It is some eight years since Swan Golf Designs, international golf course architects from Essex, England, designed the first, and then the second of Croatia’s only two modern golf courses – an old (1921) sand course remains on the Island of Brijuni off the country’s northern coast.
Now, close to the Jewel of the Adriatic – the beautiful Dubrovnik – Howard Swan’s practice are designing three new resorts, each with golf and real estate in association with Hedley Greentree Associates, architects and planners.
South of the city itself and close to Dubrovnik’s airport, sitting on the cliff top edge of the Sea, the golf resort at Cilipi – 18 holes, one hotel, residential villas and apartments – is being master planned.
Further south and inland, the town of Gruda will accommodate 27 holes of resort golf with real estate development, closely linked with the operation of hotels in nearly Cavtat and Dubrovnik itself.
Ljubica Jovetic, the Croatian architect in SGD and the only woman in the membership of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, adds, “Ten years ago I had hoped that my country was going to stamp itself as a golfing destination and it has been frustrating to see it take so long…but finally I think it is happening! With such a wonderful long coastline and with the beautiful city of Dubrovnik, these projects will give a tremendous boost in quality and year round tourism to Dalmatia. I am delighted that we have been chosen to design them for international investors who see a great future in my country.”
The third project and perhaps the most exciting, and most importantly the closer to and the most accessible from Dubrovnik, is at the Bosnian border at Ivanica. Presently, SGD are making a master plan for an eventual 54 holes resort, the development of which may begin in 2007. It will represent the country’s first course and mark a tremendous step forward since the troubled times of the ‘nineties.
Swan Golf Designs www.swangolfdesigns.com