Schiffer and van Nieuwenhuizen collaborate for Azerbaijani golf centre


Schiffer and van Nieuwenhuizen collaborate for Azerbaijani golf centre
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Matt Schiffer of Greengrass Golf Design, and Cees van Nieuwenhuizen of Q Golf Services are collaborating on the design and construction of a new nine-hole golf training and practice centre in the middle of Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital city.

A region where golf is enjoying substantial golf, the new facility is the third consecutive project van Nieuwenhuizen is involved in near Baku.

“Azerbaijan is one of the newest and strongest developing golf markets,” said van Nieuwenhuizen. “This practice and training facility will not only give novice golfers an opportunity to develop all of the golf skills necessary for success, it will also give experienced golfers a great place to practice and play without having to leave the city centre.”

The new training and practice centre is located on a 31-acre plot within the infield of an existing horse racing track.

“This new facility on the infield of the Bina Racetrack will feature nine golf holes of widely varying length, in addition to a full-length driving range with teaching facilities plus practice chipping and putting greens,” said Schiffer. “The concept is that each hole will present a different challenge, with some greens best approached through the air and others on the ground. One of the holes will simulate a long bunker shot. It will be maintained almost entirely as ‘fast and firm’ fairway with very little rough, giving golfers the opportunity to practice practically every club in the bag from any angle and lie imaginable.”

van Nieuwenhuizen is also currently working as a project manager for the nearby 18-hole Dye Designs course, and Schiffer and van Nieuwenhuizen have previously worked together on another nine-hole course in Baku which was designed by architect Alan Rijks.

“Developing golf markets need facilities like this to give golfers the basic skills and confidence to test themselves on longer courses,” added Schiffer. “It’s the only way to grow the game in a new market. Fortunately, the owner of this project has the foresight to understand this.”

The new training and practice centre is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2015.