Global Edition

Czech plans for growth of golf

12.00pm 21st November 2002 - Courses

Golf has seen a rapid increase in its popularity throughout the world. The Czech Republic, like a number of continental European countries, has experienced a significant expansion in its provision of golf courses and facilities.

The proliferation has been most evident in the past five years, with the number of courses doubling. The Czech Golf Federation now estimates that there are some 12,000 registered players and around 40 courses.

In fact the Czech Republic has a long history in the game of golf. Two clubs, Marià¡nskà© Là¡znà© and Karlovy Vary, were established soon after the turn of the century while Golf Club Marienbad, still considered to be the country’s premier establishment, was opened in 1905 by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.

Although international golf tourism has brought many economic benefits to Spain, Portugal and, most recently, Turkey where golfers love to play in the sunshine, it is the development of golf and golf courses for the national population that is most important for the long-term health of the game.

The Czech Republic is at the forefront of this expansion because the Czech Golf Federation, under the leadership of its President, Dr. Milan Vesely, has recognised the need to forward plan and to establish a development strategy for the next ten and even twenty-five years.

Swan Golf Designs has been commissioned by the Federation to study the feasibility of the provision of facilities for golf throughout the country.

Courses may be three, six, or nine hole golf courses with driving ranges, large chipping, bunker and putting practice areas which will be used for tuition. The emphasis is on providing facilities that are simple, economic and accessible.

The importance of this work, to be carried out over the next three months, has been recognised by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, which is supporting the study financially.

The Czech Golf Federation intends to use the design feasibility study to enter into discussions with municipalities and regional governments throughout the Republic to utilise public land for the development of golfing facilities.

Swan Golf Designs will produce six development models to form the template of the concept of the facilities but allowing for adjustments to suit any particular parcel of land a municipality may offer.

The study includes discussions with the PGA of Czech Republic and developing ideas for how the new facilities can attract new golfers, particularly children.

Swan Golf Designs www.swangolfdesigns.com

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