Golf in Russia is well placed to grow and prosper with the Zavidovo PGA National course set to blaze a trail following its official opening before an international audience.
The stunning lay-out, which will form the centre of an extensive leisure and lifestyle complex on the banks of the River Volga, attracted rave reviews in an inaugural pro-am tournament to showcase its arrival on the world stage.
With plans to bring elite level championship golf to the course in the near future and a world class PGANationalGolfAcademy in 2015; it is an exciting time for the resort which lies 90km from Moscow.
Sergey Bachin, chairman of course owners Agranta Moscow, unveiled the course to selected media and guests including Gleneagles general manager Bernard Murphy whose PGA Centenary course will host the Ryder Cup next year.
Zavidovo director of golf Phil Jones, a PGA Fellow Professional, heads up the golf operations, working closely with Constantin Zabrodine, general director of the Zavidovo project, and Alexander Yarunin – the club’s president.
Jones commented: “The official opening was a pivotal moment in the history of the course and hopefully it marks the start of an exciting adventure.
“Moving forward the plan is focusing on building that membership feel that people want in a club and the club environment is huge over here.
“Zavidovo is a fantastic test of golf for the more established player, I think that’s the message that came out.
“We invited a lot of people from Moscow who have not visited the course before or seen it and they just came off and said wow so for European Golf Design it’s a great accolade.
“The greens have got a bit of movement in them and that just adds to the feel of the golf course, it means if we need to we can just push some pins into slightly more testing positions for the final day and I think that’s great to have that ability to set the course up in different ways.
“Here on the ground we know that we have got a great reputation as a real test of golf and we are providing a links experience in an inland environment.
“The opening has tied in nicely with the arrival of Nick Solski as head professional, tuition is going from strength to strength and we are seeing a lot of new members taking up the game and our responsibility moving forward is to develop the new players who will be members in the future and will help grow the game in Russia that way.”
A new 250-room Radisson hotel is scheduled to open near to the course in May 2014, paving the way for it to become a favourite destination for Muscovites and more adventurous foreign golfers seeking to discover the superb golf facilities on offer at Zavidovo PGA National.
Guy Moran, The PGA’s head of property and development, added: “It’s great to see the course fully operational as it takes its position as a focal point for The PGA’s education and training programmes in the country.”
Zavidovo PGA National Course www.pganationalrussia.com
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