Report: Olympic golf course on life support, falling into disrepair

This is what the Olympic golf course looked like in August. (Getty Images)
This is what the Olympic golf course looked like in August. (Getty Images)

The Olympic golf course was a thing of beauty. Designed by Gil Hanse, the players in both tournaments raved about how well it played, how it invited creativity, was imminently fair and looked like it had been there for decades instead of just a little less than two years — the result of a tumultuous and public process.

Now, just three months after Rio de Janeiro finished as Olympic host, that golf course is in peril.

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According to AFP, the $19 million golf course is not attracting golfers, or even curious Brazilians, to play where the Olympians did. The course still lacks a pro shop, or a head pro for that matter. The clubhouse is practically empty, although there’s a cafe. It’s difficult to even find the course, as there’s no sign at the entrance and no website to give any information.

At a minimum of $74 per round to play, the green fee is too high for most Brazilians. At $192 per round for foreigners, the only significant public course in the city isn’t exactly a draw like Bandon Dunes.

And all of that unfolds as Progolf, the management company charged with keeping up the course, hasn’t been paid in two months. They don’t have a contract with the Brazilian Golf Confederation, the city or the country, so they’re paying $82,000 in monthly maintenance out of pocket. That could well stop in December. If that happens, AFP reports, the course could go past the brink of saving in less than a month.

It seems the wildlife that called this area home before the bulldozers came in feel emboldened by the lack of people. AFP reports a bevy of wildlife roaming the links without fear of running into people.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.