The back story

Sergey Koldin made his money in air conditioning (Russia does get warm in the summer…) but like many successful men, he has a restless mind. So after scaling one mountain in business, this all-round sports nut – and relatively recent convert to golf – decided to start ascending another peak by building his own course.

The architect

Koldin chose Lassi Pekka Tilander to design his course for him. The Finn played for his country’s national team as an amateur and is a member of the PGA, but designing courses – rather than playing them – is now his main passion. With an already solid back catalogue of designs, he then really made a name for himself with the outstanding Parnu Bay in neighbouring Estonia.

Gorki, Russia

The course

Koldin provided Tilander – who lives across the Gulf of Finland in Helsinki – with a gently undulating but flat site an hour from the centre of St Petersburg. The architect, a links golf fanatic, has added dune ridges to add definition to the holes but they feel very natural and so is the rest of the shaping. Tilander’s philosophy centres on wide fairways and exacting greens, and Gorki follows that route with elan. A high-class modern course.

The accommodation

Right next to the handsome clubhouse sits a neat four-star hotel boasting 26 standard rooms, four family rooms with loft, two junior suites rooms with living room and bedroom, as well as two luxury suites. The two-bedroomed suites boast stunning views over the course.

The city

You will love the course and hospitality at Gorki, but spending time in St Petersburg is absolutely essential. It is a city of stunning architecture, rich history, lively bars, and amazing restaurants. And make the unique Hermitage Museum the centrepiece of your visit – you will be wide-eyed for the entire duration you explore it.

The cost

You can get one night and one round from €125 per person. That is for a single room with a Garden View, from a Monday to a Thursday. It’s €191 to add an extra round, and just €6 more for a Golf View, which I’d recommend.

For more information, visit the Gorki website.