What excites Gil Hanse about designing the 2016 Olympic golf course?
I think it’s a chance for us — and when I say us, I mean Jim Wagner, who’s my design partner; we’ve been working together for almost 20 years — to present a model of what golf might appear to be because so many people will watch golf in the Olympics who have never watched golf before in their lives.
For our casual golf fans, it’s an opportunity for us to present what we believe the face of golf should be. It’s not necessarily always perfectly green and manicured with perfect white sand and bunkers; it’s much more a natural sort of landscape that ties into the surroundings and feels like it’s a part of the existing landscape.
It’s exciting for us that we’re being given the opportunity to present the face of the game to a lot of people. We want to create a course that provides drama and excitement. But I’ve said this before: At the end of the day, the Olympics are all about competition. It’s about the athletes. It’s about who does what, and hopefully the golf course isn’t a big part of the story. It’s obviously visually a big part of the story, but hopefully it’s more about the play, excitement and drama. That’s really the most exciting aspect of it. It’s an amazing opportunity to really represent the game of golf.