The Republic of Albania is a small country in South Eastern Europe that borders Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, and the Republic of Macedonia, as well as the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. The country is currently seeking membership in the European Union and NATO. The country is rich with history, archaeological digs finding artefacts that date back to Stone Age and it is one of the only countries that found more Jewish refugees living in it by the end of World War II than any other.
While most countries in Europe enjoy the sport of gold, Albania is one of the few that does not actually host a golf course. There have been talks about one being constructed in the city of Tirana, the capital of the country. Communism fell in the country in 1990, and since then, they have been attempting to restructure their entire economy to a more market-based system. With this change in both the government and economic system, the country and its people are more open to the concept of tourism, thereby welcoming the prospect of having a professional golf course somewhere in the country. Already the country is seeing an influx in its tourist trade. The ancient sites of Apollonia, Butrinti, and Kruje have become extremely popular with tourists interested in history, and the unspoiled nature and pristine beaches of the coastline is getting attention as well. It won’t be long before a gold course will find its way to fruition.
Right now, the recognized sport of Albania is Bola, or Ladder Golf. This game was derived from a Spanish throwing game of a similar name. The bolas is a throwing weapon made of weights on either end of an interconnected cord. Tiran hosts an annual Bola Championship and the winners are dressed in jewels and given a key to the capital city. The same Albanian family has won this championship the last five years. Albanians also enjoy soccer, in which they ranked 78th in FIFA in 2007, basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics. Quite a few of the Albanian football clubs have won First Division Cups and Super Cups over the last few years.