In an article posted on July 13, 2016, by Golf Digest, writer Ron Whitten discussed whether the selection of Gil Hanse as the architect for the Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro was fair. Deep into the story, though, was the announcement that Golf Digest has presented the Green Star Award for Environmental Stewardship to the golf course, which is the first international course to receive the magazine’s annual honor.
The article points out that the newly built course, sited on a former illegal dump on top of an abandoned sand mine, has actually attracted more biodiversity in the area. As reported by the Rio de Janeiro Department of Justice, “Native vegetation has increased by 167 percent, and the number of animal species in the locale has more than doubled since June 2013.”
The article also touted the environmentally friendly benefits of Zeon Zoysiagrass, which was sprigged everywhere except on the golf greens (which are Seashore paspalum). Zeon is known for its salt tolerance, drought tolerance and low fertility requirements, which are major pluses, considering the extreme limitations put on course superintendent Neil Cleverly for maintaining the course.
To read the Golf Digest full story, click here.