This is an historic moment for golf: after a hiatus of 112 years, it is once again included as an Olympic sport. Even then, it was only part of the programme in Paris 1900 and St Louis 1904. In Rio this year, men and women will compete individually on the new Olympic Golf Course.



Brazil is South America’s largest and most populous country and is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas. From a landscape perspective, Brazil has it all: tropical beaches, the Amazon River, rainforests and five different climates, not to mention the famous Samba and Carnival. Soccer is the nation’s No.1 sport but golf is also beloved. There are around 75 courses, and some of them are simply stunning.

Terravista Golf Course – Trancoso – Bahia

Golf, which was first included at the Games in Paris in 1900, will include men’s and women’s individual events in Rio de Janeiro, each featuring 60 of the world’s best players in a 72-hole stroke-play contest over four rounds, with medals awarded to the three competitors with the lowest total score.

Peter Dawson, President of the International Golf Federation (IGF), believes that “excitement is really mounting” and is hopeful that the sport’s increased global exposure following its return to the Games will help it grow throughout the world. “We began this project of bidding for golf to return to the programme of Olympic sports because so many small countries – small in golfing terms – really needed some help to grow the game,” he says.


According to IGF data, there are approximately 60 million golfers in more than 120 countries, making it one of the world’s most popular sports. “By being exposed to the tremendous audience that the Olympic Games attracts, we hope to bring more fans and in turn more participants to golf,” explains IGF Executive Director Antony Scanlon. The IGF is also hoping to leave a significant golfing legacy in Brazil.



The newly constructed course in Rio’s Barra da Tijuca district that will host the competitions is set to become a public facility after the Games, enabling more people in the host city to access the sport than ever before.

The brand new course was designed by Gil Hanse, the RIO 2016 OLYMPIC GOLF COURSE.


Gil Hanse

“I have no doubt the best golfers are coming,” said Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of the Rio 2016 local organising committee.

“That happened when tennis was included. The Olympic competition is different from all the others they play every year.”


According to Alexandre Rocha, only the second Brazilian to compete on the sport’s leading PGA Tour, golf will enjoy a boost in Brazil through the creation of public facilities such as the Olympic course. “All golf courses in the country are part of private clubs, which makes it very expensive to join them and play the sport,” he says. “It’s great that Rio’s Olympic Golf Course will be public; it’s an example to be followed.”

by Leticia de Carvalho


For more information about the golf courses in Brazil


Leticia de Carvalho

Leticia de Carvalho





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