Review for Fazenda Boa Vista (Palmer)

Reviewer Score:


This is the new course at Fazenda Boa Vista and what a nice surprise. Let’s see what the architect Thad Layton has to say about his project:

“The Palmer Course at Fazenda Boa Vista was designed with three primary objectives in mind: strategy, sustainability, and fun. Wide fairways, a minimalist bunker scheme, and an array of green contours and recovery options insure no two players will take the same route to the hole. Through the use of time tested classic design principles, the golf course sits lightly on the site, blending seamlessly into the native tropical vegetation of Brasil. Golfers of all abilities are sure to enjoy the raw beauty and strategic challenges the course presents.”

In my opinion, people tend to use the word strategy too often, but here this is definitively not the case. There are at least five holes where decisions need to be made at the tee, including two “drivable” par fours. There are three par fives that you must decide what to do with your second shot and one very demanding par three. The challenges and possibilities are what makes a course interesting and the reason that I loved Fazenda Boa Vista.

In terms of difficulty, you could divide the course in three progressive segments. The first hole is a reachable par five and the last hole is a monstrous par four measuring 500 yards contouring a lake, easily the hardest finishing hole in the country. I would take a par here any day.

Use the first holes to warm up because the hard choices start at number seven, a lovely drivable par four with water on your left and a sloped green that will hold your driver. The green starts right after the water so either you make it or take a penalty and try again. One can always play to the right and depending on the pin placement that would be the right choice. Number eight is an interesting par five that will make you work the ball from right to left and nine is a beautiful par three with a false front that will require a very delicate approach shot if you are unable to find the dance floor from the tee.

Number ten is a heroic hole where you are forced to carry a big lake, you can choose how much you want to risk but since the green faces the tee and is severely tilted from the fairway the defensive tee shots will face a VERY difficult second shot. Number eleven is one of my favorite holes especially the small green that sits on a very steep hillside and cascades down the hill into a series of terraces connected with slopes of varying degrees.

Fifteen is a 650-yard hilly par five with a green on a severe down slope that will be seen only after two very good shots. Try to use the right side of the fairway and the slopes to have a chance to make par. The signature hole is number seventeen a downslope par four divided by a small river and with the lake in the back of the green. In the afternoon please take your cameras with you.

There are a lot of different classic features blended in this Palmer course so it is clear that the architect not only studied the classics but also took the time and effort to incorporate them in a modern lay out making this course a very nice golfing experience.

Date: May 01, 2016

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