It’s either the most absurd or perhaps most required golf course in the world. Lined by landmines and overlooking North Korea, this location would not be at the forefront of your mind when deciding where to place a golf course. But then again, the military personnel living in what is an active war zone need somewhere to unwind...
The hole that sits between North and South Korea in the DMZ is not played by many. Tourists often visit the spectacle, but it is mostly unknown a layout is on the US military base - I only had the tip off thanks to my father’s work in the military.
But with a few strings pulled and a reference to the “special relationship”, we were allowed to tee it up on the frankly rather uninspiring par three, but a very unique one.
We were already on tenterhooks at the DMZ after our guide told us not to ‘look, communicate or gesture at anyone on the North Korean side’. This worsened as we approached the course when someone decided to empty a clip on the firing range without our knowledge. We hit the deck in fear of their lives, much to the amusement of onlookers.
The course is not in fact a course - it is a hole. We didn't feel this was the oportune time to argue the point with the heavily armed guards.
Surrounded on both sides by live mine fields and an ominous looking sniper tower just behind the green – you don’t want to be long. Never has pulling a club out of the bag been such a nerve jangling experience. If you snap hook it left, your ball will be sailing over barbed wire onto the North's territory. You don't want to be heading over there either.
At 192 yards, the par-3 is no easy feat as the green - if we can call it that - sloped dramatically from right to left. We managed to spray some balls left, right and centre and only got a couple to stick on the dancefloor. The putting surface is a ripped piece of matting and, as time was running out and the fairway was engulfed in land mines, we decided not to collect our balls. Leave that for the next group.
A brilliantly bizarre golf hole.
This feature was originally written August 2013.