Welcome to a new feature on the UAE Golf Online called ‘Where are they Golfing now’ were we track down people who used to work in the UAE Golf Industry. Peter Holland gave his answers to our questions on ‘Where he is Golfing now’. Full Name: Peter Anthony Holland | Age: 33 | Nationality: British
How long were you living in Dubai in the Golf Industry?
My stretch accumulated to around 8 years
Where have you worked in the UAE and when?
Pro Sports International from 2001 | The Montgomerie, Dubai from 2003 and I was at Dubai Sports City, Butch Harmon School or Golf from 2009.
You saw many changes in not only the way Dubai now looks but also in the growth of the Golf industry, what are your thoughts on this progression and the future?
Changes are interesting to see, obviously the tremendous amount of construction which gradually slowed down over time. However during that time some amazing reach for the sky’s projects did get finished, no need to name it but its very tall! Dubai and the UAE has always been an exciting, adventurous region when discussing sport.
People can get onto a golf course or join an coaching program with relative ease as most clubs offer not only memberships but also daily fee access for non member guests. There is simply an golfing option for everyone in Dubai, which has allowed golf progression to thrive, providing you book in advance within the seasonal months!
The future is simple, keep building golf facilities, keep maintaining existing facilities and most importantly keep developing junior golfers.
Do you manage to get back to the UAE for any Golf or Golf events?
Quite often, in fact I always look forward to popping over to Dubai. Just under 5 hours from Moscow, it’s easy!
Troon Golf office is located in Dubai, so 2 to 3 times per year for general meetings.
I also travel with members from Agalarov Golf & Country Club who love playing golf in Dubai for tournaments and family trips. Our membership utilise their Troon advantage membership within UAE.
Do you miss anything about golf in the UAE/Dubai?
Yes, Dubai is always easy to miss, many opportunities, events, networking, concerts, friends and competitions such as the Dubai Desert Classic and more recently the Race to Dubai.
Can you talk a bit about where are you currently residing and working? Tell us a little about the Golf Club?
Agalarov Golf & Country Club managed by Troon Golf is situated 22 km from Moscow on the Novorizhskoe highway.
Established against the backdrop of an inimitable landscape of protected sanctuary land with a total area of 300 hectares, combined with the immaculately groomed fairways, bentgrass greens and exceptional customer service. Agalarov Estate includes a magnificent golf course with 18 holes (6,492 meters, par 71 with a complex water system, consisting of 14 lakes, 4 flowing waterfalls, and 7 delightful fountains.
How is the Russian Golf scene ? Compared to other places you have worked?
Russian sport has always been strong such as in tennis, gymnastics and hockey for examples.
The golf scene is relatively new and a difficult one. Limited amount of facilities and in general all private with high security for members only, quite different from the warm welcome in Dubai!
However this is changing and clubs are starting to support the development and help new golfers start.
At Agalarov we allow the Russian National Team to train at our new Troon Golf Academy to support the players who act as ambassadors to the sport and role models to our popular junior program’s.
Competition is high! Everyone wants to win and are willing to work very hard to place their name on the leader board! Good mentality for sport and with the coaching structures now progressing also, I predict within 10 years there will be a Russian superstar playing on the mens or ladies European tour / PGA tour.
What is the standard of the courses in Russia and Golf development?
Golf courses range from Nicklaus signatures to practice facilities. At Agalarov we use cool season grasses, bent grass A-1 on the greens which provides a fabulous true roll putting surface, our goal is to consistently provide fast true greens. The quality is exceptional, this is helped with the fact that our golf course receives much less players when compared to Dubai courses.
How was the transition from Dubai to Russia for you?
It was not known at first. Russia was such a new adventure and I personally had no idea what to expect. Originally coming for three months has now turned into being here for three years and counting!
The transition was difficult from knowing many people in Dubai to suddenly being on your own in Moscow! Agalarov Golf & Country club potential was however huge and exciting. My first project was to open the golf course, which happened in stages of 9 holes each year – this takes a lot of your time and you build work relationships to make this succeed. We also employed staff from Dubai to join the team.
Another project was the Troon Golf Academy at Agalarov, from design through to construction to becoming operational was the heart of my work for 24 months.
Working with many nationalities kept you entertained, the project was keeping teams motivated, researching and personally overseeing every fine detail.
This was fun and not only kept the transition easier by keeping busy but also will help develop future stars from Russia. Very satisfying!
Would you recommend people to try Golf in Russia?
Summer (May to October) weather is generally very good, golf course conditions from June onwards very high standards, Moscow has everything, entertainment, theatres, restaurants, parks, history, Red Square and all only a 5 hour flight from Dubai, Emirates fly twice daily to DME airport in Moscow.
UAE Golf Online would like to thank Peter for his time and wish him good luck.
Peter Anthony Holland | PGA Director of Golf
Agalarov Golf & Country Club | www.agalarovestate.com