Despite a less-than-auspicious build-up, golf's return to the Olympics was generally regarded as a success, laying the groundwork for the sport to remain in the Summer Games. But while golf's Olympic future looks bright, the $19 million Rio golf course --- built specifically for the event -- is facing significant issues in the present.
According to an Agence France-Presse report, Progolf -- the company that manages the course -- has not been paid in two months by the Brazilian Golf Confederation. Progolf has been left to foot the $82,000 monthly bill on its own and is set to pull out, which could trigger a quick collapse.
"The golf course will die," a source said. "It could take four weeks, three weeks."
Worse, the course continues to lack basic facilities and amenities. There is no website, and the grounds lacks proper signage. The course doesn't have a pro shop. The Brazilian Golf Confederation's president said the course gets 40 players per day, but employees admitted the actual attendance is far less.
“We are bitterly disappointed if this is the outcome for all of our efforts in creating the Olympic Course,” Gil Hanse, architect of the Rio Olympic Course, said to Golf World. “We witnessed this type of brinksmanship during the construction of the course, and we are hopeful that this is another example of having to hit a low point before things get better.”
The Brazilian Golf Confederation is asking for patience, pledging a new restaurant and marketing campaign to begin within 120 days. But given all the roadblocks and controversy in its past, the Rio Olympic Course's future doesn't look bright.