DISCLAIMER | This post has nothing to do with food or Italian lifestyle, so it doesn't fit Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino proper. If a mouthwatering recipe or a traditional Roman custom is what you came for, be prepared to find out about something completely different. Today I want to talk about a place I found out about a few days ago. And tell my dad about it.
My dad is a golfer. Ever since I can remember, he has loved the sport. He not only plays once a week, lives in the Monterey Bay–which is golfers' heaven–but he goes as far as enjoying golf on TV (which to me is a mystery, why do the announcers whisper as someone is taking a putt or a drive, when they are actually secluded in a media box somewhere far, far away from the golfer?). One of my father's earliest parent-proudness moments came when aged 10, I hit a Par 2 Birdie in a children's tournament in L.A.
So since today is his birthday–and this post is about a mind-blowing golf course in South Africa, which I am sure he'll appreciate learning about–I want to share it here and dedicate it to him.
I've noticed that over the years, golf has conquered some pretty treacherous terrain, from the sheer cliffs of Scotland, to the portable slabs of grass from hole to hole in an Australian desert town, to the moving ice floes on an island in Northern Greenland—but I may have found the most gobsmacking setting of them all.
Here's a hint: your golf cart is a helicopter...
Introducing the world's steepest Par 3 golf hole: The Extreme 19th at Legend Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa, teeing off now from Hanglip Mountain.
Think of it as a piece of Pebble Beach dropped onto the African plains and then perched on the edge of a skyscraper-sized cliff. To get to the tee box, golfers take a six-seat chopper to a peak roughly the height of the Empire State Building. That puts the ground-level green more than 1,200 feet away and adds a much needed dose of danger to the game—if you slice, you may have to tussle with a rhino to get your ball back.
When you get down to the green (again via the chopper), you'll notice it looks familiar: it's a map of Africa, outfitted with the Continent's exact peaks and valleys, which raises the possibility of banking a putt off Kilimanjaro—or leaving a divot where the Sphinx quietly guards the pyramids.
After you've finished off the full course, you'll have a whole wildlife preserve at your disposal, not to mention a luxury resort complete with lakeside cottages, villas on stilts, spa, photo safari jaunts and a fire-walking workshop that will take you tiptoeing over real live 200-degree coals (still less painful than hitting a bunker).
And finally here's the video that made me want to pack my 9-iron and leave today. Look at what it feels like to tee off the 19th hole at Legends.
I hope all my other readers won't mind this small digression from the usual pots and pans.
I'm having fantasies of us playing this course together soon.
Happy birthday, Dad.