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  Marko Bozic - Slovenia's EPPA/FIPPA Application

The Pitch&Putt Association of Slovenia will present an application to join the international bodies of Pitch and Putt at the EPPA/FIPPA Assembly in April. In advance, FIPPA.org spoke to Pitch&Putt Association of Slovenia Secretary Marko Bozic.
 
FIPPA.org: How did you personally get interested in Pitch and Putt?
Marko Bozic (MB): We have luckily gathered our forces, Pitch&Putt Association of Slovenia President Mr. Jozef Klancnik (entrepreneur), Vice President Mr. Marko Vidnjevic (university professor) and secretary Mr. Marko Bozic (former Slovenian golf association secretary and Golf Bled manager). We were all in golf for a long time, have a lot of experience and now an ambition to grow and put the game of Pitch and Putt on a solid ground in our territory.
 
FIPPA.org: Do you play regularly?
MB:Yes we all play regularly, unfortunately not a lot. Slovenia is a four season weather area so the winter period is ending now and we are slowly entering into the spring time and to our first Pitch and Putt season. We have just one golf course open over the winter period (Lipica on Karst) and our Vice President is working hard to develop a Pitch and Putt course on the Slovenian Adriatic coast (Koper) that will be open all year long.

FIPPA.org: Who will attend the FIPPA Assembly on behalf of Slovenia?
MB: Our President is flying there for sure, also the Vice President ... the secretary may come - by train ... .

FIPPA.org: How much are you looking forward to Slovenia becoming a member of EPPA/FIPPA?
MB: We are eagerly looking forward to become a member of EPPA/FIPPA and we would like to contribute as much as possible. We believe in future of Pitch and Putt and EPPA/FIPPA and it should grow, inviting others to join. We know it is a problem at the moment as some countries would like to see Pitch and Putt as a part of golf and not as a separate sport. There are also some golf associations opposing, being afraid of Pitch and Putt growth ... but Pitch and Putt growth will also be of benefit for them!

FIPPA.org: How are preparations progressing for the 2017 Slovenia Open?
MB: Slovenia Open is ready, we could play it tomorrow, all the preparations are done ... and we are waiting for the players to gather at this wonderful event, they will not be disappointed. Brdo is one of the most beautiful Slovenian resorts in the Alpine region, very near to our main international airport and capital Ljubljana.

FIPPA.org: What can visitors to Slovenia for the Slovenia Open 2017 expect?
MB: We will do everything possible for the tournament to be superbly organized event and of course we would like to express our amiability, bid to all our friendly welcome, and also to show our small and beautiful Slovenia, just a little bit of it, Ljubljana - the capital, Bled lake ... . Slovenia is small, but very different, beautiful from Alps to Adriatic sea, from Karst to Panonic flatland. The food is very good, the wine and beer also.

FIPPA.org: Do any Slovenian players plan to play in the World Strokeplay championship in Norway?
MB: We should and would like to play, just we are at the beginning, not a lot of pure Pitch and Putt players at the moment. Pitch&Putt Association of Slovenia is organizing tournaments. We will form player rank lists and hope to be able to send our Slovenian national team to Norway. Of course it depends also on funds, we are trying hard to get some sponsors which is not easy at the moment as working on our image, reputation and overall recognition is no easy task.     

FIPPA.org: How many Pitch and Putt courses are there in Slovenia?
MB: At the moment We have nine Pitch and Putt courses but they are merely used as a practice areas for short game of golf. Four of them, at the moment, are certified and recognized from our Pitch and Putt Association. We expect that each Pitch and Putt course will have one Pitch and Putt club, which will be a member of our Pitch and Putt association. We expect some more existing courses and new Pitch and Putt clubs will join us this year; some are working on new Pitch and Putt courses. 

FIPPA.org: Is Pitch and Putt developing well as a sport in Slovenia?
MB: We expect stable growth this first year, we are highly satisfied with it at the moment. Also some more are knocking on our door, more courses and clubs next year and after we prove ourselves as an efficient and prosperous organization we will grow more. Also Golf Association of Slovenia and the PGA of Slovenia have recognized us as equivalent partners.
 
We look forward to welcoming Slovenia into the Pitch and Putt family.