The Republic of Macedonia, not to be confused with the region of the same name in the country of Greece (the name is a bone of contention in both communities, and is a subject to be avoided), is one of the countries that formed out of the breakup of Yugoslavia following the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. The modern country borders Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece, and although it traces its history back to the ancient Hellenic people made famous by Alexander the Great, the natives are ethnically Slavic and their language is related to Bulgarian rather than Greek. Macedonia is a land of ancient architecture, quaint hamlets and rolling hills with fruit trees and grapes, the latter continuing a tradition of winemaking going back to antiquity. Independence has been at times rough on Macedonia, but the country is attempting to integrate itself more closely with the West, seeking membership in both NATO and the European Union.
When it comes to sports, the major pastime is naturally soccer; there is also a fair amount of interest in basketball and handball. Golf, however, has yet to become established here, though a Macedonian Golf Federation was established in 2011 with the aim of promoting the game, and its priority has naturally been creating a place to play. The latest word is that the financial resources are being marshaled for a full-sized championship layout, presumably to be built in the capital of Skopje.