Local sporting hero Sandis Ozolinsh, an NHL player since 1991 (in San Jose, Colorado, Carolina, Florida, Anaheim and New York) and a member of the winning Stanley Cup team in 1996, is the man responsible for founding (and naming) Ozo Golf Club.
The 18-hole course, driving range, chipping and putting green facility was designed by Rob Swedberg of Frontier Golf (Denver) and it opened just to the north of Riga in 2002. Subtle mounding, contoured bunkering, installation of ponds and planting of trees have all helped to fashion a fine course on a relatively flat landscape.
Within three years of opening, Ozo had become the national training centre for Latvian golf teams – and they also host both the Latvian Open and Baltic Open, which is a very popular competition with Northern European professionals.
Sandis Ozolinsh may still be an outstanding ice hockey offensive defenseman but he has had the foresight to prepare for his retirement by transforming a former rubbish tip near the banks of Lake Kisezers into a first class golf facility that will keep him occupied long after he has finally hung up his skates.