Construction delays mean that work on a new golf course that will host competitions at the 2018 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is behind schedule and there might not be time to stage planned test events next year, according to Peter Dawson, president of the International Golf Federation.
Dawson said: “We are not satisfied. I was down there just recently, and while the design of the course looks really good, the progress with the construction is not where we want it to be.
“There are no green shoots on the course yet - unless they are weeds.”
Golf is due to make its first appearance at the Olympics since 1904 after being selected to join the programme along with rugby sevens in Rio, but there have been repeated delays in building the course, initially caused by land ownership disputes.
Dawson said: “Let me say that golf is not on its own here. Just the other day the International Olympic Committee issued a warning notice to their co-ordination commission, so this is not restricted to golf. Rio has got quite a few challenges ahead of them to get things done in time.
“We are new to the Olympic Games; maybe this is normal. However, I think it's particularly disappointing given how long ago we got in amongst this and got things started.”
The course was due to open in June 2015 but by the start of this year only only 12 holes and 16 greens had been shaped.
Dawson said: “There have been so many revisions to the plan it's quite hard to say how far behind they are, but I think we are going to struggle to get a test event a year before the games. I'm not writing that off completely, but we have to recognise that might be difficult.
"There have been meetings held last week in Rio to revise the plan, to increase manpower and facilities, designed to bring the project back on track. I wouldn't say I'm disturbed at this point. I'd much rather we were further ahead. I still think it will be ready in time for the Olympics.”