THE host venue for the 2016 Australian Open is set to undergo an overhaul with Royal Sydney Golf Club confirming the appointment of Olympic golf course architect Gil Hanse to oversee changes to the course.
But work is not expected to start at the Rose Bay layout in the immediate future with the appointment part of a long-term plan involving several aspects of the club’s operation.
Royal Sydney General Manager Paul Hinton told Golf Link no firm decisions had yet been taken on the scope of any course works with the appointment part of a strategy looking ahead to 2030.
“We launched a 2030 strategic plan to our members in March this year,” Hinton told Golf Link.
“So this links into that. Some media agencies have reported that work will start (on the course) in 2017 but that’s not the case.
“This is very much the start of the process. The first step is to appoint the appropriate consultants and then we are going to work through it.”
He said the club was in no rush to begin work.
“We’re not in a rush, it’s not like the place is falling down,” he said. “This is a long term plan linked to the 2030 Master Plan.
“I would suspect based on the need to go through member approval processes and authority approval such as councils we’d be looking probably 2018 or 19 before any work starts.”
He said there would be no changes made to the course prior to this year’s Emirates Australian Open.
“We’ve got a great golf course for this year for the Open,” he said. We’ll make sure is in good condition and ready to go in November.”
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In a statement the club confirmed Hanse had been chosen based on his extensive resume.
“Gil has a first class global reputation for designing some of the world's finest golf courses such as Castle Stuart (which hosted this year's Scottish Open) and the 2016 Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro,” the statement said.
“He has also been retained by many prestigious and internationally recognised clubs, such as Merion, Los Angeles Country Club, Winged Foot Golf Club and The Country Club (Brookline) to advise on the re-modelling/renovation of their golf courses.”
Hanse is a highly respected architect who will be on hand in Brazil next week to see the first Olympic golf competition in 112 years unfold on the course he designed.
Hanse was a surprise winner of the right to design the Olympic course with several of the game’s highest profile architecture firms also in the mix.
His company was one of eight finalists, the others being Gary Player Design, Greg Norman Golf Course Design, Hawtree Ltd., Nicklaus Design, Renaissance Golf Design, Robert Trent Jones II and Thomson Perrett.
The Emirates Australian Open will be played from November 17-20 with Jason Day, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth all confirmed starters.
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