Olympics-Will Brazil take up golf after Games? It's a long shot

lunes 15 de agosto de 2016 07:00 GYT

By Liana B. Baker

RIO DE JANEIRO Aug 15 (Reuters) - Many Brazilians who lined the fairways at the weekend to watch the first Olympic golf tournament in a century say the sport's growth in South America's largest country is no hole-in-one.

They took curious delight in walking among some of the world's top players, but doubted golf would take off.

"In golf you need a lot of patience. Brazilians aren't patient. We are more fiery," said Lena Salgado, one of the few Brazilians to have played the game.

The new course, carved out of natural park in the southwest of Rio de Janeiro, will become a public facility after the Games, a legacy for promoting the sport in Brazil.

Brazilian fans say the main issue, though, will be cost.

The green fees will be set at $80 for Brazilians and between $200 and $250 for tourists, with golfers charged $8-$10 to play a four-hole practice course, says the Brazilian Golf Confederation.

In a country facing economic hardship and a minimum wage equal to $275 a month, even the practice course will be a stretch for many Brazilians. Then there is the pricy equipment.

"Even $8-$10 for a local, that is a lot of money and they could spend that money somewhere else and go to beaches and have even more fun," said 16-year-old Taichi Fukai, a Sao Paulo resident who was roaming the course with his family on Sunday to see the gold medal winner, Justin Rose.   Continuación...