The new Nicklaus Design golf course at Raevo Golf and Country Club near Moscow, Russia, is now complete.
The par-72 layout, which measures 7,245 yards from the back tees, is set among forested areas to the west of the capital.
“The canvas we were given is truly special,” said Jack Nicklaus. “The property is a gently rolling, wooded site, highlighted by a number of beautiful water features throughout. Some of the water features nature provided us, while others we have enhanced to add to the golf experience and aesthetics. I think these streams and lakes really help to give the course its personality and add to the strategy. The course winds beautifully along the streams, works its way back into the trees, then to and away from the water, through wooded areas, and down through valleys with a beautiful mix of open areas and trees. The course at Raevo finishes with three spectacular holes coming back to the clubhouse, including a par four finishing over water to the last green.
“The relationship between a course and its environment is one that goes hand-in-hand,” said Nicklaus. “I believe that the surrounding environment helps determine the overall character of the course; therefore, the two complement each other and have to work well together. I don’t believe in forcing an idea on a piece of land, but rather, I blend my ideas with the natural environment and let it help me shape the design. That is what we have done at Raevo, because we have been given such a uniquely special piece of property. I think the golf will be challenging, but more important, it will be natural, playable and memorable. That’s what you want in a good golf course. You want to be motivated by the test of golf but inspired to come back.”
The main challenge during the three-year construction was the weather, and the shortness of the construction season. Work was primarily done by local construction companies. “An international team of golf course experts was invited to achieve the highest quality,” said Dirk Bouts, senior associate at Nicklaus Design. “The course has been built and is being maintained to the highest standards to ensure the best playing conditions.”
Bouts said the layout has been extensively drained, and sand capped in order to initiate play as soon as possible after the winter period and prolong the playing season.
Tees, fairways and greens are creeping bentgrass. Rough is bluegrass and the outer rough is fine fescue.
The clubhouse is in the interior fit-out phase and IMG Golf Course Services – the company managing Raevo – is working towards an official opening in May 2019.