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Greg Norman To Design In Dubrovnik
By Torleif Sorenson on 4/29/13
The green light has been lit for development of a public golf resort adjoining the resort town Dubrovnik and Srdj, a nearby mountain, in Croatia. GolfPark Dubrovnik is an estimated €1.1 billion (US $1.4 billion) project that will center around an 18-hole course designed by Australian golf legend Greg Norman. A nine-hole academy course, a horse-riding club, tennis courts, restaurants, and a hotel are also planned for the site.

The go-ahead for the resort and tourist project came following the embarrassing failure on Sunday of a voter referendum that was hostile to the project. The Associated Press reported with considerable negative bias that opponents claimed the the project would "choke" the picturesque city of Dubrovnik, located on the Adriatic Sea. However, Croatia's economy relies heavily on tourism — to the tune of some €9.1 billion each year. Dubrovnik's own tourism season is reported to be only two months.

Srdj (Croatian: Srđ) is a 412-meter mountain that includes Fort Imperial, which was built during the Napoleonic Wars (1806-1816), viewing platforms over the city and out to the Adriatic, several restaurants, and the small village of Bosanka. Residents of this small village are reportedly very much in favor of the golf park.

In one AP article, Dubrovnik mayor Andro Vlahusic pointed out what was seen as obvious by proponents of the project:
"That area has been neglected for 15 centuries," Vlahusic said. During that period, there were two ideas of what to build there, he said. "One was a railway station, the other was golf. Between the railway station and golf, golf is much better."
What opponents of the project also likely do not realize is that Greg Norman's established golf architecture philosophy is to take a minimalist path of least disturbance — an approach similar to the "retro-traditionalist" philosophy of architects like Tom Doak, Gil Hanse, and the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.

Given the steep, boulder-strewn slope of the seaside-facing side of Srdj, it is unlikely that Norman will route many (if any) holes there. A snap-judgement would be that viewing platforms and horseback trails are more logical for the hillside immediately above the town.

Since Croatia will join the European Union on July 1, 2013, a successful referendum would have discouraged businesses and potential investors in Croatia, which emerged from Communism and socialism during the fall of the Iron Curtain in the early 1990s. Instead, the project reflects the recent transition to a free and open-market economy. GolfPark Dubrovnik is the brainchild of Razvoj Golf, an Israeli concern that formed in October of 2006. It is expected to bring several hundred new jobs to the community, stretch and enhance the tourist season in Dubrovnik, give a considerable boost to the local economy....

...and drive golf enthusiasts around the world to a new and gorgeous destination.

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Image via GolfPark Dubrovnik

[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
...but only after Greg submits to a blood test. ;)
dottomm says:
I got to visit Dubrovnik this past summer. It was beautiful! Golf on those cliffs would be magnificent!
[ post comment ]
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