In Russia, the western concept of building architecturally beautiful golf courses filled with modern and luxurious amenities has found fertile ground. What was considered a frivolous pastime during the time of the Soviets has become the latest trend for the stylish set. These days, there are countless options around Moscow to practice golf, polo, ski, yachting, and other sports alongside 5-star hotels, luxurious country houses, and magnificent villas.
The game of golf is a sport that requires passion and expertise. It is also part of a culture that considers this pastime a synonym of social prestige and exclusivity. In recent years, the new Russian elite has turned to golf as a vehicle of integration in the era of globalization. Golf courses are also meeting and socializing spaces where Muscovite tycoons can relax and also seal business deals.
Golf Courses in Russia
The Moscow Country Club, Pestovo Golf & Yacht Club, Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club, and Zavidovo Golf Club, PGA National Russia are some of the most exclusive and elegant golf courses in Russia. Some of them have made it to the list of Top 15 golf clubs in the world, a source of great prestige for the country.
The first 18-hole golf course built in Russia, Moscow Country Club, hosts the exclusive PGA European Tour. Located just eight miles from the city center, this luxurious facility was created by architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. The design takes advantage of a typical Russian birch and spruce forest to provide a natural environment of extraordinary beauty.
The Pestovo Golf & Yacht Club is 18 miles from the heart of Moscow, close to historical monuments from the 17th and 18th centuries. Designed by famed architects Paul and Dave Thomas, this 18-hole course is part of a complex that includes a yacht club, an equestrian center, and a health and wellness facility. Pestovo Golf & Yacht Club is Russia’s version of a classic country club with multiple attractions.
This park is among the best in Eastern Europe and was awarded the 2014 World Golf Award as the best golf course in Russia. Located 25 miles from Moscow, it is part of a vast complex featuring an 18-hole golf course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, a polo club and a mountain ski club with four tracks. The design combines classic Scottish, Alpine, and English features in a dreamy landscape.
Less than 60 miles from Moscow, this golf course with a definite Scottish design is the only one in Russia recognized as a PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) from Britain and Ireland. Located in an ecologically pristine area on the banks of the Volga River, the Zavidovo Golf Club embodies the spirit and appearance of the legendary Scottish golf courses. Its many springs and streams, hills, forests, swamps and lakes justify its reputation as a very demanding circuit. Last year, it entered the exclusive club of the 15 best golf courses in the world. ■