A Brazilian judge ruled that no more ground can be broken at the site of the course that is scheduled to host golf’s return to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The thing is, course construction was completed months ago and the recent work at layout designed by Gil Hanse has focused on grassing the course. Ten holes have been grassed, with five more scheduled for sodding when Hanse visits the site next week.
“It is in society’s interests that the Olympics take place, and it’s also in society’s interests that the environment be preserved,” Judge Eduardo Klausner said. “What has to be observed is legality, and within legality is respect for the environment.”
Klausner, presiding over a lawsuit brought against the city and the developer, scheduled a Sept. 17 hearing to try to resolve the dispute, which reportedly might force the routing of some holes to be changed.
Hanse and Ty Votaw, PGA Tour executive and vice president of the International Golf Federation, would not comment.
The Olympic course has had problems from the start with permitting, construction and environmental issues at the 240-acre plot in the Marapendi Municipal Reserve in Rio de Janeiro’s Barra da Tijuca district.
The course was approved in 2012 when Rio’s city council passed an ordinance that allowed the area to be used as a golf course, and city government then granted the appropriate permits.