28 March 2022 – Croatian Golf Day – 100 years of golf on Brijuni Islands – was held this past weekend under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia on the Brijuni Islands.
The hosts of the event were Brijuni National Park and the Croatian Golf Association, while the goal of the event and celebration was the promotion of golf and the promotion of Istria as a tourist destination with potential for golf tourism.
History of golf
This year 100 years of golf on the Brijuni Islands, and thus 100 years of Croatian golf is being celebrated. The first golf course in Croatia, located on the Brijuni Islands, was known in the 1930s as one of the largest in Europe, and according to some it was one of the first golf resorts in the world.
Today, golf on the Brijuni Islands is one of the many tourist attractions, and with its climatic and specific characteristics, which differ from standard golf courses, it attracts golfers from all over the world.
In the “Past of Golf” programme held during celebrations, participants, led by Brijuni National Park, visited the Brijuni golf course and attended the opening of the exhibition on the history of golf on Brijuni. They also watched the Croatian League golf competition, which took place on the golf course that day.
The Croatian Golf League is held every year, organised by the Croatian Golf Association in 6 or 4 rounds on three courses, and teams of golfers from 22 golf clubs that are members of the Croatian Golf Association apply.
The winning club sends its representatives to European competitions: the gentlemen to the European Men’s Club Trophy in Portugal and the ladies to the European Ladies’ Club Trophy in Slovenia.
The future of golf and the need for new golf courses
Given that during the Covid-19 pandemic there was an increased interest in golf all over the world, including in Croatia, the need for new golf courses is greater than ever.
“The very nature of golf, as a social sport that is played outdoors and in small groups, allows you to socialise outside of indoor spaces, and thus reduce the risk to health. In Croatia, we are recording a large increase in the number of new golfers, golf academies are full and the few courses we have are insufficient to play this increasingly popular sport,” organisers said.
Also, as Croatia becomes an increasingly strong tourist destination, there are crowds on the courses, the inability to book and sell dates for the game and thus the loss of potential earnings in the tourism sector. Therefore, it is necessary to make plans and realise the construction of new golf courses, organisers added.
As part of the “Future of Golf” programme, a round table was held in which participants had the opportunity to talk about the future of Croatian golf.
The desire of the Croatian Golf Association was to encourage initiatives for possible public-private partnerships in the implementation of new projects, strengthen the link between the state and Ministries including the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Golf Association as a potential expert advisory body for future projects for investors.