The sun is finally waking up, and at last, it’s time to get out of the gym and onto the driving range. (It’s been a long cold golfing winter). So we hitched a ride across town and spent our Saturday afternoon at the Kyiv Golf Center in Obolon. There is a driving range, a cafe and a bar called Golfist where they serve whiskey. And what’s the point of Saturday golf if there’s no whiskey after?
There’s plenty of green green grass, and distance markers up to 200 yards, but anything over that flies off the range and onto a crowded walkway along the river. I hooked a 5 wood that one hopped into the river, and a guy appeared and told me not to hit anything past 200 yards. So, if you’re long, you’re stuck hitting irons, which isn’t the end of the world. If you’re a newbie or a short hitter, it doesn’t affect you at all. (If you like to bomb your driver, you’ll need to find another spot) What I really like about the range, is the variety of flags and distance markers, which makes for good target practice.
When the range isn’t open, you can arrange it so you can play a few short holes, and they’ve also got a chip and putt area that you can rent, cause we all gotta work on our short game. So, as a practice facility, it’s got most of what you need. Right now, Kyiv Golf Center is only open on the weekends, but they may open up more when the weather comes around.
Igor Oleksyn is the Head Professional out there, and he’s legit. He was finishing up a lesson when we got there, and a bit later he got his irons out and launched some gorgeous high draws down to the end of the range. He’s also fun to talk golf with, which is kinda rare in this country. Overall, the staff is friendly and everyone I met out there spoke English, so it is definitely foreigner friendly.
We got two large buckets of balls for 760 hrn, which is on the high end of what you might pay in the states. Afterward we relaxed a bit in the outdoor cafe, took in the sites around the river, and sipped some whiskey . Overall, a great afternoon of golf inside the city limits. We definitely will be back.
Here’s a little drill for you golfers out there to help you take the club away from the ball and avoid the dreaded flat shoulder plane. Anna breaks it down in the second half of the video in Ukrainian language. It’s called the broom drill, and if you practice it often, you’ll take it away like a pro… and as any pro will tell you, that’s half the battle.