tom Doak, who Hanse worked under at Renaissance Golf Design in the early 90s, showed pride for his pupil. 

“I've known Gil for 25 years - he worked for me for three years when he was starting in the business, at Black Forest and at Stonewall. I told him in December that if we didn't get the design job in Rio, I hoped that he got it. I'm sure he will do a great job,” said Doak in an email.

'I want to congratulate Gil Hanse and Amy Alcott on winning the competition,' fellow architect Robert Trent Jones II said in a telephone interview. Of his own bid, he said, 'Like any sportsman who gets to compete at the Olympic level, it was clearly worth the effort. My feelings are mixed between the personal disappointment of not being selected but also happiness that a worthy golf architect was selected.”

Gary Player issued an emailed statement, saying, 'I met Gil in Rio and he seems like a fine gentleman.  I am sure he will do a wonderful job designing the course for the 2016 Games in Rio and I congratulate him on being awarded the project.”

Lorena Ochoa tweeted her congratulatory message, which when translated, reads: Congratulations to Hanse Golf Course Design and Amy Alcott for being selected to design the golf course for the Olympic Games!

GTC reached out to representatives for Greg Norman, Martin Hawtree and the duo of Peter Thomson and Ross Perrett. They have yet to offer comment.