World of Leading Golf (WLG), an international organisation representing some of the world’s best golf resorts, is reporting an increased interest in membership enquiries from Eastern Europe and Asia.
Indeed, the prestigious 27-hole Estonian Golf & Country Club (EGCC) – also a member of European Tour Properties – has already been accepted into the association and appointed the ‘home’ of WLG in the Baltic country.
Elsewhere, in western Asia, two further Turkish properties have been accepted into the association following the stringent testing programme undergone by prospective members: the Carya and National golf clubs, in Belek.
The Carya GC, in Turkey’s golfing heartland of Belek, hosted the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open earlier this year which was won by England’s Melissa Reid. Designed in a classic British heathland style by the design practice founded by five-time Open champion Peter Thomson, Carya is unique in the region.
The Championship course at the nearby National GC hosted the same Turkish Ladies Open event, from 2010 to 2014, and dates from 1994. It has also hosted a European Senior Tour event and will become a 27-hole complex later this year when its nine-hole executive course is opened.
EGCC, just 20 minutes from the country’s capital city, Tallinn, is considered the finest golf resort in Estonia and celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The 18-hole Sea Course, featuring oak alleys, old boulders and natural ponds, winds its way harmoniously along the Baltic Coast and the Jägala River delta, while the nine-hole Stone course, on a protected limestone plain, between junipers and reconstructed stone fences, has an air of a traditional links.
And, as part of a project designed to create a family leisure resort and spa, including a 150-room hotel, 10-time Major champion Annika Sorenstam is currently designing an additional course for the venue upon which construction is expected to begin next year.
Hanno Kross, EGCC’s chief executive, said: “Our vision is to further develop EGCC into an international leisure resort and spa – an exciting new concept for golf tourism in northern Europe, where our long, sunny summer days are perfect for active, outdoor holidays.
“As host to a number of prestigious international events we are passionate about maintaining the very highest organisational and service levels, which is why membership of WLG is a very welcome achievement. It’s also a great honour to be named as the association’s ‘home’ in Estonia.”
Claus Feldt, WLG’s general manager, said: “We are naturally keen for the association to have members on every continent but we are not to be rushed into accepting members simply because they give us a footprint in a new region.
“The whole ethos of WLG is that its member clubs provide only the very best levels of service and facilities – so, even if we’re keen to obtain our first member in, for example, South America, we would not just accept a venue for the sake of it. It is beholden upon us to accept only the best or our very raison d’ être is compromised.
“So we are delighted that further Turkish members have attained the necessary standards to be accepted into the association as we continue to expand in Asia. Likewise we welcome EGCC and hope we can soon extend the hand of friendship to other clubs we are now talking with in both Eastern Europe and Asia.”
With its expansion continuing and with prestigious clubs currently in other continents undergoing the membership approval procedure, WLG truly is an international community. Its member clubs are fully committed to upholding the very highest levels of quality, and continued benchmarking and testing ensures those standards are maintained or membership is lapsed.
WLG focuses on marketing and communication platforms for certified premium clubs in order to promote awareness. Print and on-line publications – such as a new guide and regular newsletters – serve as reference guides for the demanding golfer, while ‘members only’ travel offers and other advantages help deepen the relationship between the designated golfers and WLG member clubs.
World of Leading Golf www.world-of-leading-golf.com