2 Where is it?

Business Traveler (USA) - - WELL BEING -

ITANHANGA GOLF CLUB 16 miles south­west of Rio.

This ex­cep­tion­ally wel­com­ing pri­vate club was es­tab­lished in 1933 by Pres­i­dent Ge­tulio Vargas, Brazil’s long­est-serv­ing po­lit­i­cal leader, first as dic­ta­tor from 1930 to 1945, then as elected pres­i­dent from 1951 un­til his sui­cide in 1954. He set up Itanhanga as the an­ti­dote to Gavea, known in those days as the“English­man’s Club”and, there­fore, un­ac­cept­able to a ded­i­cated na­tion­al­ist.

A pas­sion­ate, if in­dif­fer­ent, golfer – his hand­i­cap was 30-plus – Vargas took time out from his pro­gram of in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and so­cial re­form to play on a flat course laid out in the im­pos­ing shadow of Devil’s Rock. Nowa­days, 10,000 trees from a mix of 86 dif­fer­ent species shed 30 bil­lion leaves a year, a daunt­ing task for green­keep­ing staff. Co­conut palms dom­i­nate, but man­gos pro­vide pro­tec­tion from the sun and a suc­cu­lent snack from Novem­ber through NewYear.

The river that snakes among the fair­ways is at its most men­ac­ing at the Three Twins, par fours at seven, eight and nine with water to the left that wreck many a promis­ing card.

Estrada da Barra da Ti­juca 2005; tel +5521 3883 8323; itanhanga.com.br

Cham­pi­onship course, week­days R$300/$92, week­ends R$425/$130; nine-hole course, week­days R$180/$55, week­ends R$245/$75; cad­die (com­pul­sory for vis­i­tors) R$100/$30 plus tip; cart R$150/$45; club rental R$150/$45 for 18 holes (brands in­clude Call­away, Tay­lor Made and Titleist).

6:00 AM – 7:00 PM.Vis­i­tor tee times avail­able on week­days and at week­ends af­ter 1:00 PM.

32 Cham­pi­onship course, 6,695 yds, par 72; nine-hole course, 2,840 yds, par 36; driv­ing range, putting green.

The spa­cious club­house has a ter­race with seat­ing over­look­ing the 18th green, and serves an in­ter­na­tional menu. There’s a large out­door pool, plus the only polo club in Rio.

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