According to The Guardian, the $20m facillity designed by world-renowned architect Gil Hanse has shut down after failing to attract enough paying players to maintain the course and facilities, with a report late last year saying that 20 was considered a good crowd.
Green fees are extortionate ($74 for residents and $192 for foreign visitors), the course’s clubhouse is entirely unfurnished, with the café having no chairs, while there is also no pro, pro shop, website or road signs helping direct potential players to the course, which is 30km west of Rio.
All that has led to some serious criticism of the Brazilian Golf Federation – owners of the course – by players who participated and also Hanse.
“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,” Olympian Nicolas Colsaerts (above) told bunkered.co.uk in December.
Architect Hanse, meanwhile, told Golf World: “We are bitterly disappointed. We witnessed this type of brinkmanship during the construction of the course, and we are hopeful that this is another example of having to hit a low point before things get better.”
However, International Golf Federation president Peter Dawson (above) believes that not all hope is lost with the facility as a group of Brazilian businessmen have stepped in to help.
“Things are looking a little better,” Dawson told Golf Channel.
“There’s a group of people who have come together that have a relationship with the land owner there, and they’ve re-engaged enough of the greens staff to keep the maintenance going. They are now being paid, which they weren’t.”
The funding, it is believed, will give the Brazilian Golf Confederation time to develop a long-term plan to keep the course open.