Golf Course Architecture - Issue 62: October 2020

21 TEE BOX The new nine-hole golf course at Tabori Golf & Spa Resort in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is complete and scheduled for an official opening in summer 2021. The Golfplan-designed course is part of a $60 million development adjacent to the National Botanical Garden of Georgia that will also include a five- star hotel. “The course plays down a ridge and has terrain to navigate,” said Kevin Ramsey, principal at Golfplan. “The setting is amazing and offers breathtaking views – by far the most expansive we have ever had on a course.” Five holes have views to the city below with the opening two playing down a ridge and into the valley below. “It is truly a resort course and will cater to a large number of beginners,” said Ramsey. “It has some risk-reward options such as the seventh, which plays over a huge valley on a diagonal and you can bite off as much as you feel comfortable from the tee. The more aggressive you are off the tee, the shorter and easier the approach. “We have tried to create different and distinct pin positions into each green complex so that different angles of approach are required. Even though some holes are shorter, position off the tee is important and a driver may not be the best club.” Comparing it to other Golfplan- designed courses, Ramsey said: “This was more of a soft touch. Very natural and a bit wild and woolly around the edges. We tried to preserve as many of the existing pine trees and vegetation we could. It was a fairly steep site in places with a lot of rock under the surface, so it had to be carefully routed with the gradient of the property.” A gondola station is being built into the lower level of the clubhouse, which will take guests to and from the centre of Tbilisi’s Old Town. “The grow in has gone very well,” said Ramsey. “It is playable now, as they were originally targeting a spring 2020 opening. However, it won’t open until the hotel is complete in summer 2021.” Tbilisi course set for 2021 opening Photo: courtesy of Golfplan