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Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Golfing in North Korea: The Hermit Kingdom's Newest Pastime

About 30 km outside the North Korean capital, the Hermit Kingdom's only golf course cuts through heavily forested slopes running down to the waters of Lake Taicheng. The late Kim Jong Il is rumored to have once frolicked there on a luxury yacht. He is also famously credited with shooting a world-record 18-hole score of 38 under par — including five holes in one — on the day he opened the course. The story was reported by the rogue state's lone news service, the Korean Central News Agency, which said 17 bodyguards witnessed the round. Strangely, nobody at the course seems to recall his presumably spectacular performance.

More recently, the secluded course played host to a different type of visitor: tourists. Last month, 15 foreigners and one North Korean competed over three rounds in the second Democratic People's Republic of Korea Amateur Golf Open. The tournament, organized by Dylan Harris of the U.K.-based Lupine Travel company, brought together golfers from six countries for eight days of golf and sightseeing. The experience offered a rare glimpse into one of the world's most reclusive countries — and an even rarer chance for everyday hackers to win a national championship.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2116565,00.html#ixzz1x1JWexcY

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