Just when the golf course for the 2016 Rio Olympics started showing some signs of life, it’s being threatened with more delays.
Grass has finally been planted and needs nearly a year to properly grow, but over the weekend a state prosecutor in Rio showed up at Reserva Marapendi Golf Course and asked to see documentation proving that all environmental regulations are being followed. The prosecutor could order that work be stopped until all the necessary information is provided.
“The state prosecutor is asking for the papers to show the work is proceeding according to the law,” Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada told The Associated Press. “We believe all the rules are being followed.”
Another delay would, unfortunately, be par for the course. There have been issues over who actually owned the land on which the course is being privately developed, protests from environmental groups upset that the course is replacing a wetland area, and unhappy citizens about the construction of a facility for a sport so few Brazilians play.
As long as this latest issue doesn’t significantly impact construction, the course’s noted architect, Gil Hanse, thinks that Reserva Marapendi should have all its grass by November, and might be playable next summer, one year out from the Olympics. Yet, it wouldn’t be until the spring of 2016 that the course would be “tournament ready.”
And so the trials continue for golf returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.
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