Located less than 10 km from Almaty city center, Nurtau GC was the first golf course built in Kazakhstan in 1996 and only featured 9 holes. In 2004, President Nazarbayev suggested to extend the course to 18 holes. Nurtau is the more established, and perhaps the more approachable, of Almaty’s two 18-hole courses. Since 2005, Nurtau has been host of the annual Kazakhstan Open tournament, the biggest tournament in the European Challenge Tour Season. A tournament that has launched the careers of European Tour stars like Edoardo Molinari (2009) or Tommy Fleetwood (2011). Colin Montgomerie himself played the first ever 18 holes alongside the President when the course reopened after its extension in 2004.