New Stirling & Martin course takes shape near Bucharest

  • Bucharest National
    National Golf & Country Club

    A visualisation of the closing hole at the forthcoming National Golf & Country Club, designed by Stirling & Martin

  • Bucharest National
    National Golf & Country Club

    “We have put a big focus on aesthetics. We wanted golfers to be amazed by the surroundings,” says Marco Martin

  • Bucharest National
    National Golf & Country Club

    A soft opening of the golf course later this year will be followed by the official opening in spring 2024

  • Bucharest National
    National Golf & Country Club

    Each of the 170 villas planned for the development will have a view of the golf course

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

A new eighteen-hole golf course designed by Stirling & Martin is taking shape near Bucharest, Romania.

The course is part of a new resort and residential community, National Golf & Country Club, being developed by Turkish-Romanian entrepreneur Metin Dogan in the Niculești commune, a 30-minute drive north of Romania’s capital. Over 60 million euros is being invested in the three-year project that will include the course and a golf academy, plus a five-star hotel, more than 170 villas and 100 apartments, a wellness centre, sports courts, bars and restaurants, a playground and events halls.

“The aim is to provide a private club lifestyle experience to the local market,” said Mircea Dragomir, the club’s chief operating officer and project coordinator. “It will be the premier facility in Romania. This five-star resort represents the vision of the owner, who dreams of building a stress-free destination, where everyone feels like they are on a permanent vacation.”

The first phase of the development includes the golf course and country club facilities, hotel and villas. Course construction began in July 2022 and earthmoving and lake work is now complete, eleven holes have been shaped, and drainage and irrigation systems have been installed.

Construction of villas has started, and the remaining residential units will be built in a second phase, planned for January 2024.

“With all the high-end facilities and upscale residential units, the golf course had to reach the same lofty standards, and it looks like it will,” said architect Marco Martin. “Through our design choices, the course will offer views of breathtaking skylines from every angle, along with an exceptional golfing experience.

“A lot of effort went into the design phase as we wanted this layout to be unique, a ‘National’ course in the true sense of the word. It is built for the entire range of golfers: beginners will have a fun round, advanced players are going to enjoy how technical the course is, and the elite will face a tough challenge to beat par.

“We have put a big focus on aesthetics. We wanted golfers to be amazed by the surroundings wherever they are on the course. We took various elements into consideration; sun position, wind direction, shade, colours, plants and materials.”

Blake Stirling adds: “A walk on any of the already shaped fairways is a unique experience, it is the closest thing to walking on water… no kidding! The feeling is of permanent movement, a waves effect, that will immediately let you see that the shot options for each hole are simply infinite! It’s the kind of course you can play a million times and it will still feel like you’re playing it for the first time.”

Dogan originally planned 250 villas but reduced the number to 170 so that each would have a direct view of the golf course. Each villa will be energy independent, with its own solar panel system.

“The name, National, was chosen to underline the need to produce golfers and promote golf values within the local community,” said Dragomir. “The club aims to become a home of Romanian golf. We are also going to integrate the latest technologies to assist with major business decisions.

“It is definitely one of the most interesting projects to follow, developed in a country with one of the fastest growth rates of golfers.”

A soft opening of the golf course later this year will be followed by the official opening in spring 2024.

This article first appeared in the April 2023 issue of Golf Course Architecture. For a printed subscription or free digital edition, please visit our subscriptions page.