FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

São Paulo, Brazil, Guarapiranga Golf And Country Club

Oct 1, 2004
2004 / October 2004

It was 6:30 a.m. as my Brazilian golf adventure began. Dressed for the course, golf bag in hand, there was no doubt as to my mission — I was off to spend a day on the links at the Guarapiranga Golf and Country Club. My driver, all 5 feet of him, was waiting for me in the hotel lobby, ready to negotiate the cost of the trip to the course. “120 for real trip,” he said. “Round trip?” I asked through the concierge who was acting as our interpreter. “He say ok,” came the reply.

Negotiations concluded, off we went for a magical tour through the graffiti-covered streets of São Paulo. I had arranged my tee time at the suggestion of associates who advised “the earlier the better” in order to avoid the massive traffic jams for which São Paulo is known. After hearing scores of terrifying crime stories, I was pleasantly surprised by Brazil’s most populous city.

After a good hour of navigating city streets that go on forever in a never-ending maze, we hopped onto what I’ll call a “quasi-freeway” for the last few miles to the course. My associates were right. By setting out early in the morning, we had managed to avoid the steady stream of traffic that was building up as we neared our destination. We turned onto a dirt road that meandered through urban, suburban and finally rural landscape.

Fascinated, I wondered, “What’s a golf course doing way out here?” as we passed humble homes and rustic shacks. This was obviously a place where people worked the land. Children were walking barefoot along the road; chickens squawked at every home, and the dirt road kicked up dust that covered the jungle foliage with a layer of dry earth.

Our average speed never exceeded 10 mph during this 30-minute stretch of our journey, as my driver stopped to ask directions along the way. Clearly, he had never been to this course before. We encountered children playing and adults walking along the road, but rarely did we meet up with another vehicle. When we did, we had to pull over, because the road was only wide enough for one car at a time. Finally I began to notice signs — a small picture of a golfer on a wooden post.

At last we arrived at the iron-fenced enclave and approached security. Stepping into the clubhouse, I announced, “Here to play golf,” but the beautiful women staffing the front desk didn’t understand English. Fortunately, the golf pro, Danilo, was on hand to expedite communication. Charismatic and eager to make my day enjoyable, he asked “Where are you from, New York?” as he proudly showed me the clubhouse and practice range. On this particular day, I was the only American, in fact the only foreigner, on the course.

If you’re not a walker, this course may not be for you. With sufficient advance notice, many foreign courses, including this one, can arrange a golf cart, but be prepared to hear comments like, “Only old women use carts.”

My caddie, Carlo — a boy of about 15 — and I communicated through a series of gestures and modified sign language. The course is not the most prestigious in the city, but it is in very good shape. Truth told, it’s a pretty long trek even for residents of São Paulo.

I particularly enjoyed playing hole No. 7, a 565-yard par-5 dogleg right. I hit a magnificent drive and, of course, decided to use the driver again on the second shot, much to the dismay of my caddie. For the record, he was right.

The course features six par 3s, one of which is an extraordinary 192-yard hole over a small pond. The finishing hole is a long par-4 uphill; even with a good drive, you’ll still have about 180 to the green.

Throughout the game, whenever we encountered another group, they waved us through. In my experience, golfers overseas are much more likely to wave other players through without the delay you may experience in the United States. Speeding throughout the course in record time we finished the entire 18 holes in 2 1⁄2 hours.

After paying and tipping my caddie, I headed out in search of the golf pro, who opened the pro shop so I could purchase a few caps and shirts at bargain prices. He also showed me the restaurant. The clubhouse has a large informal dining room — just right for an end-of-game snack and drink. I ordered a local dish that consisted of a steak with a fried egg on top — perfect accompanied by a few Brazilian beers as I watched groups I had passed make their way to the finishing hole and putt out at 18.

Guarapiranga Golf and
Country Club
Estrada do Jaceguava
Parelheiros — C.P. 12428
São Paulo, Brazil
tel 55 11 5979-2366, fax 55 11 5979 2250

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 21, 2021

The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”

The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.

Sports Industry Awards returns to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah for 8th Edition

The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.

LGBTQ+
Jun 18, 2021

Show Your Pride with Essentia Cocktails

Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.

Norway
Jun 17, 2021

Up Norway Sustainable Tour: The Discovery Route

Up Norway, Norway’s travel curator, partners with sustainability experts to offer travelers a new tour. The Discovery Route, called the “world’s most sustainable journey,” combines personal wellness with the wellness of the environment.

eFlyer Reviews
Jun 16, 2021

Marriott Dallas Uptown Review

Driving into Dallas during a rainstorm, we were eager to arrive at our destination. The valet parking at Marriott Dallas Uptown is underground and ideal for inclement weather. We took the elevator to the lobby and made our way to the registration desk. The staff wore masks, but still managed to convey a warm greeting. On the wall behind them hung a colorful piece of art made partially from reclaimed wood that depicts neighborhood scenes. The new hotel covers an entire block in a residential area and opened earlier this year.

eFlyer Lead
Jun 16, 2021

Studies Show Business Travel Confidence Returning

Business travel is on the brink of returning, according to three new reports. The latest monthly Traveler Confidence Index developed by Travel Again shows business traveler confidence soared in May, with 42 percent now fully ready to travel, up from just 20 percent in April. An additional 31 percent are planning some type of business travel for summer, with 74 percent willing to travel domestically for business in the next 90 days. However, employers may not be as ready, with only 22 percent of business travel respondents with current business travel plans.

SPIA 2021 Winners Crowned at Gala Ceremony at W Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.

Daily
Jun 16, 2021

Best Cities for a Staycation

Although travel restrictions are beginning to lift, many Americans aren’t ready to travel yet, but still want to get out and explore something new. WalletHub, a personal-finance website, recently conducted a study to find out the best cities for a staycation this summer.