World's deadliest golf course boasts land mines and man-bear-pigs

Along the DMZ, golf is not a sport for the faint of heart. The golf course at Camp Bonifas, just south of the Korean demilitarized zone, boasts just one hole, but what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in hazards. Live land mines line the course, and bizarre animals stumble out from the woods.

Formerly Camp Kitty Hawk, United Nations Command post Camp Bonifas was renamed in 1986 to honor Captain Arthur G. Bonifas, who had been axe murdered in 1976 during a conflict with North Korea soldiers over pruning a poplar tree. The camp lies 400 meters south of the DMZ's southern border, and that remote location offers little entertainment to the folks stationed there. So in 1972, a group of soldiers decided to make their own fun by constructing a golf course. There was only room for one hole, so the builders decided to up the ante on the hazards. The small astroturf green is surrounded on three sides by live mines. Once your ball has rolled out of bounds, it's gone. Still the soldiers have said there's a certain zen to hitting the balls down their deadly course. Par is three, but hitting par is rare.

While the most obvious hazards are man-made, the soldiers have reported some natural hazards as well. Golfers have spotted wild boars, Korean tigers, and water deer (sometimes called "vampire deer" for their protruding fangs). Some have even claimed to have seen a creature they call "man-bear-pig," which sounds like Al Gore's least favorite cryptid from South Park, but which the soldiers were apparently serious about.

What the folks stationed out there would really like, though, is a little money to help them clean up the course a bit. Not to remove the mines, of course. After all, the possibility of an exploding golf ball is most of the fun.

Photo by Morning Calm News.

First and last tee at the DMZ [LA Times via Oddity Central]