"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.