Israel’s only golf course: Caesarea Golf Course

Israel’s only golf course: Caesarea Golf Course

Football and Basketball are the most popular sport in Israel while golf is a sport is which is not common in Israel and it’s not that popular.
 
In January 1961, Israel got their very own golf course and club at Israel’s city of Caesarea. 
This was all possible only because of Jimmy de Rothschild, a British political liberal (from the wealthy Rothschild family), Jimmy came to visit his family land in Caesarea and looking at the conditions, he thought it was perfect to make a golf course in the large area of land owned by Rothschild family.
But unfortunately, he died in 1957 before he could realize his vision. Later, James de Rothschild Foundation was set up to make his dream a reality with Max Rowe representing the Rothschild family.
In January 1961, Caesarea Golf Club was officially opened and four years later, Israel Golf Federation was founded in 1965.


Caesarea Golf Course 
(Photo Credit: top100golfcourses.com).

Israel got their first international golf course in 1961 and after that, the course has gone through several changes and the biggest change came in August 2007, when the Caesarea Development Corporation completely redesigned the golf course with the help of Golf architect Pete Dye and completed in July 2009.
The club has 700 + members which are more than of Augusta National club, who have a limit of 300 members.
Because of their monopoly in a golf course, Caesarea golf club is lucky enough to organize major golf tournaments in the region of Caesarea, like the Maccabiah Games.



Aeriel Shot of Caesarea Golf Course
(Photo Credit: Israel21c.org).

Apart from Caesarea golf course, there is another course in Israel, named Gaash Golf Club located at kibbutz Gaash and the only difference between Caesarea and Gaash course is that Caesarea golf course is an 18-hole course where as Gaash golf course is a 9-hole course.
 
Over the years Israel only has one full 18-hole course (Caesarea Golf Course) and still, 59 years later, Israel isn’t able to produce another golf course that matches the international standards.
 
Below are some possible reasons why this hasn’t happened:
 
1. Less space available: 
Israel is a small country in size and golf course occupies a large amount of space.
 
2. No Golf Culture: 
Like America or any other European country where golf is very popular and friends/family together go to a course, every weekend to enjoy the game and spent time with each other, compared to Israel where people don’t know about the game itself so, it is hard to imagine if such golf culture exists in the country.
 
3. Fewer international golf tournaments:
In European countries, they have more than 200 golf events in a year compared to Israel where there are 5-10 international golf events which gives less exposure to local players.
 
4. Very less Interest:
Israelis have very less interest in golf, let’s say from 8 million Israel population, only 1000 are interested in the sport and that 1000 are pro players because of this, the Israeli Golf Federation and Caesarea Golf Club aren’t able to organize too many global tournaments because small number spectators come to watch competitive golf in Israel.
 
5. Cost of maintenance:
Now, possessing a golf course is very expensive and what more is, maintaining it which include cleaning the water every week, grass cutting, continues irrigation, and many more things.
The yearly cost of maintenance of a golf course is from 1 to 1.5 million dollars.


(Photo Credit: Golf Business Monitor).

16 Golf Courses Planned:
A couple of years earlier, the Israeli government announced that they will make 16 golf courses in the next 10 years.
So, let’s hope this plan becomes reality one day when we will see not one but many international golf courses in Israel.

[COVER PHOTO CREDIT: TRIPADVISOR]


By Dhruv Trivedi

Connect to Us: dhruv@dktsports.com

May 22, 2020 in Golf Course

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