Much-travelled British architect Howard Swan has recently visited Mongolia at the behest of the government and the country’s fledgling Golf Association.
Swan, who has a long history of pioneering golf in new countries – he was responsible for the first modern course in Croatia and China’s first public course – went to Mongolia to assess the country’s existing provision of courses and advise how the country can develop the game.
“I have worked in some remote and distant parts of the world but Mongolia might just rank as the most,” he said. “However, the great enthusiasm of those who see the chance to introduce the game and expand it will make it an exciting time for all of us.
Following the visit Swan will set out a strategy for the golf association along with the UB hotel, television and newspaper group – which operates one of the country’s courses – and resort developer MCS Group to establish the game and expand it at its roots.
Plans are already underway for a festival of golf in the summer to coincide with the launch of Firstgolf Mongolia, based on the Firstgolf initiative founded by Swan and Gill Wilson, former deputy chief executive of the Ladies’ European Tour, which aims to make golf accessible, affordable and sustainable.
Swan has been awarded the position of honorary vice president of the Mongolian Golf Association to recognise his work. The architect added: “It is truly an honour to be given such a position with the Mongolian Golf Association and I am already looking forward to my next trip in August.”