Erki Mölder elected President of the Estonian Golf Association
On 8 October, the General Assembly of the Estonian Golf Association (EGL) uniting Estonian golf clubs and players unanimously elected Council Member of Qvalitas Medical Centre and Unimed Group Erki Mölder its President for the next three years.
Mölder is an entrepreneur active mainly in the health sector, has previously managed Quattromed and TREV-2, and belonged to the board of the association of enterprises Teenusmajanduse Koda. Aside from other duties, Mölder is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Enterprise Estonia (EAS).
According to EGL, there are currently 10 public golf courses in Estonia, 3000 active golf enthusiasts, and about five million euros of national income from golf tourism. The potential, however, is much bigger, claims Mölder: „The image of golf in Estonia has not followed the progress of the sport elsewhere – unfortunately golf is still seen as an expensive pastime for the few. It doesn’t have to be like that – golf is financially available for a much larger part of the population, they just haven’t discovered it yet. One of my goals is to bring golf closer to people. I can assure you, it is suitable for both the elderly to keep them physically active, and for kids to develop their physical abilities and coordination,” says Mölder.
Another challenge is that the opportunities to play golf are unevenly distributed in Estonia. Whereas golf infrastructure is fully developed near Tallinn and Pärnu, and in Saaremaa and South-East Estonia, it is virtually non-existent in North-East Estonia. „I hope that in the next few years we can kick-start processes to make golf more available all over Estonia.”
Mölder’s third goal is better cooperation within the sector to develop services and build a community of golfers. „My first act will be meeting with the representatives of all the clubs and courses to familiarise myself with their financial situation and future plans. Based on that, I would like to present a consensual plan by the end of the year. A lot depends on the willingness of the parties to discuss actual problems.”
As the final challenge Mölder mentioned the scant focus on competitive sport. So far clubs have struggled on their own developing juniors. I believe that by uniting resources and effort we can achieve more. Mölder sees at least three athletes in the top 500 of amateur golfers within 5‒7 years, and possibly 1‒2 of today’s juniors developed into professional golfers.