• The Gil Hanse-designed course now almost empty on daily basis
• "For the organisation to just f**k off is disappointing," he said
NICOLAS COLSAERTS | OLYMPIC GOLF
Olympian Nicolas Colsaerts has criticised Brazilian authorities for allowing the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro to ‘rot’.
The $19m Gil Hanse-designed course, which was built specifically for the event, is now almost empty on daily basis largely due to the green fees charged to locals, many of who have no interest in or ability to play golf.
"For the organisation to just, all of a sudden, f**k off... is disappointing" - Nicolas Colsaerts
Late last month, it was revealed that ProGolf – the firm that manages the course – were having to dig into their own budget to keep the course alive, with a source admitting that the course’s long-term future was incredibly bleak.
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And Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, who finished T30 in golf’s return to the Olympic fold back in August, couldn’t hide his feelings about the course’s plight.
“It is disappointing,” Nicolas Colsaerts told bunkered.co.uk ahead of the annual PGA Scotland lunch.
"As an athlete, you feel like you’re part of a much bigger thing than your sport" - Nicolas Colsaerts
“As an athlete, you feel like you’re part of a much bigger thing than your sport. You’re representing sport in general all over the world.
“To see the amount of time that people have put in to put a golf course like this for the organisation to just, all of a sudden, f**k off and leave one of the good golf courses we played this year to rot like this is disappointing.
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“We’ve seen it with all the different sports. It’s up to the local government to try and find a solution to get these sites to keep working and keep active.
"It’s just sad to see that how much time was invested into the process for it to be left to rot" - Nicolas Colsaerts
“Obviously, the golf course would be more expensive to keep running than a municipal swimming pool but it’s just sad to see that how much time was invested into the process for it to be left to rot.”
After a build-up tarnished by the high-profile withdrawals of several big name players, golf’s Olympic return was widely praised after Great Britain's Justin Rose landed gold and, as a result, is expected to remain beyond Tokyo 2020.
Nicolas Colsaerts slams plight of Rio golf course
What do you make of the big-hitting Belgian's comments regarding the current situation surrounding the Olympic Golf Course? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.