Rodovia Alkindar Monteiro Junqueira,
Bragança Oaulista 12918,
- +55 11 4892 2704
55 miles N of São Paulo city centre
Only as the guest of a member
Renato Velloso Dias Cardoso
Dan Blankenship of Gold Tee Golf International
From the moment he first set foot on Brazilian soil in the late 1980s, American architect Dan Blankenship was destined to make a significant impact on the golfing landscape of the largest country on the continent.
Back then he worked (mainly in Asia) for Pete Dye Design and although the project he was involved in at Buzios was suspended due to a financial crisis, Blankenship would return a few years later with his own company, Gold Tee Golf International, to complete the development.
Since then, he has unveiled a further ten courses around the country – including this one near São Paulo at Quinta da Baroneza – on the way to being recognized as the most prolific contemporary designer in Brazil.
Quinta da Baroneza Golfe Club is set within yet another one of these exclusive private property estates that have sprung up all over the nation, with fairways laid out over a surprisingly undulating landscape.One of the most remarkable holes here is the tough 415-yard 4th, made memorable due to its strategic split fairway. Then again, in terms of notable holes, who could forget the closing hole on each nine when they share the same horseshoe green in front of the clubhouse?
Although it does not carry the visual impact of Terravista or Comandatuba it surely doesn´t fall short in playability or shot making. Without the physical limitations of the other two courses Quinta da Baroneza was the canvas were Dan could definitively show that he knows his angles. This course will allow you to cut corners but be prepared to pay the price if you are unable to properly complete the task.
The unusual start, with a short par 5 a water guarded par 3 and a very technical par 5 will wake you up and get you ready for the hardest hole on the front nine, a sloped par 4 with two fairways. Aim the driver at the fairway bunker in the middle and try to leave your approach shot on the right side of the flag and you should be safe. The last par 5 on the front is my favorite hole, a severe dogleg right with plenty of options to choose from. It took me several rounds to try them all and believe me, I still do not fully understand the best way to play this hole. It is one of those holes where a par or a double will be always be on the cards.
The second nine starts with a beautiful and tricky short par 4 that will energize you. The best hole on the course is one of my all-time favorites, the great 13th. We are talking about a very difficult par 4 with an elevated tee and a huge lake covering the front and the left side of the hole. Long hitters can try to cross the lake to a small landing area but the smart play would be to lay up to the right and leave yourself with a hard shot to a severely undulated green. Be prepared for a hard two putts and a par here should feel like a birdie.
The last four holes are maybe too easy for a course like this, especially the drivable par 4 seventeen. Don´t be shy, take out the big dog and go for it, if you are able to carry the front bunker a lucky bounce may take you all the way to the flag, enjoy it you deserved it. Quinta da Baroneza is long but flows beautifully I am sure that you will like it.