The central Asian country of Uzbekistan is bordered by Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The dominant features of the landscape are the central deserts, the Ust-Joert plateau to the west and the southern hill country and steppes. In past ages, wealth flowed through Uzbekistan along the Silk Road, the long trading route that stretched from Europe through the Middle East and Central Asia to China and Southeast Asia. For most of the past two centuries the country was controlled by Russia, first under the Tsars and then as one of the Soviet Socialist Republics. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, however, Uzbekistan emerged as a new nation, with an economy based heavily on natural resources including minerals, natural gas and agricultural land.
This still remote country has great potential, with a population of some 28 million inhabitants, rich history and varied landscapes; intrepid visitors can take in splendid mosques and mausoleums along with the stunning remains of the Silk Road.
It therefore comes as no surprise to learn that Uzbekistan is not a golf destination. There is, however, one course here, which is in fact the only championship layout anywhere in Central Asia. The 7000-yard, full 18 at Tashkent Lakeside Golf Club was designed by a Korean firm, and is located at Lake Rokhat, a 15-minute drive from the capital city that gives the club its name; this course features abundant water, a putting green and driving range and what is said to be a decent clubhouse.