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Feb 11

Golf in Tahiti

Tahiti Golf in Paradise

I Wonder If I Could Concentrate Enough to Play the Game

I would think that most of us have a place in our minds, one place above all others where we would like to go someday – not to work, not to worry, and perhaps not even to go for any particular reason, except that we want to do it. I’m sure that my fantasy place is the same as that envisioned by many people – Tahiti. Yes, that’s the one. I’ll bet a loft of folks would agree. It’s even a more distant dream for me, because I hate to fly. I used to fly a lot, and hated it. Now, I don’t fly, and hate it. Half a Xanex? Don’t even start. I hate flying, and wouldn’t like it a bit better stoned. We had planned to sail it, but someone who knew all about that set us straight, thank Heavens. Still, I’m going to do it somehow. I’ve traveled to almost every location on my bucket list, but as I revisited the idea, I wondered about golf in Tahiti. You just can’t have that kind of land and seascape, that much emerald green (my favorite color) and that sort of climate without hitting a golf ball on it. Of course, there’s no way that the human race is going to forget about putting a golf course in Tahiti, and when they put one or two there, they did the jewel of an island credit.

We might want to start with the Olivier Brand International Golf Course on the west side, between the mountains and a lagoon. When you’re talking about the top tier tropics, the terms mountains and lagoons take on a specific taste, and I’m sold. Give me my tee time, I’ll be there. Then, of course, there’s the Moorea Green Pearl. Is anyone going to tell me that something with a name like that isn’t beautiful? On second thought, it’s a Jack Nicklaus design, and we all know how rough he can be on a golfer. Knowing that it’s in Tahiti, I’m trying to imagine what Jack would employ as hazards – volcanoes? Great white sharks?  Remember, there’s a Tahiti Open Invitational to attend.
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Someone in a Tahiti chat room asked if there is a golf course on Bora Bora. You remember Bora Bora, the peak island that mysteriously prompts people into singing Bali Hai, people who have never sung a note in their lives. As it turns out, there is not a course on Bora Bora, but I’m told it’s a pretty quick trip from a Bora Bora beach to a mainland first teebox. If Tahiti is anything like the pictures, how is anyone ever going to get me to leave? House mortgage? Oh that’s all right, let them keep it. Car? What car? It’s snowing back there, I can’t go back, I won’t!

Among the possible difficulties is the language. It’s a French island, and it would be good to brush up your Beaudelaire. So, when you go to “jouer la golf,” pull out that “balle de golf” and “frappe” it with a “club.” Would you rather “promenade” on your “pied?” Or, voulez-vous take the voitturette de golf electrique? Be reminded that water hazards are thousands of miles long, and if you hit it in the “mer,” you must marque le coup (stroke) or you’ll be “pris a tricher! (caught cheating…I think). And, if you’re hitting into a group in front of you, be sure to yell “Avant!!!! Avant!!!!”
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For some of us, dreams are not to dream, but to do. J’espere that all you Tahiti and golf lovers will find a way to put it together…and if anyone’s thinking of sailing it, can we get a lift?

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About the author

G.F. Skipworth

has spent every available moment playing golf or studying the greats since the 60s, in between world tours as a classical musician, Harvard studies in Government or as the author of a dozen novels. Nicklaus and Snead may be the statistical greats, but Skipworth is a life-long devotee of Gary Player, and considers meeting the South African at the Jeld-Wen to be an unforgettable milestone. His driving passion in golf these days is to raise viewer interest in the LPGA.