Rio organizers began what they called the final step of work on the 2016 Olympic golf course Tuesday, planting grass on the first of 18 holes.
The predicted timeline of grass growth is 11 months.
“We have taken another important step in constructing the Olympic golf course today,” said Agberto Guimarães, Rio 2016 Director of Sport and Paralympic Integration. “The planting of grass is the last construction activity for each hole on the course, following the completion of the earthworks, irrigation and finishing.”
Work on the course has sped up in the last two months, the International Golf Federation president recently said. Still, holding a proposed test event one year before the Olympics is improbable. The Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony is Aug. 5, 2016.
Golf is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904, and the course construction has been the subject of much scrutiny. The International Olympic Committee recently sent its executive director to Rio de Janeiro to monitor day-to-day progress in delayed preparations across many areas, including golf.
“The start of the grassing phase for the Olympic golf course is an important event in the development of the course,” course designer Gil Hanse said. “We are excited to begin this phase and to focus on the detail and craftsmanship that will make this a special golf course.”