48 Golf Inc. Summer 2014
land from as many as 50 different sellers.
“But there is some government-owned
land that the government could provide,”
Moodie said Slovakia should also see development. He projects a course a year for
the next 20 years.
“Slovakia is more of a domestic market,”
To the south, countries in the Balkans are
not quite ready for golf. While Macedonia
is building its first golf course, social un-
rest and economic worries will likely keep
other developers away. Albania and Greece
suffer from some of the same challenges. In
1999, the Greek government identified golf
as an attractive add-on to an established
tourist market and made a commitment to
build 40 new courses in four years.
But the country’s bureaucratic woes
spelled doom for that extravagant plan.
Now its economic struggles and political
unrest have earned it one of only three D
ratings — Investment Strongly Discouraged — in Europe.
Ukraine also received a D rating. While
Moodie said the country has great potential, its political uncertainty makes it a risky
investment for now.
Russia is also a risky country to invest in.
But it has lots of appeal. It has an estimated
middle class population the same size as
the United Kingdom, but it only has 20 golf
courses compared to the 2,943 in the U.K.
“This is a very important market because Russia is a country where investment
in second homes is still big business,” said
Oliver Szocs, manager of Golf Advisory
Service for KPMG. “While very few people
play golf there, the figures are increasing.”
Szocs said Russians play golf while on
holiday and go home with a desire to play
A decade or so ago, Russia’s over-excited
golf promoters predicted that the nation
would open 500 golf facilities — nine- and
18-hole courses, driving ranges, practice
centers — by 2018.
But Russia’s oil boom ended, and the Pu-tin government now expects to record average annual growth in the neighborhood
of just 2.5 percent through 2030. Putin’s actions have also not endeared him to investors looking for low-risk opportunities. We
give Russia a B — Proceed With Caution.
Trevor Ledger contributed to this report.
Wadsworth Golf Construction Company congratulates
Columbia Country Club for being recognized in Golf
Inc.’s Renovation of the Year contest. We are proud
of both our work as the golf contractor, and
the work of the entire development team, on
this exceptional, renovation project.
“America’s Premier Golf Course Builder”
visits per course
Russian Federation 789