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"North Korea sits high on the list of impenetrable venues, somewhere between Seminole and the moon."

I haven't had a chance yet to read all of Josh Sens' story about the North Korean Open, but based on the accompanying video it sounds like an eye-opening endeavor worth a few minutes of your time.

Plus, anytime you can see the course where Kim Jong-il posted his 38-under 34, life is good.

That golf is played at all in North Korea owes to its late despot, Kim Il-sung, the "Great Leader," who, in 1987, approved construction of what was then the country's only course, in commemoration of his 75th birthday. That the course has gained strange fame in the sporting world stems largely from Kim's son and successor, Kim Jong-il, the "Dear Leader," who reportedly carded a 38-under 34 the only time he played it, in a round highlighted by five holes-in-one.

In the years since, no one has come close to that fantastical course record. Then again, few have tried. Desperately poor and brutally oppressed, North Korea's population of 25 million counts among it an estimated 42 registered golfers. South Koreans aren't permitted into the country. For the average Western golfer -- especially those who write for Western magazines -- North Korea sits high on the list of impenetrable venues, somewhere between Seminole and the moon.

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Reader Comments (7)

But according to official North Korean literature, he was born in a log cabin at his father's secret base on North Korea's sacred Mt Paektu in 1942.

The same reports claim his birth were heralded by a swallow and caused winter to change to spring, a star to illuminate the sky and rainbows to spontaneously appear.

He was the best golfer the world has ever seen

In 1994, Pyongyang media reported that Kim Jong-il shot an amazing 11 holes-in-one to achieve an unprecedented 38-under-par game on a regulation 18-hole golf course - on his first try at golf. Reports say each of his 17 bodyguards verified the record-breaking feat.
12.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPat Burke
Maybe ask them to cut this line from the online edition?

""Had he witnessed the Dear Leader's epic round?" I asked through a translator. He chuckled but said nothing."

I bet that could get the guy imprisoned.
12.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDG
@ Pat Burke

There were 18 bodyguards, unfortunately #18 made the remark on one of the birdie holes:

"You know they.are going to make that belly putter illegal one of: these days"
12.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdgs
The souvenir i want is a picture of the framed "course record" scorecard in the men's grill.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered Commentersmails
When Tiger was born at the not-so-secret Long Beach Hospital in late 1975, water began to rush down the concrete Los Angeles River and skies suddenly cleared so drastically that you could see all the way from Mt Palomar in the south to the Santa Ynez mountains in the north.

In North Korea, they too know how to "let the legend grow" as Earl Woods used to say.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHard by the Sea
I like the little female caddie in the video giving her golfer hell on the range because of his alignment!
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob
Oh ye of little faith. Not only was Dear Leader that good, it runs in the family.
A recent, totally legit, tweet from Dear Leader Jr.:

KimJongNumberUn ‏@KimJongNumberUn
I'll be off Twitter for the next two hours. I have to run a marathon.
12.22.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdbh

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