In the 1970s while living in Lagos, Nigeria, I took six golf lessons at a beautiful golf course established by British ex-patriots. There was a bit of a problem with stray cows. It is, in fact, possible to kill a cow with a golf ball travelling at the right speed and trajectory. And forget about retrieving your golf balls from the brush…..even brandishing a five-iron you wouldn't want to tangle with a 10 foot snake as thick as your leg.

The biggest problem was that the country was under military rule and the golf course doubled intermittently as a military training ground. It was not unusual to be walking to the next hole and have a whole platoon of soldiers carrying loaded weapons run back and forth across the course. Sometimes we would all be running in every direction. The up-side of it was that since there were no golf carts to be had in those days, running with a golf bag provided a good workout. The down-side was that if you couldn't make it off the green and ditched the bag, it was finders-keepers as far the soldiers were concerned.

People who don't like golf often describe it as boring. People who do like it often describe it as serene. I found it utterly harrowing.

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