Latvia is virtually one enormous forest with more than 12,000 rivers and 3,000 lakes, but do not under-estimate the ancient Latvian traditions which have been long forgotten by most of Europe. The Latvian culture involves many song and dance festivals, but the most intriguing and best known is the mid-summer festival of Ligo, which is a celebration of the summer solstice.
It is quite apparent that Latvian roots are largely pagan, but the intrigue doesn’t stop there. Take a stroll trough the old cobbled streets, where the candles flicker and the evening skyline is awash with castle turrets and church steeples. Latvia is truly mystical.
In 1988, architect Jim Engh visted the Latvian Golf Club, "which consisted of a rebuilt house as the clubhouse, a wooden stand with a rubber mat, and a fifty-yard area that had been mown by a group of sheep and goats... The local members of the club knew little about golf but were very hospitable and eager to learn about the game. They insisted one of us actually hit a ball from the wooden stand. I was elected. As it turned out, there was only one ball and a choice of hitting a three-iron or a five-iron... I pured the ball into the long grass! Two hours of searching was to no avail. Yep, I had lost the only golf ball in all of Latvia!" From Secrets of the Great Golf Course Architects by Michael Patrick Shiels.
According to the Latvian Golf Federation, there are now four golf clubs in Latvia (and plenty of golf balls), the best is currently Ozo Golf Club which is set near to the capital, Riga. Golf is new to Latvia but we suspect that the sport will continue to grow and we will watch future golf developments with interest.