Golf in Ukraine: business, pleasure or status?

02.09.2010 09:53
In the near future in Ukraine is expected to open another at least 10 golf clubs. To open a full-fledged golf course with its own field and related infrastructure, it is necessary to invest 100-500 million dollars, which will be repaid over 7-12 years.

Golf has long been considered a refined sport that can be engaged in professional or amateur, but always with pleasure. At the same time worldwide golf industry brings its members a very solid profit. Even far away from this area people are aware of the fact that sport the highest incomes (even though most of them are in the advertising contracts) receives an American golfer Tiger Woods. All of this suggests that golf - a profitable and attractive business.

A few years ago, Ukraine and Uganda were the only countries in the world where there were no golf courses. Since 2005, the situation in Ukraine has started to improve - have opened several professional golf courses: three in Kiev and its environs, one - in Lugansk and Kharkiv. In other big cities of the club, whose members have the opportunity to play either on the simulator in a room, or on a small driving range of 6-9 wells.

At the same time has already begun construction of several more sites in the Crimea, Kiev, Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk regions. According to the Ukrainian Golf Federation, the country has no more than 200 professional golfers, but at least once in his life playing golf for only 15 thousand people. The number of Ukrainians who want to learn how fashionable in the West, the game is closer to 25 thousand, which opens up good prospects to the owners of urban and suburban clubs. Potential customers are not deterred even a fairly high price - an average of $ 100 per game on the golf course (including rental equipment).

Construct the overseas host

Seen in the West has pushed and Sergei Kiroyantsa, president of the Federation of professional and amateur golf, build in 2004, Kiev is a golf course with a training field for 6 wells in the metropolitan district. "First, our visitors were mostly foreigners, now there is parity - 50/50. We must work not only on weekends but on weekdays. On advertising do not care - to disseminate the customers themselves," - said Sergey Kiroyants. Kiev Golf Center working as a restaurant, 18 shops golf gear and children's and youth area.

Even the announced projects, according to manager golf club Martina Zatkovoy not able to meet potential domestic demand for such facilities in Ukraine. World practice shows that this kind of "sports entertainment" must necessarily be in cities with a population of 50 thousand people. It should also be taken into account is quite common in the world of golf tourism, when a large group of golfers regularly travels the world to test new fields. It is not excluded that someday they will have a desire to come to Ukraine. For example, in Thailand, golf clubs have become key tourist sites, restore national economy.

However, most entrepreneurs have complained that the golf club to open in Ukraine will cost 3-4 times more expensive than in Europe.

According to estimates by Sergei Telitsin, director general of the first Ukrainian company specializing in project development and implementation of facilities for golf and mini golf course, nothing but the cost of a professional 18-hole course is 3-10 million dollars. "The existence of a golf club without its own field does not make sense, it is inadequate institution - so yourself glamorous club. A similar situation we have seen in recent years, when the Ukrainian golfers, united under the banner of a club had to play on overseas sites "- says Mr. Telitsin.

Large territory - the land under the golf course

Rather difficult to assess today's desire for a more livable Ukrainian developers of golf courses in our country because for them the usual super-fast and ultra-high profits this business does not work. Also, this kind of sport in Ukraine in its infancy, and the creation of a golf course with the necessary infrastructure - a very expensive and troublesome affair.

The most problematic step in the development of this direction (not taking into account the problems with lending and financing, due to the current situation in the banking sector) is to search the site. For the 18-hole golf, according to experts, need 60 to 100 ha, and land should be as close to large settlements, have varied terrain and attractive surroundings. Find a site with such parameters is extremely difficult to be able to get the property - nearly impossible. Because in Ukraine, experts say, the land under the golf course lease. For example, the territory of the First Golf Club leased for 49 years. In addition, in some cases selected to create the golf club land are not used as intended. This happens for different reasons: someone because of financial problems, someone because of lack of professionalism, and someone had originally planned a similar scheme.

However, land ownership is not a principled, as opposed to its purpose, said Valery Kirilko. In Ukraine, the plot should be a golf resort and recreation focus. Also, can you talk about the housing development with a resort and recreation, or simply recreational function.

Besides the legal complexities of land are often simply exhausted. "We are creating a recreational area and engaged in renovation areas that previously were actually salt marshes to the destruction of the fertile layer", - says Alexander COBIT, landscape designer. In addition, Ukrainian golf-property developers have to contend with the monotony of the landscape, creating ponds, elevation changes and planted a beautiful vegetation. Decoration of the lawn is a particularly complex task that requires foreign experts, expensive imported equipment and a considerable amount of time. In countries with longstanding traditions of golf, such as Cyprus or Thailand, architects are able to beat anyone even the most difficult terrain. The price of such a complex work is, according to one estimate, from $ 3 million (only box) to 8,000,000 (the field of infrastructure), for 15 million can be equipped with very good field.

According to other sources, these amounts should be increased at least twice as much depends on the quality of the land and the planned scope of work. Information about the value of its golf courses agree to provide only a "Ukrainian Trade Guild, whose project the 18-hole golf on 88.5 hectares in the cottage near Dnepropetrovsk requires 11.8 million dollars. At the scheduled season, the club in 144 days and participation in it has 100 members, the annual income is 2.4 million dollars that will pay back the project for 6 years.

Such precise figures no one else runs the risk of call, explaining that personality and characteristics of each field. For the calculation of the amounts the experts advised to contact the foreign network consulters, the first year specializing in the provision of such services.

"It is believed that the estimated cost for construction of a golf club starts with a 4.5 million euro for the 18-hole course - shares data, Mr. COBIT. - The amount may vary depending on the particular field and the land on which it is constructed, but upward. "

Life on the golf course

Worldwide, the largest and quick profits in the golf project brings the property you are building next to the golf course or even on themselves fields. And, according to Valery Kirilko, President of the Kharkov Golf Club, considered the most expensive houses built directly on the field - the game takes place right before the eyes of slum housing. Outdoor terraces with stunning views of the vast space a landscaped nature can not be cheap.

According to manager golf club Andrew Flint, according to statistics 70% of the owners of golf properties in golf is not played, but for them is set to society and the conditions offered by the club. Therefore, it is important to properly develop the concept of the entire project and build the "right" home in the right quantity. "To build a couple dozen houses does not make sense, it is advisable 200-400, - said Andrew Flint. - And it is important not to confuse them klassnost - villas and townhouses in a project is unlikely to become an example of a successful concept."
Inna Mazurkiewicz for UBR.UA
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