Rip-off Alert: Golfing in the Himalayas

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Pokhara Golf Review is part of the ANA, Take Me ‘Round the World Trip Report.


As a rule, I only play golf abroad if it is a unique course or locale (see Golfing on the Moon: Club de Golf, La Paz). In Bhutan, I found Total Consciousness golfing in Thimphu. It was a marvelous experience.

Golf is available in Pokhara against the backdrop of the Himalayas. That qualifies as a novel place to play golf, so I went ahead and booked it. This is the worst golf course I have ever played. It is not a golf course. It is an overrun lawn with patches of shorter grass with a stick in a hole.

Before I get to that, let’s talk money.

Cost

For $50, a caddy is included along with rentals. Golf balls are 2100 rupees ($18) for 12 used balls.

Range

Is this a gun range?

Clubs

My Pings are too good for me, but I am better than these caveman clubs.

Course

Half the course was under construction. The other half was overrun by jungle. I tried to play the first two holes seriously, but this was nonsense.

Child Labor

I had two kids with me. One carried my clubs. One ran around looking for my errant shots.

Hiking

You’ve heard of cart path only. How about trekking only? It was like the winter Olympic sport biathlon but instead of a gun, I had a golf club. Climb up this hill in the sweltering heat, lower your heart rate, and fire a drive.

Cows

I’ve seen deer on a golf course, but cows?

Pictures

I took some good pictures but please do not play here just for a photo opp.

Last Hole

Like the course in Bolivia, this course had a hole that went over a canyon. I was supposed to aim left but I ended up hitting it far right. It almost landed on the green in the hole below.

Caddy Bet

The clubs were prehistoric The course was awful. The balls were used. Surely, no one could play well here. After I hit my ball in the direction of Bhutan, I told my caddy I would give him 500 rupees if he could make it over. The kid steps up with an 8 iron, I had used a 6, in his sandals and does the following!

I made good on my promise to pay and gave an additional ten percent to his agent, who I presume to be his little brother.

Overall

This place is a joke. It’s like if my dad said he would build me a pool in my backyard and just dug a hole and filled it with water. I played 4 holes and asked for my money back. I was told no.

TPOL’s TIP: Great White Cage Diving was a rip-off in South Africa. Golfing in the Himalayas was a rip-off in Nepal.

TPOL’S TIP: Do not repeat outdoor activities on the same trip. One rafting, one golf, one paragliding. I did white water rapids for the first time in Bhutan (see Finding Happiness: Bhutan Day 3). It was exhilarating. It is available in Pokhara. In order not to tarnish the high of the first time, I purposefully did not do it again. I should have applied this logic to golf.

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