Friday, November 09, 2007

Golfing in Afghanistan

Landry, kicking up a little dust, on his first time ever swinging a club.

The Kabul golf course, on the outskirts of town, is a dusty, desert course, with far more rough than green. The hazards in this course include the many toilets -- as Afghans and their sheep use various parts of the course to do their duty.

Alisa's first round of golf (well, seven holes) since the mandatory golf lessons she suffered as a pre-teen.

Our relaxing Friday afternoon on the course was disrupted by two helicopters passing overhead, while an abandoned tank -- not an uncommon sight in Afghanistan -- stood sentry over the course.

Each shot has to be teed up because there is no grass, and the plastic tees barely sink into the drought hardened land. The course was basically abandoned after the Soviets took over in 1979, and was outlawed under the Taliban. It opened again in 2004, and some friends of ours organize a Kabul Open tournament each year.

The so-called green is covered in a thin layer of black sand. Our caddies accompanied us through the seven holes we played, while the ball boys stand right in the line of fire to make sure we can find our shots. The other two holes were apparently being occupied by picnickers.

Green fee: $20. Tip for the caddies and the cute 9-year-old ball spotter: $20.

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