A U.S. Army specialist in Afghanistan writes in to clarify the definition of a bad lie and a risk-reward hole
March 19, 2012


Back in 1988, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ran a story about the golf course at Camp Bonifas, South Korea, along the demilitarized zone (DMZ), calling it the most dangerous course in the world. I was stationed in South Korea for two years and, as a Black Hawk helicopter crew chief, flew many times to Camp Bonifas. I've had the pleasure of playing that hole, and I'm not that impressed. Sure, you are right next to the line that separates the South from the North, and there is a level of animosity between the two, but unless you shank it way left and happen to hit a mine inside the DMZ, the hole is not that dangerous.

I would like to nominate the hole I helped build here in Afghanistan as the World's Most Dangerous Golf Hole. The green is made from a layer of combatives matting 15 feet by 20 feet, with two layers of fleece blankets on top to make an even putting surface. Surrounding the green are 15 or so three-foot-by-five-foot rugs, which serve as the fringe or rough. We have three tee locations, at 148, 125 and 106 yards. Try putting for par when you have mortar rounds going off around you.

Thank you very much.

SPC Cates, Jason A.

DCO 3-227 TF Spearhead

Shindand, Afghanistan


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Should the winner of a concurrent event, like the Puerto Rico Open, get a Masters exemption?

Yes 82%

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THREE PHOTOSJASON A. CATESBUNKER PLAY The hole sits next to the motor pool (top), and we hit off small artificial grass mats until we reach the green. Phil Mickelson, Angel Cabrera and Michelle Wie have donated equipment and items for our "clubhouse" (right).