Thursday, June 17, 2004

surrey comes to Kabul

In Afghanistan, corruption is rampant, voter intimidation may result in the September elections being postponed and most of the country’s heritage is on sale at an auction room near you. But never mind: It was all worthwhile.

The original course was built by the Afghans during the reign of Mohammad Zahir Shah, but moved to its present site after the kings cousin overthrew him in 1973.

It may provide new challenges to any modern player, but it used to be a lot worse. The entire area has had to be cleared of mines in recent months and three Soviet tanks and a multiple rocket launcher have been removed.

"What we need is for people to come and play and help us fund restoring the grass and getting access to water," said Abdul, before driving from the high perch of the first tee into a former Taliban barracks reduced to rubble by U.S. bombers in 2001.

The first hole, a 371-yard (340-meter) par 4, drops sharply then flattens out across a barren, rocky stretch crossed by a gravel road.

Caddies are sent ahead to spot balls that otherwise easily disappear in the glaring sun on parched, near-white earth.

yes, but will they let women join?