“Golf is not a sport but the way of life”.
As is known, a remarkable sporting event in the life of our country took place on June 6, 7 and 8 of this year when the amateur national golf tournament bearing the name of National Leader Heydar Aliyev was held at the National Golf Club in Guba.
The tournament involved amateur golfers from different countries, which, undoubtedly, played an important role both in tourism development and in raising the image of our country as a state that develops its sport potential actively.
Naturally, these achievements would not come true, had it not been for the efforts taken by President of the Azerbaijan Golf Federation Anar Mammadov.
Mr.Mammadov admitted in one of his interviews that golf for him is not a sport but the way of life, an elite game, a game for people committed to traditional values.
Anar Mammadov’s goal as the president of the Golf Federation is to bring up a generation of own players, both professional and amateur, and to make golf a part of the everyday life of Azerbaijani people.
The first National Golf Club was founded within a short period of time in Guba, the Golf Academy was established in Baku involving actively studying youth and different events are held at schools.
The official opening of the golf club in Guba was held with participation of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva on 18 September 2013.
The total area of the National golf-club is 92 hectares. It complies with all world standards and has no analogues in the South Caucasus. The club employs local residents, thus creating additional jobs. This is the country’s first 18-holes golf club which will turn Azerbaijan into one of the important sport and tourism centers of the region.
Thus, thanks to Anar Mammadov’s efforts, attention of foreign audience was attracted to our country which will soon turn Azerbaijan into an attractive country for tourists.
Golf has been included into the list of Olympic Games since 2012. The main task of the Golf Federation led by Anar Mammadov today is to create and train the national youth team and the Olympic golf team which could represent our country worthily at the Summer Olympics in Rio-de-Janeiro in 2016.
An agreement to hold such an international tournament as the Challenge tour which has a status of a very prestigious event in the world was achieved thanks to Anar Mammadov’s efforts. 15 players who win the tournaments and rise to the highest positions will have the right to play at the next stage of European Tour. It is a great achievement for Azerbaijan to be among the countries to host a series of these games proving that the Golf Federation has achieved good result in just two years of its existence.
The head of the European Tour Nick Tarratt visited Azerbaijan in February of this year. He visited the Golf Academy and National Golf-club and expressed his satisfaction.
Vice president of the Italian Golf Federation, owner of Della Montekia golf-club Paolo Casati also visited Baku. He also praised the development of golf in our country.
The meetings resulted in holding the prestigious Challenge Tour at the National Golf Club in Guba from 30 July until 3 August. The tournament will involve 72 golfers from different countries of the world.
Owing to Anar Mammadov’s successful work in popularizing Azerbaijan as an equal party in golf community, the Worldwide Golf, the leading world edition about golf, published an article about Azerbaijani National Golf-Club in its June issue.
The article described in detail the golf-club in Guba especially highlighting its fortunate location in one of the most picturesque places of Azerbaijan noting that the club is in full compliance with the world standards.
Anar Mammadov is also the chairman of the Garant Holding Directors' Board and president of the Azerbaijani-American Alliance. This year he has been the laureate of the Yilin altin adami award for promotion of Azerbaijani culture, raising the issues of Karabakh conflict and the realities of genocide in Khojaly and for successful lobbyist activity in this direction.