Before packing your clubs, and heading off to Pirin Golf And Country Club, you’ll either need to be a member (â‚¬3,000 per annum) OR enter a tournament BEFORE turning up. You can see an article and club house review here: http://banskoblog.com/pirin-golf-and-country-club/.
Today I take a look at, how toÂ play golf here. When you require a handicap certificate — and some more pictures and info on the course. Including excerpts from the new Pirin Golf And Country Club presentation brochure.
For this and photos, my thanks go to Gergana at Pirin golf club who contacted me this week. She was very keen to point out that they have just launched their events schedule for the season… so as quick as lightening I set to work to bring blog readers up to date.
I have not played the course myself yet – but will soon. I’ll then pass on my detailed hole by hole impressions.
BUT there are many other people much better qualified to do this. So if you are a low handicapper who play this course, I would love to hear from you.
So if you do not have a handicap certificate, it’s worth contacting the club and playing the no handicap tournament.
This WILL be on the Ian Woosnam course for nine holes. I’m sure it will be a well worthwhile entering this Here are all the tournament dates. The no handicap tournament will prove very popular so contact the club direct for this and all other forthcoming events.
Tournament Event Dates And Details For more details contact Andrey Glushkov….Mobile: +359.885.921.403:Â E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org:Â www.piringolf.bg
Golf Monthly Series June 7 July 26 August 30 September 18 October 11 Series of tournaments with separate evaluation of each round, and total evaluation of the whole series. Handicap Required
No Handicap Tournament June 28 July 19 August 9 September 27 October 18 “9 holes tournament for those who don’t have official handicap certificate”Â This is played on Ian Woosnam course.
Katarzhyna Estate Golf Tournament June TBA September 26 1st round at BlackSeaRama 2nd round at Pirin Golf Club
Spaghetti Kids Cup Tournament July 11 September 5 Golf tournament for children from 7 to 16 years of age
Tiger & Rabbits Tournament August 16
Pirin Golf by Night August 22
Pirin Golf Club Tournament September 19 – 20
Bulgarian National Cup October 3 – 4
Summer Golf Camp for Children July 5 – July 12 AND August 30 – September 6: For beginners and Handicap players. Entertainment and Accommodation provided. I’m waiting for more details on this event.
Pirin Golf And Country Club Brochure
From their brochure Pirin Golf Club here is the marketing pitch: “Pirin Golf & Country Club features two golf courses exclusively for the use of our residents and guests of the resort, as well as guests of Bulgaria Holidays hotels (Katarino SPA, Perun, Bulgaria).
The pride of the club is the outstanding 18-hole, Par 72 championship course designed by the winning 2006 Ryder Cup Captain, Ian Woosnam.
The second course is named after the surrounding area: . Pirin Pine Course, at the moment, features five fully constructed holes. It is designed by a young German company.”
Practice Range And Golf Academy
“The practice range (Driving Range, Pitching Range, Putting Green) is situated in the heart of the resort. It lays between the Ian Woosnam and Pirin Pine courses. Eager golfers could practice and improve their skills in one of the biggest, and most impressive Golf academies, in Central & Eastern Europe. The academy includes sophisticated video training equipment.
All managed by Nikolay Stanew â€“ the only Bulgarian golf professional to be certified by the European Professional Golf Association.”
The Club House
The brochures continues… “Undoubtedly, one of the most important buildings for a golf club is the Club House. Special attention is given to the design of the Club House in order to make it a desired place for meetings, social events and relaxation.
The Pirin Golf Club House is a beautiful and spacious building, constructed very much with the modern day golfer in mind and incorporating in it the spirit of tradition and modern times.
Included is a well-stocked Pro shop (shop for professional golf equipment from famous trademarks), changing rooms, conference facilities, VIP room, as well as a refined restaurant and bar. From the terrace of the restaurant one could enjoy the peace and quietness of the natural surroundings and overview both the magnificent 18th hole of the Pine course and the Ian Woosnam Golf Course.
Situated nearby the practicing range the Half Way House offers refreshment drinks and international cuisine to the tired golfers. The cosy terrace reveals a beautiful view of the mountain peaks, the pine forest and the Driving range.”
“The properties of Pirin Golf & Country Club represent three residential districts â€“ Downtown, Lake and Pirin. The allocation reminds of the typical structure of a town with its busy trading area and the different residential districts.
