Imagine playing a soccer match at Maracanã? Or playing volleyball or basketball in the arena where Olympic champions disputed gold medals point by point. Sounds like a dream, right? But if golf is your sport of choice, playing a match with friends or even learning how to take your first shots in the same course as consecrated athletes is a reality within everyone’s reach. Open from Sunday to Sunday, Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Golf Course is with arms open to welcome Rio residents and tourists. All you have to do is call and book your tee time.
Designed by American architect Gil Hanse, the course is one the legacies left by the Rio Olympics. In 2016, Rio hosted the return of golf – after 112 years – to the Olympic games and was the stage for the feats of British player Justin Rose, who in addition to winning the gold was the first player to have a hole-in-one (when a ball hit from a tee finishes in the cup) in the Olympic Games. Since then, the course has had a calendar of tournaments for beginners and professions, including the Brazil Open.
The 1 million square meter course has 18 holes and carefully maintained greens, golf cart rental, driving range, golf classes, dressing rooms and the entire infrastructure needed for large events. “We are talking about a public space open to all golf athletes, whether they are beginners, amateurs or professionals, and built with what is most modern in the golf world, from grass to irrigation and high performance equipment for athletes”, says Carlos Favoreto, president of the Olympic Golf Course.
In addition to encouraging the practice and dissemination of the sport in Brazil, the course – that also has a program of courses and social projects for children – has been attracting tourists from all over the world. “We are now attracting tourists who before wouldn’t think of coming to our city. They come to golf, but they are never alone. Most times they bring the entire family. In addition to visitors from all corners of Brazil, we receive visitors from Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, England, Portugal, France, Italy, South Korea, Japan, China and USA”, says Favoreto.
Olympic Golf Couse (Avenida Moysés Castello Branco Filho 700, Barra da Tijuca.www.rioogc.com.br).