Kevin Ramsey, ASGCA, (Golfplan) has announced grand opening dates for a pair of Black Sea projects: the first municipal course ever undertaken in Turkey, and a hilltop 9 now taking shape high above the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

“Our firm has opened up a great many new golf destinations but few stack up with the Black Sea in terms of pure eye candy — it has proved a stunning golf setting,” said Ramsey, who is directing both projects. “While Tbilisi is up and coming as a tourist destination, Samsun is just starting this push and Samsun Golf Club is already a significant asset.”

Golfplan finished the first nine at Samsun in 2016. The back nine is newly completed and will emerge in fully finished form come the spring of 2018.

Just 500 miles to the east, in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, the 9-hole Tabori Hill project has entered the final shaping phase. With grassing set for the spring, it is scheduled to open late in 2018.

The most important aspect of these projects, according to Ramsey, is the fact they’re both open to the public. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned,” he said, “in the dozens of emerging golf nations where we’ve worked over the course of decades, it’s this: It’s not enough to merely design and build golf courses. We’re obliged to build native golfing populations, as well, and that requires public golf.”

Formed in 1972, Golfplan – including David Dale, ASGCA – has created more than 217 original designs in 32 different countries (if renovations and master planning are considered, 85 countries).