In all of the, world Russia has never been known for its golfer sport, but the Moscow City Club is trying to turn that all around, by opening its doors once a year for the opening tournament for the Russian season.
The Moscow City Club is located near the Kremlin and Red Square. It was 25 years ago, when Russia first attempted to make its place known with international golf, but it was never successful because few appreciated the game. According to Viktor Mochalov, secretary general of the Russian Golf Association, “The history of golf in Russia began as in any other country. It was private, very expensive clubs for the wealthy people. But now we are in the moment when – I expect – the number of golfers will grow dramatically in the near future.”
The weather is a big reason why the sport has not been considered one of the very best. The infrastructure makes it hard for golf to be available even in the one of the biggest countries in the world.
According to senator and Olympic champion, Svetlana Zhurova, “Sometimes people say: ‘Ok, the climate in Russia is too cold to build a golf course. But you see, there’s Finland, where they play winter golf. We have to change the people’s attitude. Golf has to be a sport for people. And it’s very healthy, from what I see.”
For now, surprisingly professional Russian golfers often attend tours all over the globe.
“Unfortunately, we have just a five-month season in Moscow, which is probably the shortest season in the world. But you see the weather is nice. The course is in perfect condition. The greens are fine. The grass is finely cut. So we are happy,” Aleksandr Lintsov, golf enthusiast, said.
Even though, Russia is making strides to gain popularity in the golfing world, this won’t happen overnight, but many can look forward to the Russian Open in June.