Sunday, February 17, 2013
Fore! the Love of the Game
Fortunately for us, golf in the US and especially were we live, has become quite an affordable endeavor over the last 20 years. For the most part, it is no longer viewed as a rich man's sport. Which is good, as FM is not a rich man.
But out in the world? Golf is still an elite pastime. And we've had the opportunity to play some great courses in some "striking" locations, including Madiera Island, directly below the pyramids in Cairo, just outside of Phnom Penh, Bandar Seri Begawan in Dry Brunei, Rangoon, the Dominican Republic and on the Sinai Peninsula. FM can add Saudi Arabia and Morocco.
The one (and probably only) thing all these courses have in common is they are expensive. And by American standards? Not so nice. Forget the lush fairways and meticulously trimmed greens you envision and instead picture low scrub and sand with some patches of actual grass thrown in for effect.
Regardless, we like to play and can usually justify scraping together the cost of admission once or twice a trip, when possible.
Today we paid $157 US for the two of us to walk 18 holes in Dakar. This included two bags of incredibly mismatched clubs, two caddies, and ten experienced golf balls. We set off at the reasonable hour of 10:30 and proceeded out on our Senegalese golfing adventure. It's really a 9 hole course you play twice, so do plan to experience a little deja vu on the back.
And, although my tried and true golf shoes of 2 years gave me my first blister, I had no longer irons than a 6 in my bag, my left hand became so swollen and sore I could no longer properly grip a club by hole 16 and I lost 6 of our 10 golf balls in various hazards, it was honestly worth every dime.
But, don't take that as a recommendation. FM and I might just be sick in the head. Or maybe it was FM's chip in from the green side bunker on 18.