Ready for a Golf Trip?

How about a golf trip for the ages?

There is only one golf course in Afghanistan — Kabul Golf Club. The course was opened in 1967, closed in 1978 and reopened in 2004. It is – to my knowledge – still open though I’m not sure how much traffic they are getting. The website doesn’t offer much (see http://www.kabulgolfclub.org/ ). But if you Google the term, there are dozens of neat photos! The Taliban have banned sporting events so not much is known about the Club’s current status.

Kabul Golf Club is a 9 hole course. The “greens” are actually brown or black due to their composition (sand and oil – to keep the sand from blowing). There is no irrigation system and fairways are mainly sand. In 2010, there was a charity tournament that brought out 44 golfers – each paying a $100 fee to play this hard-scrabble course 7 miles from downtown Kabul.

For those golfers looking for a challenge, none could be more daunting. First we need visa permits and entrance authorizations to travel to Afghanistan. There are still flights into Kabul on Turkish Air. While we are at it, we can cross the border into Pakistan where (believe it or not) there are 48 private golf clubs! The Pakistan Golf Federation oversees the golf community in Pakistan. Pakistani courses can actually be quite lush. A link to some of the better courses is https://www.golfpass.com/travel-advisor/course-directory/8485-pakistan/

The trip can conclude with a 9 hour flight from Islamabad to Shenyang and several train and bus trips to North Korea’s only golf course — Pyongyang Golf Course (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyongyang_Golf_Course ). The back tees are 6200 meters (6780 yards). This is the course where Kim Jong-il scored a birdie or better on each hole and had 5 holes in one — all in one round! The course restaurant is said to be the best in North Korea. That said, I think we still may have to bring our own clubs. And food. And tents. . . . .

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