Julia Kirilenko. photo Valery Vorobyov

GM: Julia, how did golf hook you?

Yu.K .: Well, first of all, it’s just beautiful! Aesthetics in movements, a variety of golf clothes, colorful balls, and the golf clubs themselves are like a work of art.

But seriously, I don’t understand what exactly got me hooked on golf. Probably a full range of activities related to the pastime on the golf course and around it. I can say that I liked golf from the very first training session.

GM: How many golf courses have you played?

Yu.K .: 351 golf courses! More precisely, even more, since there are fields with 36 holes, and they have only one logo on the ball – but I keep score on the balls. I have played golf in 42 countries and 5 continents.

GM: When did you first pick up a golf club?

Yu.K .: The very first time I picked up the putter was on a mini golf course. It was in Bermuda in 2001. There was a golf course on site where I first tried golf.

But seriously, it happened at the beginning of summer in 2009 in Krylatskoye. My friend Olga invited me to try it, since her husband had been sick with this for a long time, and she was only a spectator. So I was hooked! Thanks Olya!

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Old Course

GM: When did you first enter a foreign golf course?

Yu.K .: When the 2009 season ended in Moscow, I tried the golf courses of Turkey for the first time. In the fall of 2009, I went with a small company to a training trip to Antalya. The weather there allows you to play all year round and a good variety of fields. It was there that I played the first foreign golf course Gloria Golf, New Course.

GM: Did your family support your new hobby?

Yu.K .: My husband was there, but then he was not yet a fanatic of golf. I am the first in our family who fell ill with this.

GM: What were your first emotions when entering a foreign golf course?

Yu.K .: There was definitely no excitement, I had already played full-fledged golf courses in Moscow before. Most quickly, it was emotions from something new. Different nature, running squirrels, good weather, interesting landscape. I remember exactly that the field suffered a little from our invasion.

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Trophy balls

GM: What golf courses do you remember?

Yu.K .: The stunning Hualalai Golf Course in Hawaii. The green expanse in the middle of the black volcanic landscape is very beautiful. Red Mountain in Thailand is amazing with its landscape inscribed between the mountains. The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club, located on the ocean, cannot but be remembered. The Kingsbarns in Scotland, despite the not very warm weather in that region, cannot be ignored. Very good quality course, difficult for beginners, but I advise.

In fact, almost half of the fields I played are sure to be remembered for something. Its beauty, interesting history, good score, funny flight and so on.

GM: What’s the most legendary golf course you’ve played?

Yu.K .: The OLD Course St Andrews Links and Pebble Beach Golf Links are probably the most legendary courses on my list. Pebble Beach would love to repeat it, because when I played it for the first time, I could not let go of the phone and constantly took pictures, which of course affected the result.

Old Course has played more than once, but I think that there are many equally worthy courses in that area.

GM: What’s the most exotic golf course you’ve played?

Yu.K .: I can mark a couple of fields that were different from the others. Al Ghazal Golf Club in Abu Dhabi is a completely sandy field. There is no grass at all. The fairway area is marked with pegs. When your ball is within this area, you can place a mat of artificial grass under the ball before your next shot. If your ball flew outside these stakes, then play the ball as it lies. Bunker and green are also sand. To be honest, it was a pity for the clubs! And the field in Malaysia on the island of Lankawi The Els Teluk Datai, which is the other way around without a single banker.

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With Henrik Stenson at the Audemars Piguet Tournament

GM: What are your favorite golf destinations?

Yu.K .: In America, I played the most different fields, but most often, of course, it is in Moscow. I really like to play in Asia. Firstly, warmth, the presence of a caddy, and a lot of exoticism. Korea has pleased with funny golf carts that move without a driver behind the wheel. Most of all I love America and England. There golf is a way of life! I have not seen such a number of different and high-quality fields anywhere else.

GM: What’s your favorite golf course?

Yu.K .: My favorite, I would call my home golf course Skolkovo. I played it most often, I already know every bush there, and played my best game of 75 strokes on it.

GM: What souvenir do you take after passing the golf course?

Yu.K .: If I play the course for the first time, then I definitely purchase a golf ball with a logo. Many friends, not even playing, often offer me to bring new balls from a place I have not been. But after explaining the principle of forming my collection, they stop offering. I only have balls from the fields that I play!

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Pebble beach

GM: How do you choose golf courses?

Yu.K .: The husband chooses. There are special databases with a small description of the field with pictures. It is very convenient to use it. Almost never was there a disappointment, expectation and reality. We also listen to the opinions of friends who advise something. If there is a vacation in a place where we have already been, then we choose according to the principle “either did not play at all or I want to repeat it in the club you like.”

GM: Do you have a preference for the style of the fields?

Yu.K .: There is no preference for me. I like both links and parkland. I will not return to a completely sandy one. Sorry for the clubs!

GM: What is important to you when choosing a golf course?

Yu.K .: Quality is very important to me. The better it is, the more enjoyable it is to play. Visualization is important to me as a girl! The main thing is to be beautiful.

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Julia and Dina Zharova-Berner at the 2018 Ryder Cup. Golfmir.ru

GM: What was your most memorable professional golf tournament?


Yu.K .: Last fall, I was lucky enough to attend the Ryder Cup in Paris. Previously, I was at various sports competitions (football, hockey, tennis), but this is not comparable to golf and, in general, a tournament of this magnitude. Hundreds of thousands of viewers who are also fans of this game. Of course, some of them came for a company with a husband, or with a wife or with a friend, but I think everyone was very impressed.

The atmosphere is amazing! Many viewers clearly prepared themselves heavily in advance. Companies that wear the same costumes, the same headdresses, set the mood for the holiday.

Competent organization of logistics. Cafes, fast foods, shops – everything is at the highest level. Everyone is taking pictures, filming, having fun, rejoicing, in a word, no one is indifferent. The lucky ones who were in the forefront were the luckiest of all, they had the opportunity to watch the game of world-class golfers as if you were walking with them in the same fly. And it is doubly pleasant when your favorites win.

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With fans at the 2018 Ryder Cup. Golfmir.ru

GM: What is the average cost of a green fee in the world and what should it be in Moscow to attract more golfers?

Yu.K .: Less than $ 100 in the world. As for Moscow, I think that the price / quality is justified. We have really good golf courses. These are not always found in Europe. Why would we attract more golfers? It’s enough for us. It often happens that you cannot participate in some good golf tournament due to lack of seats. Itself more than once I had to refuse people to register for my tournament.

GM: Is golf an addiction or a lifestyle?

Yu.K .: Golf is an addiction that has become a lifestyle.

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