Neighbor's Guide

Golfing in Zagreb: A Hole in One When You Want to Have Some Fun

Croatia, in general, is a sporty country. I can't think of any other country with more than 4 million people and so many first-class trophies from all kinds of sports. But still, there are some sports which entered into our culture, and others didn't quite.

No other game combines the wonder of nature with the discipline of sport in such carefully planned ways. A great golf course both frees and challenges a golfer's mind. - Tom Watson

Photo Credit: Riverside Golf Zagreb

Personally, the closest I got to golf was seeing that small white ball with dimples in it. That was until I decided to write this article. Croatia, in general, is a sporty country. I can't think of any other country with more than 4 million people and so many first-class trophies from all kinds of sports. But still, there are some sports which entered into our culture, and others didn't quite. Football, basketball, handball, and tennis are some of the sports people in Croatia play regularly. But golf, golf is another thing. Perhaps, the reason for it is that, for playing golf, you don't need just the equipment, but also a pretty big golf course to play on.

Photo Credit: Riverside Golf Zagreb

Golfing - The Real Deal 

There is a couple of golfing organizations in Zagreb, but there's only one proper golf course. It's called the Riverside Golf Zagreb. It's located between the Jarun lake and Sava river from one side, and E70 highway from the other side. That might sound like it's far away, but that's just a fifteen-minute ride from the town center. The course is divided into two main sub-courses with 27 holes in total. The first, smaller course, called "Public" consists of nine practice holes, making it ideal for any beginner that wants to try out golfing for the first time. You can also take a golf instructor to show you the basics.

Photo Credit: Riverside Golf Zagreb

Golf might look simple and easy when you're observing from the sideline, but believe me, it's not quite that straightforward so an instructor should help a great deal. The other part of the course is called "Championship course." It consists of 18 holes, and it's the perfect place for any golf lover passionate about the game. I feel like golf is an ideal game for enjoying some fresh air, a nice walk through the breathtaking nature with something competitive to increase the fun of the whole experience. 
If you get hungry while playing golf, you can also enjoy the fantastic grill restaurant which is right there, at the golf course. On the website of Riverside Golf Zagreb, you can also see the drafts of all 18 holes so you can know what to expect. But really, I think you don't know what you're missing out on until you go there and try it for yourself. There is also the option to join the Riverside Golf Club if you want to enjoy some exclusive benefits that come with the memberships. There is a lot more room to popularize golf in Zagreb, and Croatia in general, but the people behind the Riverside golf Zagreb and other golfing associations in Zagreb, such as Golf club Zagreb are trying a great deal to make it even more popular. Help them and try out golfing, you won't regret it.

Photo Credit: Riverside Golf Zagreb

Learn some history and enjoy the game

If you are looking for a day trip near Zagreb, you can visit Zaprešić, a little idyllic town where you can find a second golf course in the Zagreb region. If you are thinking about how to get there, that should not be a problem. Zaprešić is very well connected with the west part of the city by regular bus lines of Zagreb public transportation or by a fast highway which will take you to Zaprešić within 20-30 minutes from the city center. Many people do this daily commute from Zaprešić to Zagreb and vice versa, so it is almost considered a suburb of Zagreb.

Situated in the beautiful forest park of Hrastina, the Golf Center and the Golf Club Ban Jelačić offer a well-equipped golf training ground and are set close to the historic estate and residence of Ban Jelačić. In Croatian, Ban, a title which matched a lord or a knight in other European countries, is one of the most famous Croatian historical figures after whom Zagreb's main square was named. Next, to the training ground, you can also find a Golf restaurant in the refurbished Jelačić's garden house which has become a favorite place for a gathering of citizens of Zaprešić and Zagreb soon after its opening.

Image credit: Golf klub Ban Jelačić

The golf training ground was built in 2004 as the first phase of a future golf course with 18 holes. On well-organized terrains, pleasure will be found by both beginners as well as advanced golfers. There you can try out your skills in a golf school or, for those advanced, take part in a golf tournament.

The whole exercise area is illuminated, and the use of the terrain is possible until late night hours, which is good to know if your game stretches out in the evening time. The golf training grounds include a playground for a shorter game, a playground for a long game, a ground for practicing your finishing shots and a 4-seater canopy for a rest between your shots.

Image credit: Golf klub Ban Jelačić

For visitors who do not play golf, the complex of Novi Dvori offers many other possibilities to enjoy the beauty of nature. You can go and enjoy strolling along the numerous paths inside the forest park, jogging or riding a bike.
There is also a place for recreational games on the meadows surrounding the complex, a kids playground and for those who want to learn a little history behind the location, a tour of the ban Jelačić family tomb and museum Matija Skurjeni. In the end, if you just want to enjoy the view and relax, you should try out some refreshing drinks and traditional specialties prepared in the Golf center restaurant.

Header Image Credit: Riverside Golf Zagreb

Authors: Darija Ilić & Tibor Trupec