Avenida Jaceguava s/n km 7,
Parquet do Terceiro Lago,
- +55 11 5922 1000
40 kms SW of downtown Sao Pãolo
Welcome Tuesday to Friday during the week
Sidnei da Cruz
Situated near São Paulo, within the Parco do Terceiro Lago, Guarapiranga Golf & Country Club was formed in the 1960s.
We don't know who originally designed the par 71 course but it's a decent test, measuring 6,685 yards from the back tees. The opening hole is a short driveable downhill par four which is reachable for long hitters but comes rather too early in the round for most golfers to take full advantage. The closing hole is a long and tough uphill par four with a green defended by bunkers that's tough to reach in regulation.
In between, feature holes include doglegged par fours at the 4th and 12th, with the short par three 16th regarded as the signature hole on the card. It's also worth paying attention to the two lakes which flank the left side of the 7th fairway - these water hazards love to catch out the unwary.
With a variety of doglegs to the right and left, this is one of the most technical courses in the country so only the player who can control the ball in both directions will achieve a good performance. This does not prevent the average player from having fun since the punishment for those who cannot find the fairway is usually not too severe.
The course begins with a gentle downhill par 4 where the big hitters can try to attack the green. The most appropriate shot is something of 210 yards in the middle of the fairway since being very close to the green can leave you with difficulties in the approach.
The course continues at a reasonable pace until the fantastic 4th, a dogleg to the left bordering a lake, with a huge bunker defending the right. The ideal shot is a driver with a draw but a straight shot that does not reach the bunker will also work, in this case the second shot will be quite long but this is a safer way. The sequence from 4 to 7 is the most difficult of the courses so choose more conservative shots trying to keep the ball always in play.
There are three par fives on the front nine and number 8 is the easiest among them. On this hole a good driver allows you to attack the green, so this is the time to attack the course. Both 8 and 9 are good opportunities to improve the score.
The back nine starts with a dogleg to the right; the perfect shot is towards the palm trees on the right as the fairway is inclined towards the left lake and that side is also protected by trees towards the green. This green is quite wide so a first shot at the fairway will lead to an easy par.
On the back nine the water is more present, but it really comes into play in holes 12 and 13. The first a beautiful dogleg left bordering a huge lake and the second, a par 3 with an island green, where it’s most important is to hit the correct distance. To achieve this it is vital to stay calm and not get too intimidated by the lake especially when the tee is at the back. Once on the green take special care because being practically inside a lake the speed of this green is different from the others. The last thing you want is to hit the green with the first and not make a par.
The next hole is more complicated than it looks, those who hit hard can opt for a shot over the left bunker, but most players will have to aim between the bunker and the trees on the right, which is not a very wide fairway. Once on the fairway you will be faced with one of the toughest second shots on the course with water before the green on the left and water on the right of the green. This is a great golf hole with lots of options, so enjoy yourself. In fact all the holes between 12 and the 17 are very interesting and with strong personality… a par 4 dog leg to the left, a medium length par 3 with an island green a short par 3 with water in front and finally a short par 5 where the ideal drive is a draw on the outside of the palm trees. If you can execute this shot you will have a good chance of attacking the green with the second. This is a very large raised green, so definitely take this opportunity.
The 17th hole is almost an inverted S, you're going to have to hit a driver with a very strong slice, when I say very strong I'm meaning something like 40 yards to the right of your line of fire, because only then will you get a view of the green which hides behind the trees on the left. Finding the fairway on this hole is a difficult task but the challenge is always worth it.
The course ends with a straight up par 4 but with a wide fairway, it seems like the architect found a way to "apologize" for the "bad behavior" of the previous holes. This is a course with an above average number of difficult shots so it is very unlikely that you will not end up making more mistakes than usual, but maybe this is exactly the architect's intention and the highest quality of the course.