Monday, July 5, 2010


The Quintessential Korean Experience: Screen Golf

Golf is big here. The levels at my hagwon have golf terms: Birdie, Par, Eagle... There are golf shops everywhere despite the fact that Seoul, the big crowded city that it is, appears to have no golf courses. Instead, screen golf, an indoor golfing experience, is nearly as ubiquitous as noraebang. So Jon and I, having failed to find a lake we were looking for and drenched in sweat in the humid summer heat, decided to try our luck at screen golf.

First, you enter a large, air-conditioned room provided with golf shoes and golf clubs. The room has a large screen over one wall which acts the virtual golf course, and a motorized tee attached to a large bucket of golf balls. You just hit a pedal with your foot, and the golf ball is placed on the tee. No bending over needed.

Jon showing the proper technique.

The only thing the computer ever said to us.

We didn't do so well at screen golf and left blistered and frustrated.

Next, we headed to a not-so-quintessential Korean experience, the racetrack. It was interesting because we finally got the chance to see Korean riff-raff, the sort of not-so-savory characters you'd expect to find at any American racetrack. Having said that, however, the horses were pretty and there were a few families present.