Last week European Golf Design announced its new PGA National Russia course was preparing to open later this summer. In making the announcement the company described PGA National Russia as their latest ‘award-winning’ golf course and detailed its winning of the prestigious ‘Best New Design in Russia 2011’ award, which was handed out by Moscow’s leading real estate magazine, Magazin.
While it’s not clear how many new Russian golf courses were designed in 2011 (we could find just one), winning an award like this a full year before the course was even finished is quite an achievement, though it perhaps speaks to both the state of the Russian golf industry as much as the competition from other new projects.
EGD describes PGA National Russia as a classic heathland style course that features distinctive heather-clad bunkers. The course is situated next to a tributary of Europe’s longest river, the Volga.
PGA National Russia is said to have been ‘designed and constructed to European Tour standards’ and is Russia’s first and only golf course to carry the prestigious PGA title. According to the press release, ‘the title of ‘PGA National’ is limited to one golf course per country or major region and carries with it the PGA’s stamp of approval’.
PGA National Russia will join an illustrious ‘family’ of PGA National courses that include Ryder Cup venues The Belfry in England and the third course at Gleneagles in Scotland. The Belfry was recently ranked the 96th best course in Great Britain & Ireland by Golf World magazine. The Nicklaus course at Gleneagles missed the Top 100 entirely. Thankfully for PGA National Russia and European Golf Design, the European Top 100 is much leaner than the GB&I list.
Beyond an 18-hole ‘championship’ golf course, PGA National Russia will also feature a PGA National Golf Academy with a separate 9-hole course, putting and chipping greens, swing studios and state-of-the-art teaching area. The venue is set to become the new home of the Russian National Golf team and has signed an ambassadorial agreement with Ladies European Tour ‘star’ Maria Verchenova.
The golf facility at PGA National Russia is part of the 1,300-hectare Zavidovo Resort Community, 130km north west of Moscow, which on completion will include 5,000 dwellings, a hotel and two marinas.
We look forward to the September 2012 opening of this golf course, and to someday inspecting it for ourselves. Regardless of the marketing spin, this project looked to have real potential and it would be a shame if European Golf Design didn’t produce a quality course for the golfers of Russia.