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INTO THE WOODS

By Anita Kaze. 21.08.2008

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The "Golfs Viesturi" course was actually the first to be built in Latvia, and opened to the public in 1998. It has recently been acquired by Igors Malishkovs, the vice president of the Moscow City Golf Club and the Russian Professional Golfer's Federation.

The 25 hectare, 9 hole "Golfs Viesturi" course is a little hilly in places, and is very pleasantly surrounded by forest. There are a few long water drainage ditches and a couple of ponds which provide a total of 7 water hazards and over 20 sand bunkers to avoid. There are nine well-groomed holes in total, comprising of two par 3 holes, six par 4's and one par 5's (total 35 par). The total course length is 2,559 meters from the yellow tees.

Technically, players on the course should hold a Green Card, however, if you can display skills and a basic awareness of the rules, you can still play.

There are good practice facilities at the club. These include a driving range with 15 undercover bays to practice, so no need to fear bad weather. This is located a few hundred meters from the club house so you can practice without the feeling that spectators are eyeing your skill-levels. There are plans to install video cameras as part of the training facilities. Then there's an area for pitching and chipping training, and a practice putting green next to the club house.


FROM THE PRO

The club employs young professional Dāvids Puksts, a local with the 2004 Latvian non-professional championship under his belt. His teaching qualification comes from the "Golfers Career College" in the USA, and he is keen to provide advice for beginner golfers.

It's good to see that the ladies are professionally represented here too, as Dāvids is assisted by Uliana Rotmistrova. She was the first Russian golfer in the Ladies European Tour and the Latvian champion of 2002, but has played in plenty of other tournaments and trained at one of David Leadbetter's golf academies in the USA.

When asking Uliana about the most interesting parts of the course, she says that holes one, three and seven are the trickiest. The fairways at "Golfs Viesturi" are fairly narrow, therefore it tests you to control your slice and be precise.




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