There is only one commercial golf course in North Korea. Located on the banks of Taicheng Lake, about 17 miles outside of the nation’s capital, Pyongyang Golf will be the site of next month’s first ever tour-packaged DPRK Amateur Golf Open (April 29th).
What can a foreign competitor expect when they hit the 18-hole, par 72 course opened in 1991? Well, besides no shot at the course record of 38 under par (held by you know who), I’m thinking these might be some of the likely scenarios:
– As any golfer will tell you, there are words of encouragement when someone hits a good drive off the tee, and – generally – self-admonition by the player in question after shanking it. But instead of the usual language for both scenarios, tee box chatter will be will mandated as “Praise Kim Jong-il!” after the former, and “Damn American imperialism!” in the case of the latter.
– Competitors will be given their choice of whacking golf balls featuring either a small effigy illustration of South Korean President Lee or one of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
– The only allowable ball markers for use on greens will be ones featuring a picture of great future leader Kim Jong-un.
– Some of the golfing terminology will also be a little different: caddies will be referred to as field guidance officers; eagles as Sung’s; birdies as Jong’s; and bogies as Bush’s.
– Finally, foreign competitors will get zero mulligans, while local entrants will be allowed an unlimited amount of such second chances. This is, after all, North Korea we’re talking about.