Golf Courses Around The World

By: Tony Liddic
Golf is NOT played everywhere on the globe -- it just seems like it. There are about 32,000 known golf courses (not counting your cousin's back yard or those impromptu setups in Antarctica). But, there don't seem to be any in the Ukraine (population about 48 million) or Yemen (pop. 20 million), or a few other places around the world.

There are universal applications on golf everywhere. However, it is up to us to decide the way used for these applications to get the best results from them.

Though there are all kinds of contenders for the longest course, one such has to be the International Golf Club in Bolton, Massachusetts at 8,325 yards. (That's from the "Tiger" tees. From the regular tees, it's a mere 6,547 yards. Wimp.

)One competitor is a course near the Himalayas that claims 8,548 yards. But at an elevation of 10,000 feet it's hard to verify, since it's situated in a mountainous region of China.

Ignorance is bliss they say. However, do you find this practical when you read so much about golf? For those of you who think that sand trap you played last Sunday was horrible, head to the one at the Pine Valley Course in New Jersey called Hell's Half Acre. To compensate for your feelings of inadequacy, fly back to Massachusetts and wander around the 28,000 square foot green on the 5th hole.

Sink a putt on that baby and call yourself king.

The longest single hole is said to be found at the Satsuki Golf Club in Japan. A mere 909 yards. (No doubt by the time this is published, someone will have surpassed it. Golf courses are cheaper to build than skyscrapers.

)If you thought that course in the Himalayas was tough on the lungs, try the Tactu Golf Club in Morochocha, Peru. 14,335 feet above sea level at the lowest point. Be sure to take your oxygen tank.

For those who might be looking for something that's playable, as opposed to just intrigued by interesting statistics, there are still lots of options from around the world.

Scotland, of course, hosts dozens of some of the finest courses in the world. But for my money, the one near Stromness has the rest beat. It's not the most difficult or even the prettiest. But how often do you get to play within a few minutes of a 5,000 year old burial mound, like Maes Howe? Kinda makes you feel younger after you've missed that three foot putt.

India boasts the second-oldest course outside Scotland. Located in Calcutta it's 175 years old. And though not the oldest, one of the most delightful is the Bangalore Golf Club. Founded in 1876, the fairways are dry and sandy, but the greens are lush. If that's too new for you, there's the Bombay Presidency Club built in 1827. Look out for the hazard at the 16th hole, though. It's an elephant pit.

If that course in the Himalayas seems a little remote, but you still find yourself in China wanting to hit a few rounds, head for the Beijing Golf Club. It's only 30 minutes from Beijing International Airport and the Great Wall is visible when playing the first hole.

Speaking of traps, there's the 10th hole of the Kasumigaseki Golf Club in Japan. Opened in 1929, that hole crosses a deep ravine and several man-swallowing sandtraps. Individual holes are separated by tall pines, so you can imagine you're in Idaho.

Ok, so what about Idaho? Well, it's not the largest, the highest, the most difficult or the oldest. But the Hidden Hills Resort near Hope, Idaho has some of the loveliest scenery. Wild deer and moose wander only a few yards away from some of the water traps, and the enormous log cabin-style lodge has the best food and drink for a hundred miles around. Tell them I sent you.

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