Friday, 30 January 2009

Extreme 19th


Legend Golf and Safari Resort in the Big Five Entabeni Safari Conservancy in Limpopo, present golfers with a unique challenge they call the Extreme 19th. The figurative 19th hole, the one in the club house that serves cold frosties, is usually where I'm on top of my game; however the 19th hole we refer to in this instance, is definitely not for the golfing fainthearted.

The tee-off for it, is 400m above ground on top of the Hanglip mountain, a vantage point from where the shape of the green, that of the African continent, can clearly be identified along with its surrounding bunkers. To get to the top and back, helicopter shuttle is the prefered mode of transport; giving the experience that extra touch of exclusivity.

Wednesdays Mercury (Natal Newspaper) informed us that the course's eighteen holes where all designed by golfing professionals, and that Open Champion Padraig Harrington took a helicopter ride to inspect his contribution, hole number 10. While doing so he stopped off at the top to take on the Extreme 19th, and not surprisingly, he cracked the par 3 first time.

He apparently smashed his competition ball into the bunker, flew down for the second stroke, chipped it out to about 18 inches away, and casually putted it in. To most, turning a golfing experience into an adventure experience may well seem new and innovative, to me it’s always been an adventure sport, and there is many a miserable caddy to attest to that.

Anybody who has ever played with me, Geoff Milton comes to mind, will tell you that it involves plenty of overland hiking, trail blazing, endurance walking, orienteering, and boldly going where no golfer has ever gone before. For me it’s an elitist adaptation of the reality series Survivor, “Survivor Durban Country Club” where that figurative 19th hole, is the only one I’ve ever mastered.

The above photograph comes from www.zimbio.com An Interactive Magazine With 15 Million Readers A Month.

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