By Paul Osborne

Significant progress is being made on the Rio 2016 golf course but doubts still loom over test event ©Getty ImagesTy Votaw, vice-president of the International Golf Federation (IGF), has highlighted his organisation's doubts over the likelihood of a Rio 2016 Olympics golf test event one year out from the Games despite some development of the site at Reserva de Marapendi.

IGF President Peter Dawson had spoken of his dissatisfaction at the progress of the course in the Barra Cluster following a visit in late March, although he admitted he was confident that the area would be ready come the start of action in 2016.

Two weeks after Dawson's comments, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it would send executive director Gilbert Felli to Rio several months earlier than scheduled to oversee day-to-day business as part of a series of emergency measures to address delayed preparations in several areas.

Under his watchful eye, Rio 2016 has significantly increased development work at the golf course site, as the sport gets set to make its first Olympic appearance since 1904.

"I wouldn't say that more work has been done in the last 45 days than in the previous six months, but I wouldn't be too far off if I said that," Votaw said.

"The likelihood of a test event a year out continues to be improbable, and how much further within that year out we go all depends on our grassing schedule and how much the golf course matures."

Ty Votaw explained that the likelihood of a test event a year out from Rio 2016 "continues to be improbable" despite the significantly increased development of the course ©Getty ImagesTy Votaw explained that the likelihood of a test event a year out from Rio 2016 "continues to be improbable" despite the significantly increased development of the course ©Getty Images

The next step for the development of the Olympic course is for it to be grassed, hopefully by the end of 2014.

Even if this target were to be hit, Votaw believes that holding a test event in August 2015, one year before the Olympics, on a course with eight months of grass maturation "wouldn't be a good step forward for us".

About 10 members of Rio 2016 have been in Florida for The Players Championships at Sawgrass to observe operations - including security, catering and ticketing - for one of the biggest tournaments on the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour schedule in the hope of gathering information to use in their Games preparations.

"For some of them this is a very big event and bigger than what they've worked on," IGF executive director Antony Scanlon said.

"It gives them a bit of size and scale of what they're facing.

"For others, this is what they expected.

"This is a sport that's not very large in Brazil.

"The proximity of the players to the public is something that most security agencies are concerned by, and the great expertise that the PGA Tour has here is allaying their fears and helping them with their fans."

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