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WMF Youth Officer meeting the YWC 2010 candidate in Sochi, Russia

After the Russian Minigolf Association informed the WMF in January that they are not able to organize Youth World Championships (YWC) 2010 in Moscow as planned, it was time to make new plans. The Russian association instead proposed Sochi and Hotel Olympiysky-Dagomis as the new organizer. Sochi and the Minigolf Club Olympiysky Dagomys have organised many important Russian national competitions during the last few years as well as the international Sochi Open in late autumn 2008 on the existing MOS concrete course.

The WMF Youth Committee and Technical Committee discussed the issue and decided that the Youth Officer should accept the invitation of the candidate to follow the Russian Team Cup in May 2009 in order to find out if the existing course is suitable for YWC.

I headed to Sochi with the information of being allowed to participate in the competition as well, which would enable me to get an even better feeling of the course. After one practice day, two competition days and one additional small "doubles competition" on the fourth day of the stay I was convinced that the courses are more than good enough for WMF championships, even if they somewhat unconventional. Together with the candidate we discussed some improvements, which will be made together with the annual maintenance works. We also went through the whole WMF checklist to give the candidate a better picture of necessary actions.

If Minigolf Club Olympiysky-Dagomis is granted the YWC 2010, they will immediately start the process of purchasing a miniaturegolf course, which will be placed on the parking deck of the hotel with immediate connection and visibility to the MOS course. This course will be under the roof, so even playing in rain will be possible. It is planned that this course will be ready for the Sochi Open 2009 in October in case of a positive decision.

Not only was the course was a positive surprise to me. The conditions for players are almost ideal. The hotel can offer enough rooms in different price categories from multi-bed motel apartments to hotel rooms of good standard. Additionally the candidate is planning to offer an all inclusive-package and the hotel restaurant serves excellent buffet meals. The hotel has a large swimming pool and additionally a guarded 500m long private beach with a beach promenade on the Black Sea only 10 minutes walk away from the hotel.

The organisation of Russian Team Cup was generally at a good level. Some small adjustments must be made, but the major line was that the organiser really took good care of the players and made them feel welcome. There was also a very good closing ceremony with dance shows and fireworks, as well as wide media presence and good sponsorship activity. On the fourth day there was an excursion for all participants to Krasnaya Polyana Mountain with a visit to a honey production farm as well as the ski resort of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Considering all these facts I could gladly announce at the victory ceremony that I shall recommend Sochi as organizer for the YWC 2010. There we have a good chance to experience some unforgettable minigolf days with our Russian friends.

Pasi Aho
WMF Youth Officer

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