In the 1960s, a golf course was constructed in Kabul, Afghanistan. In the early 1970s, the golf course was in wide use by the people of Kabul as well as the staffs of various embassies. The course remained open from 1965 to 1974. It clsoed permanently in 1978. During the war with the Soviet Union and then Taliban rule, the golf course lay dormant. The sport was literal dead in the country until 2002.
In March of 2004, local residents convinced Mohammad Afzal Abdul who was the last club professional to reopen course. This wasn’t as easy as planting some grass and pulling weeds. Land mines littered the course.
Abdul sought help from the international community. Afghanistan’s government provided guidance under a de-mining program. A Japanese team, the UN’s Halo Trust, and the Afghan Ministry of Defense took part in the project.
The Kabul Golf Club opened for business in May 2004. It’s the only golf course in the country of Afghanistan. Donations of equipment and materials are helping to keep the operation running smoothly. It’s a sign of progress for a country that has known chaos for so long.
[Photo courtesy of Jonathan Edwards, www.sxc.hu]