For the last fourteen years the Swedish management of the renowned Moscow nightclub has held the Night Flight Open at the Moscow Country Club in Nakhabino. The 2012 tournament was held on 7th September and fifty golfers took part, with twelve players flying in from Sweden especially for the event, for the golf and for the fun.
âThey make it like a tradition to come and play our tournament,â says the General Director of Night Flight, Mats Gluggen Jansson. âEveryone is welcome to play, and we do it for the fun, not for the prize tableâ.
The format of the game is a 2-man scramble, in which the teams consist of two players each. After each shot, the best of the two shots is chosen and both players play from that spot until the ball is holed. The combined handicap of each team is divided by four and deducted from the gross score. This results in a leaderboard resembling a PGA tour with scores well below the 72-par of the MCC course.
Disaster can strike, however, and invariably does. One Swedish pair murdered the first fifteen holes with birdies and pars, only to lose shots on the final three holes with a reckless score of 12 on the notorious long par-5 fifth hole. Such happenings, and frequent outbreaks of hilarity from around the course, may be the result of the âvodka buggyâ making its rounds of the course to marshall and encourage the players. A âshotâ per hole is not an unusual occurrence!
When asked about this, Mats Gluggen replied, âVodka? At MCC we killed six bottles; in the evening at the club itâs hard to know, but quite a lot. Like all earlier tournaments we have to help some players out and into a taxi.â
The day ends back at the night club on Tverskaya Street with a sumptuous Swedish buffet and the prize-giving. When the winning team were receiving their prizes, one Swedish visitor was heard asking his golf-partner: âAre they pros or just very good amateurs?â His friend had his eMenu in English in the other direction however, and asked in return: âWhich are you referring to? The girls or the golfers?â
The Night Flight Open is held on the first Friday in September, so the next time will be on 6th September 2013.
Results Night Flight
First A. Solodvinikov
A. Dowling 65,5
Second N. Jackson
S. Wilson 66
Third S. Conway
F. Zamudio 66,25
Closest to the Pin D. Morley
Longest Drive F. Zamudio
Best team spirit S. Brandstone