Sonntag, 16. Dezember 2012

Tripoli´s 9 hole championship course

Many foreigners complain that weekends are boring in Tripoli. Well, I am sure they have not discovered all the beauties here.
Like "Ghargharesh International Golf course" for instance. A true 9 hole championship course, though a bit different from what you might expect.

Starting off Tee number 1 you have a wonderful view to the clubhouse. Ok, at the moment it is still under construction, but one can already now imagine the unique architecture filled with marble, chandellier and state of the art locker rooms with jacuzzi, steamroom and sauna. Overlooking the deep blue mediterranean with the sun setting over the ocean.
Sorry, I got carried away...

 Later on, my golf buddy Stefan and me found out that hole no 1 is actually hole no 5 but we probably missed the signs that pointed towards the starting tee.
Two dogs showed us the way and we thought they must know it. On the first T-box an old shoe was waiting already to be used as a tee.

And what a golf course the "Gharghares championship course" is: If you are not playing accurate, you easily end up in the rough. And believe me, you don`t want to to be in the rough on that course. Very challenging to get out again, and no "ground under repair sign which would let you have a free drop". Also no red stakes which would let you drop with a penalty, so one must play the ball as it lies.

Even on the fairway you sometimes make acquaintance with objects that do not belong to the course.  According to the rules, man made objects can be removed without penalty, or you have a free drop. So I could move the broom without penalty and luckily the tablet blister did not hinder my swing.

Finally we arrive at the signature hole. "The brown double monster" it is called. Always well protected by a local dog who takes away each and every ball that does not land on the green. 

Stefan is playing a very ambitious round. No wonder, after the first few wholes he is only very few shots over par. But then the unavoidable happened: The ball goes into the heavy rough. Very heavy rough. But he does not give up. Do some of you still remember the French Jean Van de Welde? Who did not give up at the 18th hole, played into the water and then even out of the water (where he actually lost it). Not giving up is also Stefan´s thing.

 Finally we meet the "real guys" Those local golf fanatics that would come every weekend to play a round on this challenging course. On the picture we see Ramadan, doing his last business call before starting off tee number 1.
And those guys really know how to play.
Of course, golf fashion is slightly different than in Continental Europe: The revolution left its footprint and thus military look is very much en vogue.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to tell the best thing about golf in Tripoli: It´s completely free of charge... but I guess not for long anymore.

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