Work Finishing Up at PGA National Russia

European Golf Design's debut project in Russia, PGA National, is set to open this summer. The course features heather-clad bunkers and is situated next to a tributary of Europe's longest river, the Volga; it's similar in appearance to a traditional heathland course.

Designed and constructed to European Tour standards, the course was voted the Best New Design in Russia 2011 by Moscow's leading real estate publication, Magazin, and forms part of a golf facility within the 1,300-hectare Zavidovo Resort Community, located about 100 miles northwest of Russia's largest city.

Russia's first and only course to carry the PGA title, the facilities will include the new PGA National Golf Academy, consisting of a nine-hole golf course, putting and chipping greens, swing studios and a computer-enhanced teaching area.

Russian developer OPIN briefed EGD, the golf course design company of the European Tour and IMG, to create a course capable of hosting professional tour events as well as being playable for Russia's new golfing public. Dave Sampson, EGD's project designer, said: "When we first visited the site, which is surrounded by pine and birch forest, it was clear that a heathland style course would be appropriate.

"Although naturally beautiful, the landscape lacked strong physical features, but we were able to improve the aesthetics and introduce a strategic element to the course by enhancing the streams and ditches running across the terrain."

PGA National Russia will be home to the Russian National Golf Team and has a sponsorship agreement with Ladies European Tour star Maria Verchenova, who will become an ambassador for the resort and work to boost national participation in golf.

Jeremy Slessor, managing director of EGD, commented: "For a developer in an emerging golf market to introduce a facility of this magnitude and quality is an incredible demonstration of the intent to grow the game in Russia.

"With potential for hosting European Tour events, the golf facility will become a landmark for Russian golf. A spotlight on the game here will naturally increase national interest in the sport and with the PGA Golf Academy, there is nowhere better in Russia to learn and improve."

Nine holes at PGA National Russia will open for play in July 2012, while all 18 holes are set to debut in September. The PGA Golf Academy is will follow in late 2013.

Bordering a massive nature reserve, PGA National Russia offers views of the picturesque Zavidovo countryside, the location of one of the official vacation residences of Russia's president. Upon completion, the resort will include 5,000 dwellings, two marinas and a town center.

The title of "PGA National" is limited to one golf course per country or major region and has the PGA's stamp of approval. It joins such courses as Ryder Cup venues The Belfry in England, and Gleneagles in Scotland, host of the 2014 Ryder Cup.

EGD also designed the 2010 Ryder Cup venue, The Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. For more information about the company, visit