Is Russia viable for a golf business opportunity? – part 2

By: April 15, 2010

As I promised earlier, Lyne Tumlinson, the former director of Career Services at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is keep on writing about golf business opportunities in Russia.

Before you grab you kluchi and head for the Aeroflot ticket counter, you should factor key historical and cultural points into you golf business plan. Check the features of the Russian world view that affect potential for the golf industry to grow into a phenom in Russia:

  • Lack of understanding of private property in Russia historically led to very different understanding of rule of law than in the West: both ownership and law are "flexible", with implications for stable ownership of golf property, golf course etc.
  • A growing season is less than 4 months in most locations will affect profits of the golf property; meanwhile, the tradition of "slash and burn" agriculture completely depletes soil nutrients in a given number of years will not work for golf turfgrass.
  • Zakon (Russian Law) is often defined by the phrase "it depends" – on who you are and who you know. What implications here for the Rules of Golf?
  • Russians' love of outdoor recreation includes strolls in the park, enjoying fauna and flora – a potential positive for public golf course development.

More about golf business challenges and opportunities will be in part 3. Till then here are two photos about a typical Russian golf course in the early 90s. The first 3 who write me which golf course is on the picture, I will be ready to talk about his golf business. 🙂