Golf in Russia

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Golf in Russia is not yet widespread, not only because of adverse natural conditions, but also because the construction of golf courses requires large capital investments (a few tens of millions of dollars, usually more than a hundred). The first 18-hole golf course was built in the suburban area of Nakhabino in 1994, and remained the only one in the country for many years.


The history of golf in Russia began with the establishment the first golf club in Moscow. On 15 September 1987, the first stone of the first golf course in the USSR was placed by famous Swedish hockey player, former world champion Sven Tumba. The same day, Pelé, Tumba, Sean Connery and Alexander Ragulin made symbolic strokes with golf clubs. In 1988, at the Moscow City Golf Club (MCGC) on Dovzhenko Street, the first driving range was opened. And after two years of construction in the heart of Moscow, the first 9-hole golf course was opened and ready for play. In 1992, based from the MCGC, the Russian Golf Association was created. It is now recognized by the Russian Olympic Committee, the European Golf Association, and the supreme authority of golf – the Golf Club of St Andrews.[citation needed]

In 1994, the second golf course in Russia was built − the Moscow Country Club. In accordance with the ideas of the founders of the club, it became a highly-recognized golf course, and was the only 18-hole championship course in Russia for more than a decade.

Subsequently, golf started its development in other regions of Russia. The "Dunes" course was built near St. Petersburg, and another course was built in S. Oskol of the Belgorod region. At the same time, a training facility and a golf club were built in the Krylatskoye area of Moscow. Pitch and putt facilities also attracted interest among Russians. Such projects were created in a mini-golf club named "Green Tee" in the residential complex Pokrovskoe-Glebovo.

2004–2006 saw active construction of additional golf courses. The first of them to open in 2006, the 18-hole Pestovo golf and yacht club, immediately won the hearts of Russian golfers. Several more golf clubs are scheduled to open. An incomplete list of projects can be seen below.

Champions of Russia

Year Men Woman
1992 A. Strunkin S.Kiiko
1993 Lifanov S. Kiiko
1994 Lifanov S. Gounkina
1995 A. Matrosov S. Gounkina
1996 A.Strunkin M.Kucherkova
1997 Lifanov M. Kostina
1998 E. Kovalenko S. Afanasyeva
1999 Bondarenko S. Afanasyev
2000 A. Mayorov W. Rotmistrova
2001 Bondarenko M. Kostina
2002 A. Nesterov Y. Rotmistrov
2011 Y. Kafelnikov M. Verchenova

Russian Cup

Year Men Women
2006[1] M. Zaitsev S. Gounkina

Annual Tournaments

President's Cup

Moscow Country Club. Nakhabino course length - 6390 meters, par - 72.


  • First place (individual scores) V. Rasskazov 64
  • Best result without handicap K. Bagat with Hcp 82
  • The best result among women K. Peltonemi 78
  • Closest to the hole, stroke (hole number 4) B. Vann 80 cm
  • The longest drive (hole #15) S. Ashworth 217 m
  • The best Russian player Vladimir Rasskazov 64
  • Best Junior S. Afanasiev 55


  • The first team place Zorin A. Perchuk N. Barsukov Mayorov 91
  • Best junior team Gounkina S. L. Ahremenko D. Breast J. Gagua
  • The longest drive (hole # 15) S. Gounkina
  • The best player among the ambassadors D. Bentley (Australia)


  • The first team place D. Cleland H. Khasbulatov D. Kohona S. Afanasiev 61
  • The longest drive (hole # 15) S. Gounkina 240 m
  • The best player among the ambassadors D. Bentley (Australia) 64


  • The first team place Zorin J. Alapoykela A. Peltoneymi I. Kurochkin 1965
  • The longest drive (hole # 15), M. Kostina, 230 m
  • The best player among the ambassadors D-B. Macek (Zimbabwe) 67

World Golf Championships

These international competitions were created by Sven Tumba Johansson, the founder of the first golf club in Russia, and have been held since 1995.

In the World Golf Championships (WGC), the handicap system is used. All participants of these competitions are divided into five groups according to handicaps: 0-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25. At the lowest level, the competitions happen at the participants' clubs, followed by national qualifying tournaments. The five winners of national championships form the country team and then participate in the WGC. Winners in each group are awarded as the World Champions. As a result of stroke play in each team, the Team Champion is determined.

From its first participation in the WGC in 1996, Russians have only been in the first 3 places 1 time, in 1998, when Dmitry Okorokov became a champion, and Svetlana Gounkina and the team got the bronze.

It wasn't until 2006 that the Russian team won three second places in the individual competitions and took a sixth place in the team competition.

  • 1998

1st place - Dmitri Okorokov. 3 place, Team Russia (Svetlana Gounkina ,........).

  • 2006

2nd place -.......... . Team Russia - 6th place.

  • 2007

2nd place Sergei Fedorov (handicap group 26-30). Team Russia (Alexander Petrov, Armen Movsisyan, Igor Chizhikov, Sergei Fedorov and Pavel Boyko) - 5 place.

Russian Open championship among professionals[3]

  • 1993 - Konstantin Lifanov
  • 1994 - Steve Schroeder (USA)
  • 1995 - Simon Clough (UK)
  • 1996 - Carl Watts (UK)
  • 1997 - Michael Reale (Italy)
  • 1998 - Warren Bennett (UK)
  • 1999 - Ian Payman (UK)
  • 2000 - Marco Bernardini (Italy)
  • 2001 - Jamie Donaldson (Wales)
  • 2002 - Ian Payman (UK)
  • 2003 - Marcus Fraser (Australia)
  • 2004 - Gary Emerson (Britain)
  • 2005 - Michael Lundberg (Sweden)
  • 2006 - Alexandro Cañizares (Spain)
  • 2007 - Per-Ulrik Johansson (Sweden)
  • 2008 - Michael Lundberg (Sweden)

Tournament Ronald McDonald House[4]

Tournament for the Cup magazine "Business people"

  • 2007 - 1 place team Asi and Don Alexander Patrobas [6].

Russian golfers and world golf

  • The first professional golfers in Russia were Denis Zherebko and Alexander Strunkin. After winning the championship of Russia in 1997, Konstantin Lifanov also turned pro.
  • Among women, the pioneer of golf was Svetlana Gounkina. After showing excellent results in Russia, in 1998 she received academic and athletic scholarships to study at Lynn University in the United States. Prior to 2001, she was number one on her university's team. She became the first in the history of Russia to become a bronze team winner of golf championships among universities USA. She was also the first Russian woman to participate in the Futures Tour (developmental tour for the LPGA),[5] and the first Russian golfer to participate in a qualifying tournament for the U.S. Open (she scored 76, falling 2 strokes short of qualifying).
  • Following Gounkina's success, both of Kostina's sisters went to America to study. They later played on the Futures Tour.
  • Uliana Rotmistrova was the first Russian golfer who changed her amateur status to professional. She qualified for the women's EuroTour.

Existing golf clubs

Golf clubs under construction

Interesting facts

Svetlana Gounkina won a national poetry prize while playing golf in the U.S.[6] One of her poems was published on the disc The Sound of Poetry, where poetry is read by famous actors of America. Her poem was also used by the Kazakh composer Tulegen Mukhamejanov to write the song Do Not Go Away. The song was used in a video by the singer Valeria.




  • The development of golf in Russia. Almanac № 1. 2000
  • All winners of the President's Cup. GOLF DIGEST. N 4 (28). June 2001.