• Gil Hanse-designed course has around 20 visitors per day
• Course management company look set to pull out soon
Just three months on from the return of Olympic Golf, there are grave concerns over the long-term future of the course that hosted the world’s best players.
The Gil Hanse-designed course, which is around 30km west of Copacabana Beach, witnessed an incredible duel between Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson for the gold medal – but it seems the event hasn’t had the ‘grow the game’ effect in the host nation.
According to Inquirer.net, a crowd of 20 is considered ‘good’ for the $19m Brazilan Golf Confederation owned facility, while the clubhouse is almost entirely unfurnished – with the café having no chairs.
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There is no pro shop or pro, nor a website and there are no road signs to help direct potential players to the course.
And what’s more, the green fees are sky high (from $74 for residents and $192 for foreign visitors) and workers for the company that manages the upkeep of the course, Progolf, haven’t been paid for two months.
“None of us know if there’ll be a job for us in December,” British worker Neil Cleverly told Inquirer.net. “It’s so frustrating for us to get as far as we did.
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“A lot of people said you’re never going to do it. So yes, I’m disappointed and it’s mixed up with a lot of frustration.”
To add further issues, an unnamed source told Inquirer.net that Progolf is set to pull out of the maintenance of the course in the near future after receiving no backing or even contact from the Brazilian Golf Confederation.
If that was to happen, and the confederation didn’t find a replacement company, it the source said the golf course would ‘die’ within ‘three to four weeks’.
Grave concerns over future of Olympic Golf course
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