|North Korea's first Miniature Golf course|
My friend Dylan Harris runs Lupine Travel, a business that operates holidays and tours to the far flung reaches and hidden corners of our world. On his recent trip to North Korea he and his party competed in the first Pyongyang Minigolf Open Tournament!
|The Pyongyang Minigolf course club house sign|
The Pyongyang Minigolf Open Tournament was a warm-up event to the 2015 DPRK Amateur Golf Open competition which was part of the Lupine Travel trip.
|Some coaching on the Flat Loop hole. A very tough obstacle|
The competition was held on North Korea's first Miniature Golf course which is next to the Rungna People's Pleasureground. The course itself has a small clubhouse that sells beer and food.
|One of the competitors in the tournament receives some tips from the course staff|
Fourteen players from nine countries competed in the one-round, 18-hole Pyongyang Minigolf Open Tournament. The competitors were from North Korea, the UK, Australia, Germany, Slovenia, Switzerland, Estonia, the Netherlands and Singapore.
Caddies from the course accompanied each group of three players and marked their scores. Players were also able to choose from a selection of professional minigolf balls to use on the tricky course.
The winner of the Pyongyang Minigolf Open Tournament was Calum Slowther from the UK with a score of 46.
|The Volcano hole|
Organiser Dylan said "It was an interesting course to play. The staff there were very knowledgeable about minigolf and the various types of balls. We were told that the course used to be in Kim Jong Un's personal residence but he decided to gift it to the North Korean people and had it moved to its current location. The red velvet covered bench that can be seen on the photos is where it is claimed Kim Jong Un sat while he directed the workers on where to place each hole."
|The Pyongyang Minigolf course and red velvet covered bench in the centre|
Dylan added "We were told the course holds local competitions and we were introduced to one of the members of staff who'd won the most recent staff competition. I'm going to get lots of practice in for the event next year and hopefully come back as a winner next time."
Lupine Travel run trips every month, but the next minigolf event will take place in October 2016 to coincide with the DPRK Golf Open.
Lupine Travel was formed in 2007 and specialises in trips to unique destinations. You can travel to North Korea, Chernobyl, Eritrea, Turkmenistan, Transnistria, Iran, Iraqi Kurdistan, Bhutan/Nepal, Somaliland/Ethiopia, Antarctica and more with Lupine Travel. Check out the Lupine Travel website for details of the trips available.
The Miniature Golf course in Pyongyang is of the 'Eternit' variety found in Continental Europe. Emily and I have played some of these courses in Finland, Sweden and in the UK. Emily also holds the British Women's Record score on the format with a round of 24(-12) when she competed at the WMF Nations Cup in Stockholm, Sweden in 2011.
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