February 12, 2011 08:16
The organizer of North Korea's first ever amateur golf tournament for foreign visitors claim to be deluged with applications, according to a Japanese weekly. The magazine quoted a spokesman for London-based Lupine Travel as expressing regret that it cannot admit all of over 200 applicants from Japan, Germany, the U.S. and elsewhere as only 30 places are available.
The magazine interviewed a Korean who has already golfed at the Pyongyang Golf Complex, the only course in the country for North Koreans, although it was not clear whether he is South Korean or Korean Japanese.
He said there are about 30 female caddies at the complex in their 20s or 30s, many of them graduates of the prestigious Kim Il-sung University. "Caddies were beautiful and considerate," he said. "After I finished playing golf, I came out of the shower at the club house, and there was a woman dressed in traditional Korean costume holding a towel. I instantly wondered whether there was another service waiting for me, but there was no 19th hole."
Together with China Youth Travel Service of Dandong, China, Lupine Travel is organizing the North Korean Amateur Open for golfers from around the world in Pyongyang from April 26 to 30. Lupine, which specializes in tour packages to unique destinations, is offering a five-day tour to the North through its website priced at 999 euro including visas, tournament fee, golf club rental, return tickets for train travel from China to North Korea, meals and four nights' accommodation at a five-star hotel. However, travel to Dandong is not covered.
According to the organizers, the 18-hole par-72 Pyongyang Golf Complex is near Taicheng Lake some 27 km from the capital, and has a club house featuring souvenir shops, restaurants and a conference facility. The website says, "When Kim Jong-il opened the course in 1991, he shot a world record 38-under par on his first ever round of golf (including 11 holes in one)."
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com