Russia's golf hopes dashed by economy


A decade or so ago, Russia’s over-excited golf promoters predicted that the nation would open 500 golf facilities — nine- and 18-hole courses, driving ranges, practice centers — by 2018. In light of new economic data, however, the federation’s golf dreams may need to be deferred.

Russia’s oil boom has ended, and the Putin government now expects to record average annual growth in the neighborhood of just 2.5 percent through 2030.

“The factors behind the sharp economic growth in the pre-2008 crisis years are exhausted,” the nation’s economic minister said in a comment published by the Wall Street Journal.

As a result of the contracting economy, the newspaper says, “salaries and pensions will rise more slowly,” and consumer spending “will crimp.”

If you’re keeping score, KPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice has determined that Russia nowadays has just 16 golf properties – among them, just seven 18-hole courses – and a measly 4,500 registered golfers.

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