History repeats itself as Royal Approval is Given to
Montenegro’s First Golf Course
New Name ‘Royal Montenegro Golf & Country Club’ Announced
- New Royal Patron’s Grandmother introduced the first driving range in Montenegro in 1906
- National Golf Association of Montenegro announces that the Tivat Golf Course will become the National Course for Montenegro, where major tournaments will be held
- Golf training scheme for youngsters led by Sasa Ilic, a former English Premiership & international footballer.
21st August 2013:The first golf course to be developed in Montenegro announces the appointment of a Royal patron His Highness Prince Dimitri Romanoff of Russia, the Great Grandson of King Nikola I of Montenegro who ruled the country between 1852 and 1918. This choice of patron is highly significant as it was the Prince’s Grandmother, Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Militza Romanoff of Russia who introduced the first golf driving range to Montenegro, in Cetinje in 1906.
Prince Dimitri Romanoff said “As the grandson of Grand Duchess Militza, I am very happy to become Patron of the first 18-hole championship golf course in Montenegro. I have Montenegrin blood in my veins and I am pleased to do everything I can to support the country. This important sports development will make a big contribution to Montenegro’s tourist industry for the future and will specifically help encourage children in Montenegro to become active in the sport.”
The golf course, developed by Boka Group through British capital, has named the new facility ‘The Royal Montenegro Golf & Country Club’ in honour of its Royal patron. They have also announced the first Trophy Cup to be awarded for under 25 year old players, from next year, which is to be called the ‘Grand Duchess Militza Cup’, in honour of the Prince’s Grandmother.
Eighty four year old Prince Dimitri Romanoff of Russia opened the driving range and practice facilities at the Royal Montenegro Golf & Country Club in Tivat, by planting an ancient olive tree on 20th August. He said; “This was symbolic to me. I planted this tree, which is probably older than I am, as a reminder of the importance of the past and as something that will live long into the future and span the generations.
“I remember my grandmother, Militza, the daughter of King Nikola I and Queen Milena very vividly. I remember her and her sisters, my aunts, including Queen Elena of Italy and The Grand Duchess Anastasija, who were incredibly kind to me as a small boy, all of them loved sport of various kinds and taught me that through sport comes opportunity.”
The National Golf Association of Montenegro also announced that the Tivat Golf Course will simultaneously become the National Course for Montenegro, where major tournaments will be held following completion in 2016.
Boka Group, are introducing a golf training scheme for youngsters through a schools programme, led by Sasa Ilic, a Tivat resident and former English Premiership & international footballer. The programme will commence in the autumn of 2013. Sasa Ilic represented Serbia and Montenegro at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and played professionally for Charlton Athletic, Partizan, Leeds United and West Ham. Sasa’s previous experience in an ambassadorial and coaching role for the Charlton Athletic Community Trust – a grass root football scheme focusing on working in partnership with local communities – will be of huge benefit in getting Montenegrin children involved in the sport of golf.
John Kennedy, Founder and CEO of Boka Group said, “Today sees three important developments for the sport of Golf in Montenegro and South Eastern Europe. Firstly our Royal Patron, secondly that Montenegro’s first Championship Course will become the National Course where all major tournaments are held and of course Sasa Ilic joining us as the Golf Ambassador to schools and young citizens, encouraging them without charge to become active golfers. Now that golf is an Olympic Sport, we will provide the resources to create the first players in the discipline of golf to enter the Olympics and other tournaments in the future. This is the first step in a mission to find a Montenegrin Golf champion of the future. Sasa is the perfect person to do this. His own past achievements and enthusiasm for golf and sport in general are the right way to present this exciting new facility.”
LHS – Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Militza Romanoff of Russia who introduced the first golf driving range to Montenegro, in Cetinje in 1906.
Middle – New logo for the newly named Royal Montenegro Golf & Country Club
Right- L-R Sasa Ilic (leading youth golf training programme), His Highness Prince Dimitri Romanoff of Russia, John Kennedy (Founder & CEO of Boka Group) and Milos Jeknic (General Secretary of National Golf Association of Montenegro)
Boka Group is a private equity fund backed by British capital developing real estate and homes aimed at western markets. It has supervised or managed over €1bn of development value in Montenegro alone. John Kennedy, founder and CEO, is the founder director of the Porto Montenegro Holding Company, Adriatic Marinas and its original sole shareholder, as well as other numerous deluxe villa developments, such as Sea Breeze.