Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Kabul Golf Club

I love this story by Steve Kelley, a sports columnist for the Seattle Times. In Bosnia some guys I worked with would occasionally try and hit balls over the fence. We always wondered whether they could set of a mine.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Standing on the weedy tee box at No. 3, I noticed movement in my periphery as I started my backswing. I stopped and looked over my shoulder at the unsettling sight of a man standing about 20 yards away with an AK-47 slung over his shoulder.

"Who's he?" I nervously asked my host, Muhammad Afzal Abdul, the manager and teacher at Kabul Golf Club in the beautiful Bandi Qargha section of Kabul, about 7 miles from the city's center.

"That's my security guard," Afzal Abdul said with a sly grin. "You don't play golf in Kabul without security."

Afzal Abdul calls it "golf with an attitude."

This course he loves like a family member looks more like a bean field after harvest. The "fairway" is furrowed and strewn with rocks and twigs. The hillsides are guarded by Afghan National Army tanks.

The ball doesn't roll in the fairway. It plugs into the dirt. According to the scorecard, "If your ball lands on the fairway, you may either play the ball as it lies, play it from a mat, or play it from a wooden tee."

The rough contains souvenirs of the Soviet occupation, such as the massive green grillwork of an exploded Russian armored personnel carrier. A weathered explosive device lies nearby.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Help me if you can I'm feeling down" - I also think I must be lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him on the golf course yesterday. Now this is strange because usually I see him in the supermarket.

Honest really, last time I saw him there he was right in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new lcd tv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a lcd tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger.

Then I'm gonna go home, put ma dancin' suit on, munch me some uppers and freak out to that maaaaaaaaad surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on ma lcd tv .

How cool is that boy?

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)