Video: Architect Gil Hanse on Olympics golf course
By Joe Logan Published April 28, 2013
Malvern-based Gil Hanse is one of the best and busiest golf course architects
in the business.These days, Hanse is temporarily living Rio de Janeiro, where he is
designing the golf course for the 2016 Olympics.
To win the contract, Hanse beat out a handful of the most successful and
celebrated architects in the world, including Gary Player, Greg Norman, Jack
Nicklaus and Tom Doak.
Hanse will be the first one to tell you that much of his
sales pitch to potential clients is his "hands-on" approach.When you hire Hanse,
you get Hanse on a bulldozer, not an architect who
turns most of the work over to underlings, then jets in on occasional to check
on the project.In the case of the
Olympics course, Hanse promised to move to Rio to
personally oversee construction.
Ground-breaking on the
project was delayed for months while the course’s developer sought to get
permits to work in environmentally protected areas.For a time, there was also considerable
debate about who had the rights to develop the parcel where the course is being
built.For Hanse, much of that has been inconvenient background noise,
as we went about turning his vision into a reality.
I was lucky enough to play a
round of golf with Hanse on Saturday at the GC at
Glen Mills, an annual rite of spring for us.He was back home to prepare for a
presentation at Winged Foot on Sunday, before flying to Scotland on Monday to
give a speech to the R&A.
Joining us for our round
were golf writer Jeff Silverman, Dr. Eric Stake and, accompanying us sans golf
clubs, Tom Paul, a friend of Hanse’s and a golf
course design aficionado.When traffic backed up on one tee, I grabbed my video camera and put a
few questions to Hanse about the Olympics project.