Golf Lives on in Afghanistan (Updated)

Despite monumental challenges, the scrappy and spirited Kabul Golf Club lives on.

Today's New York Times featured a front page story on the course's implausible survival and its tenacious director's struggle to keep it alive.

I've long been fascinated by this once thriving golf course, situated perilously in harsh, beautiful Afghanistan, a country that's been torn by war and occupation as far back as I can remember.

On this nine hole course the greens are called browns. Abandoned tanks and discarded weaponry litter the landscape, but the young locals who take lessons and play at the Kabul Golf Club are apparently passionate about the sport. They regularly scramble up up craggy hillsides to retrieve their few balls for practice, and in addition to clubs, these guys carry around a section of artificial turf to simulate fairway shots. We talk about being golf obsessed; they've taken that to a whole new level.

I urge you to read Kirk Semple's NYT article. It's touching, sad, inspiring and hopeful...all at the same time.

Update - 10/16/07: If you liked this story, check out the accompanying video on Oobgolf today. It's amazing. I hope Kabul Golf Club can survive and, when Afghanistan finds peace, thrive. In the meantime I'm hoping to find a way to support this heroic little golf course... I'll keep you posted.