It’s fascinating to watch the golfers shivering with impatience when the first blades of grass are sprouting on Transylvanian golf courses that are their homes from spring till late autumn. A sport recovered after 1989, the golf is gaining, step by step, ground in the heart of sports enthusiasts in our country.
Romanian golf was born in the interwar period and was reborn after 50 years of socialism and communism, when it was forbidden. I might say, profanely, that the golf is that vertical, spiritual axis, through which, man, in a perfect symbiosis with nature, connects the earth with the sky. Nevertheless, speaking from the sports point of view, golf is in Romania too a mature lesson of communication, etiquette, life style, behavior, strategy.
The history of Romanian golf is related to the name of Paul Tomița, originally from Pianu de Jos, Alba County, who dreamed to become a golf player and succeeded to participate to 6 world championships between 1968 and 1973.
His dream started growing up in 1929, when he was only 15 years old and he left for Bucharest to engage as a ball boy and as a pupil of French teacher B. Lammaison, who was teaching golf at the diplomatic “Country Club”. He was awarded the title of golf professor by London Professional Golfers’ Association in 1937. Until 1975, when he retired, Paul Tomița was a full-time golf professor at Country Club, and upon retiring he went back home to Pianu de Jos.
“King Michael, the members of the Cantacuzino, Ghica, Brâncoveanu, Știrbei, Bibescu great families, other great personalities of the time, such as the ambassadors and diplomats who were attending the Country Club inherited from Paul Tomița the game’s technique and mastery, but also their sympathy toward this extraordinary man”, one can read on the Golf Club Paul Tomița site in a historical presentation dedicated to the great player considered in a British publication in 1968 – The most remarkable character of the World Cup.
A complex and difficult sport, which is nevertheless absorbing you the moment you get to know its secrets, golf in Romania tries to recuperate its lost time and to get closer to its potential practitioners.
Five courses, from 9 to 18 cups
Golf cannot exist without an adequate infrastructure, which is able to challenge the golfers, to the extent that they wish to come again and again. Presently, most of the golf courses are in Transylvania, where there are five courses, and other three at the level of the entire Romania.
GOLF CLUB PAUL TOMIȚA –Alba County
GOLF CLUB PAUL TOMIȚA was inaugurated in 1995 and it is the first private course in Romania, located in Pianu de Jos. It has 70 hectares of land out of which 50 are for playing golf. It was also the first course in Romania with 18 cups. In its first phase (1995-2002) the course had 9 holes and starting with 2002 there are 18 holes… over small and curled hills, with old oak trees spread all over the course, 6,061 meters long for the gentlemen, 5,165 meters – ladies.
The course also has a driving range.
KINGS LAND COUNTRY CLUB –Bihor County
Situated in the locality of Ineu, 15 km distance from Oradea, the golf course has 9 cups with par 22. The course architecture and design were achieved by golf professor Gabriel Toader in 2009-2010.
The course has a driving range.
SUN GARDEN GOLF & SPA RESORT – Cluj County
SunGarden Golf course is situated in Poiana Cerbului, inside the famous Baciu forest, close to the municipality of Cluj-Napoca, and it is one of the best kept courses in Romania (according to golfinromania.com). The golf course has nine interactive holes layout, of 33 total par and a total of 2,211 meters. The golf games are subject to the rules of the USGA.
SunGarden has a driving range and an academy of golf.
TRANSILVANIA GOLF CLUB – Cluj County
TRANSILVANIA GOLF CLUB is situated in Sanpaul commune at 30 kilometers distance from the city of Cluj-Napoca. It has a spectacular landscape rich in hills, valleys and forests. Out of the 18 projected cups only the first 9 have been opened (TGC front nine). If we take into consideration the 6 cups that TRANSILVANIA GOLF CLUB has for the academy of golf, then we can say that it is the third course in Romania after the number of cups (total 15), according to golfinromania.com.
The club has a driving range, an academy of golf of 6 cups, a golf shop – Golfstore.
THEODORA GOLF CLUB – Alba County
Inaugurated in October 2017, in the locality of Teleac, Ciugud commune, Alba county, Theodora Golf Club is a golf course that owns the longest trail in Europe – par 6 – 735 m. The golf course is 56 hectares long, with 18 holes layout and a total length of 6,518 m. The golf course counts 4 holes layout of 3 par, 10 holes layout par 4, 3 holes layout par 5, and one-hole layout par 6.
The 5 hectares unique lake, with an island and 2 greens, where the golf enthusiasts have the opportunity of exercising their skills, complete the picture of this unique practice customized.
The club has facilities such as indoor simulator, driving range, covered, with integrated audio system, and 20 available places for all the year round.
Source of information: the sites of the golf clubs and golfinromania.com
Photo source: Laurențiu Coman (personal archive) & Transilvania Business
(From the special edition of TB 86 – „ENJOY TRANSYLVANIA!” – May/June 2019)