A Travel experience by a Golf Professional
I wanted to share a fantastic golf trip I made in October this year. After been travelling to Kazakhstan about 10 times for playing the Challenge Tour I now had the pleasure to come back and play their first International Pro Am hosted by Zhailjao Golf Course.
Playing in Almaty has always been very close to my heart after almost winning the Kazakhstan Open back in 2009. After this I have met so many fantastic people and made so many friends in this wonderful country. What people might not believe is that the country also provides an amazing food culture with great restaurants and also lots of other activities to do such walking in the mountains, skiing in Shumbulac and also hunting and fishing.
Coming back to the Golf, I have to say that Almaty provides us with to amazing courses in Zhailjao and Nurtao Golf Course. Zhailjao is more an open resort course but in my opinion with one of the best views in golf in the world. I have travelled to many places over the years but sitting on the terrace in the club house in Zhailjao gives me total peace over looking the mountains boarding to Kyrgyzstan. The course itself is quite generous but a good test as the greens are tricky and the rough is normally quite thick. There is almost only good holes on the course and my favorite hole is number 13th the short par 3 with a tiny green and water to the left and in front of the green.
Nurtao Golf Club is a more difficult course with three lines and tight fairways. Also here the greens are very small and you need to use your head to play this course. Design is great and together with the American Golf Director Kurtis Clement, the course improves every year. I would say this course is more for the better golfer and always in good condition. My favorite hole on this course would be the 5th a par 5 where you need a perfect tee shot to be able to reach the green in 2 but with water waiting for you on the left side of the green with a bunker protecting the green in front.
Next year in September I will be back for the 2nd QAZAQ International Pro Am and I would recommend players to visit Kazakhstan for an amazing time with golf, great food, spa and nightlife. With the hospitality the country shows to foreigners I suggest all keen golfers and travellers to adventure something new.
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