A wonderfully expressed outline of golf in Central Asia as seen through a locals eyes!!

Golf, which is highly respected in Western Europe and the USA and which has become a life style for many of its fans, gains more and more popularity in Uzbekistan. Nowadays, along with great masterpieces of medieval art and picturesque ruins of ancient cities, Uzbekistan can boast of excellent golf fields. In Tashkent there was constructed a wonderfully organized golf club with first-rate golf fields. It is not surprising therefore, that high-level sport competitions are quite often held here.

Ideal climate, clean air, wonderful views, natural landscapes - hilly lowlands, fields crossed with the tree lines, lakes and vegetation make for this. 108 hectares of land with 18 holes on evergreen lawns, with gently sloping hills and branchy crowns of trees, lakes and waterfalls that serve as natural barriers for the game, all this pertains to "Tashkent Lake Side Golf Club".

Here the golf fields, which are 7015 yards long, challenge the proficient golf players, and at the same time enable the beginners to perfect their skills. 

Picturesque lakes surrounding the fields impart peculiar characteristics to each of 18 holes. Meandering along the lakes and waterfalls, the fields make an atmosphere of an oasis typical for inland plains of Central Asian.

It will take you 20 minutes to get to this Rokhat suburban recreation area from the center of the capital. This first-class Golf Club was constructed with the assistance of American company "Olden Star Inc" and was opened for visitors in August, 1998.

Playing golf is a real pleasure! Everyone can play it, irrespective of age, sex and physical fitness. This is one of the few sports, which all the family can go in for the whole year round. In Uzbekistan, noted for its warm climate that allows playing outdoor games at any season of the year, one can really play golf all the year round.

Golf is an ancient game. It appeared 700 years ago concurrently in several countries, but still Scotland is considered to be a homeland of golf. It was created by shepherds, who whiled away the time by driving the stones into the holes with the help of sticks, whilst flocks of sheep were grazing in the meadows.

Subsequently, golf turned into an aristocratic game, like horse racing or sailing. And now it seems to revert to its original status becoming a popular game in all the countries all over the world. It is suffice to say that only in US there are more than one and a half thousand golf clubs.

Golf is a game for real gentlemen. For instance, one of the oldest English golf clubs in the world is called "St.Andrew's Old Royal Golf Club". In olden days, players even used to wear a kind of uniform - plus fours. Nowadays, the golf players are not restricted in their garments, but still some elitist features have preserved.

A set of wonderful nickel-plated golf-clubs in a delicate case, special gloves made of expensive leather - all these accessories look very aristocratic and exquisite.

In golf there are regulations; but there is also golf etiquette, binding for everyone who is keen on golf. Nothing can be done about it: this is the inherent feature of the game. Golf is not like football, where a player may kick both the ball and the other player's legs.

In golf within four hours the players have to drive a ball into holes on 18 fields using the least possible number of hits. Age, sex and weight of the player are of no importance. The only difference is that for some people golf is a sport and for others it is just a health-improving pastime.

Here and there the trees, surrounded by thick high grass, tower over accurately mown lawns. These grassy patches are called roughs. Green sods give place to sand traps - bunkers. Young girls - caddy help the players to choose a golf club for driving the ball. In golf club the beginners can take the free lessons on golf playing.

Golf regulations are very simple and can be reduced to three main principles: play on the field as it is, drive the ball as it lies, and if the first two regulations cannot be applied, act by rights. Justice, as everybody knows, is a category of morality. Therefore it is reasonable that golf regulations are based on morality. It is customary practice of golf that golfers should be polite, well disposed and tolerant to mistakes of other players.

This game etiquette does not allow standing too close to the player while he is hitting the ball, to divert his attention with unnecessary walking or talking. You should let the fast player by; refrain from playing until an antecedent group of players reach the safe distance. It is not polite to detain a game, you have to set a playing zone free after all the players of your group have passed a hole.

All this seems very simple. But at the same time, it is necessary to point out that golf is one of the few games where these basic morals make a part of the game itself. We should keep in mind that nothing cost us so little but is appreciated so high as politeness.

In spite of the fact that Tashkent lakeside golf club is young, it becomes more and more popular among the golf players. More than 100 hundred players from USA, UK, Japan, Canada, Malaysia, Holland, South Korea took part in the first open golf tournament of Uzbekistasn.

For instance, golf players from South Korea find it more convenient and profitable to fly to Tashkent for a weekend rather than wait for their turn in the expensive golf club in their home country.

Climatic conditions of Uzbekistan ensure that golf fields are green and in perfect condition all the year round. Whereas in Russia, where golf is extremely popular nowadays, severe winter frosts and cold rainy days in autumn and spring make golf a season game. Therefore golf fans from Moscow and other Russian cities come to Uzbekistan in order to play golf.

Many employees of foreign embassies, foreign representative offices, trading and manufacturing companies and, of course, business elite of Tashkent are the constant members of Tashkent Lake side golf club. Today golf is not only the playground where golfers can prove themselves. Tashkent lakeside golf club possesses a large recreational area with training lawns, tennis courts, swimming pool, sauna, guesthouse, and restaurant with excellent cuisine. For many golf devotees, this aristocratic game has become a life style.

Members of this country club get together in informal atmosphere to converse about the things they are interested in as well as to discuss some business matters and to make a deal. As a matter of fact the unofficial objective of the golf club is to provide for the club members the favourable conditions for making contacts, to help them to find partners not only for golf game but also for business cooperation. After all, some of the foreign guests come to Uzbekistan having neither friends nor business partners here. Thus golf club membership becomes a kind of a good business card for them.

Very often guests coming to Uzbekistan kill two birds with one stone. They combine playing golf with touring Uzbekistan`s ancient cities located along the Great Silk Road. Impressions gained during the excursions to the ancient architectural constructions of Shakhrisabz and Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, which are included into UNESCO world heritage list are just unforgettable; they fascinate and command respect towards the historical and cultural background of Uzbek people. After familiarizing themselves with this "oriental tale", the visit to the Tashkent Lake side golf club, the prestigious center of the very "west-European" sport in the heart of Central Asia, becomes particularly exciting.