My only experience with golf goes back to about thirteen years ago when I was on an exchange program in the States. My host parents took me to one of those mini golf attraction. And that was about it.
Apparently now, if I really want to I can go golfing in Quba- a norther town in Azerbaijan, where a new Golf course just opened. There are 44 golf cars (that president and the first lady tested themselves), it occupies an area of 92ha, there is a gym and a cafe, and it comes with 18 holes. Oh and two artificial lakes
This is no doubt a "present" to golf enthusiasts in Azerbaijan and especially to the residents of Quba who I am sure are so curious that they are hardly keeping themselves at home to try the new sport. I even came up with a little chant for this:
On October 9th, cast your votes;
Then come to us, to celebrate,
By playing golf
I also learned that Azerbaijan now has its very own Golf Federation initiated in 2012. In November of the same year, the foundations of the future Golf Academy were laid. According to the Federation's website Azerbaijan's first ever golf team will compete in the upcoming summer Olympics scheduled to take place in 2016. The President of the Federation Anar Mammadov, believes that golf will become one of the widely played sports in the country. The Federation in addition plans to host international golf tournament in 2014.
Its easier to open a golf course in Azerbaijan then say ensure equal rights or freedom of the pres. Ironically as the President was riding in a golf car, exploring the course, yet another journalist Parviz Hashimli was jailed. Way to go President! You do your thing like riding a golf car, while your people (that you promise to stand by an respect or at least thats what Ali Ahmadov says you do) are punished and for what? Just because they prefer to write about your offshore businesses and shell companies rather than who you met for breakfast, talked with over the phone, and yet another opening ceremony you successfully completed? This is what journalism is- reporting on issues rather than ceremonies and openings and speeches that never change anyway...
Yes, perhaps playing golf is much safer in Azerbaijan than actually saying something, and not just something but something worthwhile and honest.
How many more honest people will be placed behind bars in the run up to the election? Who knows?! Well, no of course the government knows- its creeping up from behind and snap! you are in its paws. So, a game of golf anyone?