Brazil - A Golfers Visit
THE PERFECT PLACE TO VISIT WHILE PLAYING GOLF
By Jim Watts, Classic GOLF Tours
When I landed in Sao Paulo, I was flooded by memories reminding me that Brazil is the largest country in Latin America, the fifth largest in the world and is considered one of the most beautiful. The Brazilian people descend from an incredible blend of races. Portuguese colonizers, natives and Africans, built the base of the population, enriched by French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese immigrants. The people are friendly and welcoming; the beaches are beautiful; Iguassu Falls is huge and magnificent; Rio de Janeiro offers fantastic beauty and nightlife. In addition, the climate lends itself to playing golf year round, and I played several world-class golf courses.
I had a choice of 105 golf courses in Brazil. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to play them all, but I enjoyed some of the most beautiful Brazil has to offer. Here are three at the top of my list.
One of my favorite courses was the TERRAVISTA GOLF COURSE.
- Situated on the southern coast of Bahia overlooking the colorful cliffs of Trancoso, Terravista harmoniously combines the region's natural contours, vegetation and landscape with a first rate golf course. Concentration was a bit of a problem because I played between the turquoise sea and the lush Atlantic rainforest while being soothed by the sound of waves and the singing of tropical birds.
- The course design, which covers 175 acres of green grass fairways, lakes and native vegetation, was developed by Dan Blankenship of Gold Tee Golf International.
- Since a few of my balls still remain in those "hazards," I can testify that the course designers preserved the surrounding natural vegetation and topography and leaving natural obstacles on the course.
- The front nine holes are surrounded by the Atlantic Rainforest with temperatures and humidity typical of this area. The back nine holes are played near the beach with 4 holes perched on the cliffs with spectacular views and where the wind often presents itself as an additional obstacle.
Driving to the north along the coastal line of Bahia, I arrived at Costa do Cacau (Cocoa Coast) described in verse and prose by the renowned writer, Jorge Amado. Here, the COMANDATUBA GOLF COURSE, located on a semi-deserted island is a setting that truly enchanting. Itacare, Camamu and Barra Grande have a lot of history in their past. This is a rich region where cocoa was and still is an economic pillar.
- Comandatuba was opened in 2000 and is located between the sea and the marsh. Five holes run along the beach and create a dazzling setting. While the course was being developed, the vegetation around the course remained untouched. It consists of palm trees, coconut trees, cactuses and typical vegetation from the Brazilian northeast salt marshes.
- The local fauna is very rich and consists of kinkajous (juparas), foxes, monkeys and different colored and sized birds of every description that appear on and between shots.
- I found a few of the extensive sand traps and waste bunkers along with generous fairways. Twelve ponds add to this challenging and gorgeous golf course. In 2003, Golf Digest International rated Comandatuba as the best Brazilian golf course.
Salvador, the capital, was my next destination and is the home of COSTA DO SAUIPE GOLF COURSE, located within a complex of five luxury hotels.
- I felt the sea's presence on all 18 holes. The coastal area where the course is located has white sand dunes, with typical vegetation comprised of cactuses, bushes and creeping vegetation.
- The design of the course preserves this beautiful setting, and even enhances it with fairways running along its valleys, creating an interesting contrast between the green turf and the white sand.
- The tourist complex consists of five luxury hotels bearing international flags: Sofitel Suites, Sofetel Costa do Sauipe, Marriott, Renaissance, and SuperClubs Breezes.
My senses and sensibilities thanked me for visiting Brazil. I think you too will be impressed by the structure, enchanted by the beautiful landscapes, charmed by the thousands of natural and cultural wonders and, above all, captivated by the lively and friendly people, whose warmth is irresistible, from the moment you arrive. Classic GOLF Tours arranges golf tours like this one to Brazil as well as Argentina and Chile.