THERE are no golf courses inCroatia
New Straits Times » Sport
Golf: Daria happy that Croatia not last anymore
Oct 20: THERE are no golf courses in Croatia.
The only one that existed ceased operations four years ago and players need to cross over to neighbouring Slovenia to play a round.
For a country still feeling from the effects of a civil war that claimed the lives of close to 10,000 in 1991 and an ailing economy to boot, golf is largely frowned upon in the tiny European country.
Sports like soccer manages to get sponsorship, but not golf, widely regarded as a sport for the rich.
The country is slowly changing it's attitude towards golf and now there is a junior development programme in place.
Darria Zubrinic is only 19, but has already represented her country in three Espirito Santo World Amateur Team Championships campaigns, the last being the Malaysian leg that concluded in Saujana yesterday.
Croatia finished bottom the last two occasions, and Darria was happy with the team's latest performance in Malaysia.
"I am happy as this is an improvement. We finished second last and that augurs well for the team," said Darria in Subang yesterday.
Croatia finished 38th, a rung above Iran, with a four-day total of 154-over 738.
Nevertheless, Darria said it was a step forward.
She, along with teammates Snjezana Crnoglavac and Sanja Serfezi, are just a handful of golfers in Croatia who are hoping to promote the sport in the country.
In fact, Sanja pulled out of the last round because she was not feeling well as she is pregnant.
"She was not sure if she was pregnant, and only found out a few days before we left for Malaysia. On the day before we left, the doctor gave her the go-ahead to play." Coming from a middle class background, Darria's parents sent her to the United States to study. She managed to secure a scholarship to further her studies and is now studying in an American university based in Heidelberg, Germany.
"I chose to study in Germany as it is closer to home. Things are moving in the right direction for golf in Croatia, but it will take time."