What Next for the Olympic Golf Course?

Three months ago, it was the hottest thing in golf. Today, the Gil Hanse-designed Olympic golf course in Rio is golf’s equivalent of a ghost town.

The plan was always for the course to be open to the public after the games were done, but as reported by the news agency AFP, golf has only a small following in Brazil and few locals want to pay the $74-$82 green fees (foreigners are charged $192). As a consequence, the company that built the course and now maintains it hasn’t been paid for two months so is thinking about cutting its losses—estimated at $82,000 a month—and leaving town.

Should that happen, an unidentified source said, “the course will die. It could take four weeks, three weeks.” In the same article, the president of the Brazilian Golf Confederation said some 40 people a day are playing the course, but onsite staff said that number is inflated. Furthermore, the course has no website, there is neither a pro shop nor a pro, and no road signs point the way in. Which may be the most telling sign of all that this once-lauded course is on its way out.