Estonia sprouts a green thumb in golf-course development

  • 2005-06-08
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - Estonia is one of the most lusted-after frontiers for golf course development in the Baltics, with companies itching to get a piece of the green. And Finland's Golfest is the latest buyer.

On June 3, the company opened the first nine holes of a new course in the Rae community near Tallinn.

Only a 20-minute drive from the Tallinn passenger port, the Suuresta golf center is perfectly located for both Finns and Estonians, Golfest marketing manager Jerry Leppilampi said.

"The holes are in excellent condition and have earned praise from those who have already tried them out," Leppilampi told the Baltic News Service. "The Suuresta golf center is suited to both beginners and advanced golfers."

However, the manager refused to reveal how much Golfest had invested in the center. "I wouldn't like to name the figure until the next nine holes are ready next year," he said.

The Suuresta golf center offers its clients the opportunity to buy membership shares that secure playing rights, which cost from 61,000 to 122,000 kroons (3,900 - 7,800 euros).

Leppilampi said the firm has sold shares to both Estonian and Finnish firms and private individuals, but has declined to disclose the number sold. "All I can say is that we're very pleased with the sales," he said.

Including facilities that are set for completion within the next few years, Golfest's project will increase the number of full-range golf courses in Estonia to 10.