Inside Golf Travel : Inside Golf June 2016
39 June 2016 | INSIDE GOLF TRAVEL UniqUe golf coUrses of the world: door to hell golf clUb. derweze, tUrkmenistan Hunter Valley • NSW • 18th - 24th September, 2016 Golden Oldies Golf Festival A week long celebration of Golf built on Fun, Friendship and Fraternity PACKAGES START FROM AUD$1,325 • 6 nights accommodation including breakfast. • Welcome Function at Crowne Plaza featuring entertainment, substantial finger food and open bar for beer, wine and juices. • Four days of golf including green fees, carts, complimentary golf balls, daily prizes and Festival Awards. • Finale Awards Dinner -three course meal, entertainment, awards and prize-giving and open bar for beer, wine and juices. • Festival handbook and gift Non-accommodation and non-player packages from AUD$350 Golden Oldies Golf www.govsl.com 8a Anzac Street, PO Box 331 469, Takapuna 0740, New Zealand • Ph: +64 9 486 1644; Fax: +64 9 486 1639 Email: email@example.com 6 nights Accommodation at Crowne Plaza 4 rounds of golf from $1,325 firstname.lastname@example.org By “Scottish” Bob Davies This story is not only about a unique golf course and our great game of golf, it is also about two young men: Anthony, who is English, and Patrick, scottish, who decided to try and make a difference to someone else’s life on the other side of the world. Anthony Millet and Patrick Colquhoun decided to form a team and enter the 2015 Mongol Rally. This rally first started in 2004 with just 6 teams, and by 2015, the Rally had over 250 teams with between 2 -4 people per team. The rally starts in London and ends in Mongolia, covering over 11,000 miles over mountains, deserts, and the steepes of Europe and Asia. The car that Anthony and Patrick used for the rally was a 1986 Porsche 944 bought from a scrap yard for $7000. They proceeded to ensure that the car would meet the rigorous obstacles and very rough terrain, not to mention the difficulties they would have to overcome, the numerous border crossings and many more difficult times that they would encounter on their trip. There is no backup system there and if you break down you need to use your own initiative to rectify the problems. The whole idea of entering the rally was to raise money for their chosen charity, st George’s school in Ethiopia. This had a huge impact in changing the lives of the local children in st George’s for the better. Anthony and Patrick decided that while participating in this rally they would also have a bit of fun for themselves by playing a round of golf in each of the 17 countries on their route. After arriving in Turkmenistan and knowing that there was no golf course there, they set about finding a spot to build a 9-hole course. The two lads found a suitable place called Derweze which is also home to the “Door to hell” gas crater which is about 69m in diameter and over 30m deep and has been burning for over 40 years. This came about in 1971 when this natural gas field collapsed into a large cavern which was venting a large amount of gas. The geologists decided to set it alight to stop the spread of methane gas and thought it would burn out in a couple of weeks. however, it has been burning ever since and the locals named it “Doors to hell”. The two lads set about building their 9-hole golf course, making sure that four of the holes skirted the dangerous gas crater. The ground was hard and very rough, they also had brought some golf flags from home which they used after sorting out their greens (browns) and Teeing off on the 1st hole after digging their holes—which was hard going. They then inserted the flags. They also used the roof of their car which was named “shirley” to tee off. Four of their holes had to clear the gas crater and they never tried to retrieve their lost balls, which may as well have been “hot-dots” (if they weren’t, they are now!!) Anthony and Patrick have left their hand-built golf course intact so that any of the many visitors to the “Doors to hell” can play a round of golf, on what must be surely one of the most unique golf courses of the world. Anthony designed and printed his own golf club scorecards of this golf course and was very kind to give me one of them, which has taken pride of place in my collection. shortly after their game of golf, their car “shirley” caught fire and was destroyed. They both lost a lot of their personal equipment and belongings including their golf clubs. it was a sad ending to their epic adventure as they could not continue. To their credit they raised over £26,000 for their chosen charity. Well done, lads!! i would like to take the time to thank both Anthony and Patrick for all their help and co-operation in writing about this unique golf course experience. Anthony and his wife have now relocated to sydney. if you would like to read more about “ Team Mongols” trip, visit www.teammongolf.com.
Inside Golf Travel May 2016
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