Golf in Brazil

While soccer and surf-crazed Brazil is not traditionally known for its golfing, the sport is growing like wildfire. Once solely the hobby of the stodgy upper classes and wealthy businessmen, both men and women, of all age levels and socio-economic classes are turning on to golf. Evidence of its emerging popularity abounds.
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Brazilian Beachfront Golf
There are currently over thirty golf courses in development
or that have been built recently in Brazil, including one backed by Donald Trump and designed by Jack Nicklaus. Gold Digest has recently begun publishing in Portuguese. Brazilians can now watch the PGA Tour broadcast live on cable.
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And as Alvaro Almeida, president of the Brazilian Golf Federation, said recently, the sport's newfound popularity is "the result of a push to make golf accessible to everybody, not only to those who have a lot of money.”
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However, despite golf's surge, don't expect to find quite the same golfing conditions you might encounter in the United States, Canada, or Europe. First and foremost, although public golf clubs are growing, the majority of Brazil's golf courses are private. Some of the ritzier hotels offer golfing privileges at some of the nicer courses in the major cities, such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. If you are budgeting golfing into your trip, plan on paying around R$75 for 9 holes and R$125 for 18 holes. Prices, of course, will be higher in the major cities, and lower in smaller cities and the countryside. A golf cart rental might cost around R$100.

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Top Golf Destinations: Rio de Janiero
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Rio de Janeiro's major public golf course is located in Barra da Tijuca. It is called Golden Green, and is a 6-hole course, located inside a condominium complex. Freely open to the public, you can schedule a golf date Tuesday to Sunday, anytime between 7am and 10pm. Floodlights allow for night play, and greens fees will run you R$60 Tuesday to Friday, and R$75 on weekends.

Golden Green
Av. Conde de Marapendi 2905
Tel: 2434 0696

If you're looking for a more high-class experience, find a way to get into Gavea Golf Club, one of the city's finest. While the club is private, the Copacabana Palace Hotel and the Sheraton Rio Hotel allow their guests privileged access. If you're staying elsewhere, be sure to speak with reception at your hotel first, as many high-end hotels offer similar arrangements with other golf courses.

Gavea Golf Club
Estrada de Gavea 800, Sao Conrado
Tel: 3323 6050

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Sao Paulo
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For an attractive public option, head to the western suburb of Osasco, where you'll find Sao Francisco Golf Club. A 9-hole, par-71 course, you can book golf their Tuesday through Sunday from 7am to 6pm. If you're on a budget, make sure to go during the week. While weekday greens fees are R$125, weekends and holidays you'll have to pay a whopping R$265.

Sao Francisco Golf Club
Av. Martin Luther King 1527, Osasco
Tel: 3681 8752

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Buzios
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The public Buzios Golf Club and Resort is your best bet, and is just a quick drive from Manguinhos Beach. They have a curious pricing policy whereby unlimited daily golf is R$165.

Buzios Golf Club and Resort
www.buziosgolf.com.br
Tel: 2629 1240

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Salvador
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Brazilian Golfer Rafael Barcellos

Your best bet in Salvador is the golf course at the Deville Salvador Hotel. Formerly owned by the Sofitel corporation, this 18-hole course is located in Itapua, and make sure to call ahead for a reservation if you are not staying there, as hotel guests have priority. Nine holes will run you R$92, while 18 will cost R$145. Clubs can be rented for R$40.

Deville Salvador Hotel
Rua Passargada, Salvador
Tel: 2106 8500 (hotel)
Tel: 2106 8522 (golf course)
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