Is the Olympic Golf Course already failing? It depends who you ask.
In response to a grim report from Agence France-Press citing a lack of local patronage, financial support and critical infrastructure in presaging the imminent demise of the course, Paulo Pacheco, the president of the Brazilian Golf Confederation, told Golf Channel that the course is merely undergoing a “soft opening.”
“The field will not die ‘in 3 or 4 weeks,’ as some sources indicated,” Pacheco said. “We are not promoting the OGC with great publicity precisely because it does not yet have the structure at the international level.”
Built to host golf’s return to the Olympics after a 112-year absence at the Rio Games this summer, the Gil Hanse-designed Olympic Golf Course is set to become Brazil’s first 18-hole public course when it officially opens in 2017.
The course has struggled, however, to gain its footing amid economic and political turmoil throughout Brazil, though Pacheco insists the confederation remains committed to its long-term success.
“The OGC is part of the legacy of the 2016 Olympics,” Pacheco said. “We know of the difficulties of implementing sports projects in times of crisis, but we never stop looking for solutions and it is far from our minds giving up such a representative project for golf in Brazil and in the world.”