On Sunday, the Club de Golf de Uruguay opens its doors to the public--only not for golf.
The golf course is in the Punta Carretas neighborhood and you can see the Ciudad Vieja part of the Montevideo skyline from some of the greens and the beach as well. The course was impeccable, yet anyone (golfer or not) can visit on Sundays just to lounge around.
I could hardly believe it. At first I felt like I was desecrating holy ground by walking on a golf course with no golf clubs, no golf shoes, and no golf attire. But you don't need those things on Sundays! We came with only a bag full of bizcochos (bakery sweets) and yerba mate.
On Sundays families come to have picnics by the sand traps. Friends come to loaf around the greens. Students come to study in the grass. Nature enthusiasts come to spot newly hatched baby birds and watch bright green parrots fly from tree to tree.
I like the idea that an exclusive golf club lets people use their facilities like a park. It's a public good that just doesn't exist in the culture I come from.