Whilst it is the Open Championship at Royal Troon in Scotland that is in full swing, it is another major golfing event that is currently hitting the headlines: the Olympic Games. It’s been over a century since golf has been played at the Olympics and yet next month, Rio de Janeiro will welcome golfers to wear their team’s tracksuit and walk amongst the world’s greatest athletes at the opening ceremony on the 5th August. After a decision by the International Olympic Committee in 2009, the sport has been reintroduced after an incredible 112 year sabbatical, to ecstatic and dubious responses in equal measure.
Despite the recent controversy of various pro golfers dropping out, there are still plenty that are looking forward to the opportunity to win gold and the Brazilians are delighted to host the sport’s return to the Games on the brand new purpose-built Olympic golf course at the Reserva de Marapendi, a coastal nature preserve.
The new course -that will be opened up to the public after the Olympics- joins Rio’s repertoire of stunning golfing venues. The Itanhangá Golf Club in Barra da Tijuca sits nestled between the Pedra da Gávea, the Pedra do Itanhangá, and the Tijuca National Park. Carpeted in lush greenery, the undulating hills provide an incredible backdrop for a truly tropical round of golf whilst colourful birds orchestrate the soundtrack around you. Sitting between the Tijuca National Park and the beach at São Conrado, the Gávea Golf & Country Club is a more nostalgic golfing option. Built in 1926, the club offers a par 69 course and a clubhouse that exudes history and grandeur.
But Rio is a place where the word “swing” is more associated with samba dancing than playing golf; a place of carnivals, creativity, music and warmth. With its endless sunshine, jaw-dropping beauty, majestic mountains wrapped in rainforest and beaches dappled in gold, it is no wonder we hold such fascination for the rhythmic city and fall in love as soon as we arrive.
The world will be watching as the Olympic flame takes up its new residence in the coming weeks and Rio won’t disappoint. You can certainly expect lots of colour and flare and if you’d like to take part in the action, Turkish Airlines and partners fly to Brazil regularly.
Book your flights at www.turkishairlines.com/Book-Now
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