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Golf Klub Zagreb, Maksimir Park Course. (1929 – 1938)

In 1930 the 9-hole golf course of Golf Club Zagreb was opened in Maksimir Park which was founded in 1787 as the first large public park in South-Eastern Europe, predating most of Europe's public park foundations. The Park was opened in 1794 under the initiative of the man for whom it was named, Bishop Maksimilijan Vrhovac of Zagreb (1752–1827). At that time, the park was located on the outskirts of Zagreb, whereas today it is fully surrounded by the city. 

It was in 1929 that the City of Zagreb issued a document expressing "It will to rent to the club for a period of six years for sport purposes a part of city's land in Maksimir park”. 

The golf course was opened 90 years ago on 12 June 1931. Her Majesty Queen Maria of Yugoslavia, who was staying in Zagreb for a longer period, deigned to take over the protectorate of the newly founded golf club. The opening of the golf course took place in the presence of the high protector. All members of the club and many distinguished guests gathered at the golf course for this occasion. Her Majesty the Queen was warmly welcomed by those present on her arrival. The President of the Club, Excellency Count Kulmer, addressed words of thanks to the High Protector and the Vice-President, Baroness Vera Nikolic, presented Her Majesty with a magnificent bouquet of roses. 

After the President's welcoming speech, the first stroke was taken by the captain of the team, Mr. v. Ulmansky, after which the President officially announced the opening of the course and wished both the club and the members luck and progress. Then the member started teeing off. The first two players to start were the Plenipotentiary Minister of Great Britain to the Yugoslav Court, Sir Neville Henderson, and the British Military Attaché, Major Oxley.


Golf Klub Zagreb, Croatia. Emblem of the Golf Klub Zagreb.


Golf Klub Zagreb, Croatia. Picture of the golf course.


Golf Klub Zagreb, Croatia. Layout of the golf course.


Golf Klub Zagreb, Croatia. Picture showing Darko v Strizic.


From 6 to 9 September 1934, the Championship of Yugoslavia was held at the Zagreb Golf Club. In the men's championship, the challenge cup of Her Majesty Queen Mary of Yugoslavia was played for, while the winner of the ladies' championship received the challenge prize of the Club President, Excellency Count Kulmer. Defending champions were Mr. Kendall, Mr. Field and Paula v. Ulmansky. (Source: Mitteleuropäische Golfrevue, May 1934). 

According to the golfer’s handbook 1935 the club had 84 members, Dr. D. de Strizic was the honorary secretary, I. Radolovic the professional and J. Vrecko the greenkeeper. The amateur record was 69 played by K.H. Field, whereas Radolovic held the professional course record with 64 strokes. Green fee was 40 Dinars and Sunday play permitted. 

The course had nine holes, and it was surrounded by protection fences (for park walkers). According to the Paris edition of the New York Herald it was one of the nicest golf courses in Central Europe. The first tee was east of the kiosk and the second hole ran toward the monument of bishop Vrhovac. Third hole was next to the Lugar and the fourth hole back to the kiosk. The Green of the third hole was on the fourth fairway. Hole No. 5 ran in the direction of Bukovacka street. The sixth hole was a dogleg, where the second part was southwards alongside Bukovacka street. No 7 was back north along the second part of hole No. 6. with seventh. The Eighth and ninth hole went back direction east and finishing below the 'upper' lake. 

Golf Klub Zagreb Club had issues in paying the rent and by 1935the club apparently stopped its activities. In 1938 the club was formally closed. 

The author would like to thank Damir Ritosa for the information provided on the history of Golf Klub Zagreb. 

Christoph Meister

June 2021