Global Golf: First Ever North Korean Amateur Open

Golf's global expansion is one of the sport's hottest topics these days, and just about anyone involved with the game... in almost any capacity... is keenly aware of it.

Olympic reinstatement, after an absence of over 100 years, is expected to prompt governments around the world to invest in golf infrastructure and player development, and all major golf manufacturers and golf course developers/designers, seem to have (at least) one eye firmly focused on emerging golf markets.  Professional golfers and intrepid golf tourists are paying attention too... and as for golf media, there's no shortage of ink being spilled on the "the global game" of late.

Naturally, much of the focus is on China and India.  Each has the massive population and rising middle class that makes marketers of all stripes swoon.  The growth of golf in these regions is clearly something we'll hearing about... a lot... in the coming years. 

But now... there's a new actor on the global golf stage.  One that may not generate as much buzz,  but is... in its own way... equally fascinating: North Korea.

The world's most isolated and secretive country will soon be hosting the first ever North Korean Amateur Golf Open, and it's open to amateur golfers from around the world.  The venue is Pyongyang Golf complex, located on the banks of Taicheng Lake, 27k from the North Korean capitol, Pyongyang City.

The entry fee  €999 or about $1,300, and that includes visas, entry to the tournament, return train travel from China into North Korea, all meals, four nights 5 star hotel accommodation and a 3 day tour of the country.  Flights to and from China are not included.

For the government of North Korea the tournament would seem to be a way to access much needed hard currency.  For an extreme golf traveler I'm guessing it would be the ultimate on-course adventure.

Tournament website:
Source: North Korea Tees Up for Golf, Alastair Gale,
Photo:  gadgetdan /Flickr