Brazil’s northeastern Bahia region has prospered from the introduction of four top quality courses along its eastern seaboard in recent years: Costa do Sauípe and Praia do Forte to the north of Salvador, Terravista and Ilha de Comandatuba to the south of the state capital.
Operated by the Transamerica hotel group, the 18 holes of the Ocean course at Ilha de Comandatuba are set out on a beautiful tropical peninsula that sits between the Canal de Comanatuba and the Atlantic Ocean.
The layout was designed by American architect Dan Blankenship of Gold Tee Golf International. Blankenship learnt his trade under Pete Dye’s stewardship and he cleverly separated the holes from the surrounding natural vegetation and small lagoons by incorporating expansive sandy waste areas to smooth the transition from fairway to unplayable areas on the Ocean course.
A mangrove swamp bounds the canal side of the resort alongside holes 5, 6, 10 and 11 so golfers are advised against straying too far off line here. The final five holes on the Ocean course are the most memorable on the property, as they lie closest to the beach.
The 15th – the toughest hole on the layout – is played during this stretch and most players will be happy to mark a five on their scorecard at this long par four.