In December 2008 the districts Downtown, Lake and Pirin 3 received official occupancy permit and saw the first happy owners take over and move into their properties. District Pirin 1 is with envisaged launch in June 2010. “Downtown is busiest place in the complex with pedestrian access to the vital commercial trade areas, beautifully shaped green areas,restaurants and swimming pool. It is located south of the internal road, nearby the 5-star hotel.
The trading area will feature various shops, restaurants, offering international cuisine, bank offices, medical centers. It consists of six buildings with a wide range of apartments, each facing either the 14 hole of the Ian Woosnam Golf course or the Pirin Mountains.”
“Lake is considered to be the most luxurious district of all because of its ideal location. It stands north of the internal road and features a group of two apartment buildings (called the Towers) and 12 detached villas.
They are located above the fairway of 15 hole and the two lakes filled with clear mountain water from Pirin. District Pirin 1 and Pirin 3 are situated near Downtown and its facilities, but nevertheless offer more privacy and peace. Each district consists of three identical apartment buildings with internal space for relaxation and entertainment, swimming pool, cafÃ©s.”
“The hotel is located northeast from the main gate of the Pirin Golf & Country Club and overviewsÂ the 14th hole of the Ian Woosnam Golf Course. It features four blocks, situated perpendicular to the main road, with beautifully laid out internal spaces, recreational areas, pools, green alleys. Block 1, situated on the east side of the complex, is planned as a 5* hotel with about 70 cozy rooms. The other three blocks form an Aparthotel with more than 220 apartments, 20 of which are massoinettes.
SPA And Wellness Centre
The blocks are connected through a 4,500 sq.m. SPA&Wellness Center. The center also features a series of conference halls which could be opened into one big hall. The envisaged launch of the 5-star hotel is planned for the middle of 2010.
With the facilities and services it will provide, the hotel will complete the product Pirin Golf & Country Club, thus making it an unmatched holiday destination in the region.” So there you have it… the official brochure..
Is GolfÂ The Future Of High End Summer Bulgaria Tourism?
My view is that Balkanstroy should be congratulated on making the Pirin Golf And Country Club a reality. It’s no mean feat trying to get things done in Bulgaria. And the quality of the club house can be seen from the pictures on this page.
If I’m nit picking, there are teething problems.Â Service standards are not yet up to Kempinsky levels on my last visit. But its very early days — and I have not yet experienced all aspects.
But is the â‚¬3,000 annual membership fee which includes an accommodation package and free use of driving range simply too expensive? For a country with an average annual salary of around â‚¬3,000 – it would, on the face of it, to seem so.
But that, I am afraid, this is not the point. I think Golf will be sold to Bulgarians as a very exclusive pastime.
Only the very wealthy need apply. Whilst Bulgaria has under a 1,000 local golfers, there are (or were) 200,000 Bulgarian millionaires living in Bulgaria. So we’ll see what happens. But for now, Pirin GolfÂ proves that high end Golf tourism in Bulgaria is now a reality. Golf here will bring more publicity — and will lift the reputation of the area to attract top spending visitors.
The Katarino resort, also a Balkanstroy development and previously reviewed on my blog here:Â http://banskoblog.com/katarino-spa-resort-review, is the original high end hotel and Spa in the area…and probably still has the best SPA in the valley. Bansko, and the Razlog valley, are all the better with the Pirin Golf And Country Club.
For non golfers, my tip is to head out to the Club house this year. It is just fabulous place for a pre dinner drink on the terrace and would impress most well traveled golfers. Dinner in the restaurant looks great… I’ll leave this for another day and another review.
It will take several more years for “Bansko” to be recognised as an international golf tourist destination. But it now can make serious claims to be one of the very best mountain courses in Europe!
It needs major televised events – which it will attract in time. Longer term, they say many more courses will be built in the Razlog valley. I’m sure this ambition is some way off – but stay tuned as I’ll report on it when they do!
Combine golf with the fabulous Bansko Jazz Festival: http://banskoblog.com/bansko-jazz-fest-2009/ or simply relax by a swimming pool or, for the energetic, hiking, mountainbiking, horse riding etc. Looking for a comfortable place to stay? Then you check out the reviews on accommodtaion here. I’ll end with a picture of the “on course” property.
What do you think? Please comment below on your views – they are really appreciated. If you enjoyed this article, please join www.banskoblog.com by registering. You’ll receive occasional newsletter with reviews, interviews, news and tips on getting the best out of Bansko, and Bulgaria.