Castle Stuart Golf Links designer Gil Hanse has created the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Golf Course as golf features in the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Golf Course Overview

This year golf returns to the Olympics after a 112-year absence.

Both the men’s and women’s tournaments take place on the Olympic course which is built within the Marapendi Natural Reserve in the Barra da Tijuca region, around six miles south of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

It has been designed by Gil Hanse, who also designed Castle Stuart Golf Links near Inverness, Scotland.

In this extended interview, Hanse revealed how the links at Castle Stuart influenced the Rio golf course.

2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Golf Course

The golf course is built upon natural, sandy wasteland. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The golf course, with it being situated on a nature reserve, has a very natural feel about it and, as well as comparing to the links of Scotland, feels similar to the Melbourne Sandbelt courses.

The fairways are tight and there is no real thick rough, instead the fairways feed into the natural sandy areas which are dotted with indigenous plants.

Another key aspect to the course is the greens and how they’re protected. A majority of them are small and severely undulating, with steep run-off areas and bunkers awaiting to catch loose shots.

2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Golf Course

The approach to the 1st green. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The course measures 7,133 yards for the men and 6,314 yards for the women.

Both nines start with par-5s and the closing 18th is also a par-5.

It’s the back nine will be where the tournament will be decided.

Opening with a par-5 where most will hope to birdie, then to the 11th, 12th and 13th which are all par-4s over 480 yards.

14 is a 235 yard par-3 and the final three holes are made up of the drivable par-4 16th, the shortest hole on the course at the par-3 17th and the closing par-5 18th which is a beast at over 600 yards from the back tees.

2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Golf Course

The view from the back tee at 18

They have truly done a tremendous job with the golf course here and hats off to Gil Hanse – it’s a great design and has a wonderful natural feel to it.

Rio Olympic Golf Course Hole by Hole Guide:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18