Summer opening for Russian course


Summer opening for Russian course
Sean Dudley

The first nine holes of the PGA National Russia course, part of the new Zavidovo resort community north-west of Moscow, will open in July.

The course, which has been designed by architect Dave Sampson of European Golf Design, is located next to a tributary of Europe’s longest river, the Volga. Sampson has created heather-clad bunkers at PGA National, which he says is intended to resemble a traditional heathland course.

Russian developer OPIN asked EGD to create a course capable of hosting professional tour events as well as being playable and enjoyable for Russia’s new golfing public. Sampson said: “When we first visited the site, which is surrounded by pine and birch forest, it was clear that a heathland style course would be appropriate. Although naturally beautiful, the landscape lacked strong physical features, but we were able to improve the aesthetics and introduce a strategic element to the course by enhancing the streams and ditches running across the terrain.”

EGD boss Jeremy Slessor said: “For a developer in an emerging golf market to introduce a facility of this magnitude and quality is an incredible demonstration of the intent to grow the game in Russia. With potential for hosting European Tour events, the golf facility will become a landmark for Russian golf. A spotlight on the game here will naturally increase national interest in the sport and with the PGA Golf Academy, there is nowhere better in Russia to learn and improve.”

Nine holes at PGA National Russia will open for play in July 2012, while all 18 holes are set to open in September. The PGA Golf Academy is scheduled to open in late 2013. British firm Braemar Golf has handled construction management and grow-in.