European Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam is working alongside European Golf Design on two new courses in Bulgaria that are due to open in Spring 2007. The course owners, two large Bulgarian construction firms, are taking responsibility for earthworks.
The first course is at Bansko, the country's leading ski resort at the foot of the Pirin mountain. The site for the Pirin Golf & Holiday Club is a quite narrow, but almost 3km long, strip of land that was previously a military training site.
Shaping has begun on the course, which will form part of a resort that includes residential and commercial developments.
"We aim to create world class facilities which will promote the game of golf and tourism in general. The backdrop to the Bansko site is spectacular and with mature pine tress and streams. I envisage a rugged mountain look to the course," says Woosnam.
Lighthouse Golf Course, the second EGD/Woosnam course development in Bulgaria, is in Balchik on the Black Sea coast near Varna, Bulgaria's third largest city.Woosnam explains that the course will offer "magnificent cliff top views".
EGD's Gary Johnston adds: "It is set on an exposed plateau, so wind will be a considerable factor. The land is predominantly soil and rock, but quite easy to move, and offers good drainage." The lighthouse after which the course is named is yet to be constructed, but might introduce a touch of Turnberry to the Black Sea.
This article first appeared in issue 1 of Golf Course Architecture, published in July 2005.