In the Summer 2010 edition of “By Design” magazine, writer Michele Witthaus discusses both the history and the future outlook of the game of golf in the Czech Republic.
Witthaus writes that the Czech golf renaissance started in the early 1990s, and the game has grown steadily since then. For several years, around 6,000 Czechs have taken up golf annually, and that growth looks set to continue, with a strong interest in the game in the Czech media and a developing pool of golf course architects.
The author says that the Czech golf boom has been generated from the bottom up, with the country largely generating its own golf industry. The success of the Czech economy has created the conditions in which golf can grow, and the willingness of Czech investors to put money into golf projects—and make them available at affordable prices—has encouraged many people to take up the game.
Les Furber, ASGCA designed the first large-scale golf project in the Czech Republic after the fall of the communist government, Karlstejn golf resort. Furber remembers the challenge of being a pioneer: “The first challenge was to assemble the land, as there were 66 different titles to these lands. The communist approach to problems and solutions was embedded in attitudes, and it was difficult to get people to think creatively.”
Since Furber’s experience, many other international designers have worked in the Czech Republic. A number of large-scale developments are currently in planning for the country, and investors interested in bringing golf tourists in can take on such projects knowing they have a domestic market to fall back on. While still relatively small, the Czech golf industry certainly has a solid foundation on which to grow.
To read Witthaus’s article in its entirety, please visit here.
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