THE NORTH KOREAN MYTH
Resident H1 Club newshound Pete Richardson has discovered some devastating news about his favourite hole-in-one story
One of my favourite stories about golf has always been linked to the golfing centre of the universe that is North Korea.
While Donald Trump, a man who knows a little about golf himself, was in talks about talks about talks about denuclearisation of the world pariah I bet he couldn’t help retelling the story I, and many of you, have probably told many, many times.
Indeed, the story has even been told by some of the world’s leading media organisations including ESPN and the New York Times.
It has been reported for years that former North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il held the world record for the number of holes-in-one in a round of golf.
The story got even better in that he was very old at the time and it was his first ever round.
I believed this to be an example of two things:
1. North Korea’s central media control
2. The country’s lack of understanding of western bourgeoise pursuits like golf
When I’ve told the story the number of holes-in-one he achieved has changed because I didn’t really know how many it was. Sometimes I said five, sometimes six and a few times I sort of remember it was claimed he had 18. But surely the fake news should have claimed four – presumably on the par 3s??
But the original story was that it was five, and sometime people believed they had reported it as 18!!!
It has been explained as a case of the North Korean government assigning supernatural feats of heroism to its leaders as part of an effort to perpetuate a cult of personality.
But sadly, and rather obviously, it is not anywhere near true – shock horror.
It turns out that this myth was originally published by Eric Ellis, a reporter for the Australian Financial Review. He said he had been told the story by a Pyongyang Golf Club professional in 1994.
One British journalist who has played at the Pyongyang Golf Club asked officials there about their former leaders’ world record feat, and they said
it was nothing more than an urban myth.
So sadly Kim Jong-il doesn’t hold the record for the number of holes-in-one.
So that now begs the question do you know who does?
Well – its Norman Manley, of California, who has had 59 ……….I think I prefer believing the North Koreans.