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Alain de Soultrait : Golf club in Guba surpassed all my expectations

July 31, 2014

Oxu.Az interviews director and one of the founders of the European Tour Alain de Soultrait.

Little was known in our country about golf and key figures in the world of golf, including you, undoubtedly, until recently. Could you provide some information about yourself?

My name is Alain de Soultrait, I am from France and I have been the head of the European Challenge Tour for the past 23 years. That's all, I think (laughs).

How do you assess the efforts of the Azerbaijani Golf Federation to popularize this sport in our country? Did you like the golf club in Guba?

Frankly speaking, the result surpassed all my expectations. The golf club here is just impressive-a wonderful course, an incredible landscape, a well-equipped golf-house. Moreover, the nature is singularly beautiful here-these mountains, the forest…

We did not know what to expect when we came here for the first time, but what we saw here was just astonishing.

Did you have time to visit Baku?

Yes, I was in Baku in June. A great city, so many beautiful and modern buildings, wonderful architecture. I am very glad that I visited there.

What is your vision of golf development in Azerbaijan?

Golf development is a very long process. At a meeting with President of the Azerbaijan Golf Federation we  discussed the development of the sport in your country. Everything is possible when there is a desire, especially in Baku with its wonderful golf academy and good, experienced coaches.

I am sure that the Azerbaijan Challenge Tour will also help the development of golf in Azerbaijan. In general, holding such a tournament in a country where golf was almost an unknown kind of sport until recently is an incredible success.
I think it is very important that the club is in Guba, this will help attract local people to golf.

The Golf Federation of Azerbaijan pays special attention to the education of children, because children are the future of golf, the future professional team of Azerbaijan.

And what about the time you think we need to make a really strong team?

As I said, it's a long process. At least five years will be needed with the extensive training of young players.

Are you familiar with any of the Azeri players? For example, do you know Kamran Zeynalov who represents Azerbaijan at this tournament?

Of course, I heard about him, he lives in Scotland. But I do not know him personally and have not seen him playing. I think it is very important that there is a player who can represent Azerbaijan at the first tournament in the country.
I wish success to all participants of Azerbaijan Challenge Open, as well as the Golf Federation in the further promotion of golf in your country.

Thank you very much for the interview.

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