Monday, February 23, 2009

Golfing in Guinea

This the what a green looked like on our golf course in Guinea

Living on a goldmine site in Guinea, West Africa was not all work and no play. In fact, after work, there was always so much to do, I had to schedule my activities to fit them all in!

One of my favourite pastimes was playing golf. My English friend, Morag and I had a date every Wednesday evening after work and on Saturday afternoons.

My husband and his expat team of earthmoving technicians built a four-hole golf course just outside the perimeter of the camp. This was no ordinary feat. The fairways were laterite (gravel) and the greens were sand tamped down with old engine oil. We had a special rake with which we made a path from where your ball landed on the green, to be able to putt it towards the hole.

The fairway looking down to the third hole - 222m

Me driving up the fairway pictured above this photo

We had many other special tools and gadgets to enable us to play golf on this type of course. Instead of golf tees, I cut up 2cm and 4cm rings out of hosepipe. I then made a hole in each and tied them together with a piece of thin nylon rope about 30cm long. These made perfect tees for driving off the fairway. Morag and I also used a flat piece of rubber matting/Astro turf. This prevented my clubs from becoming scratched and scraped.

The winning team with the project manager (in yellow striped shirt) in the foreground. I'm the redhead with hand on hip
Every year, the contractor company where my husband worked sponsored a golf day. Before the draw took place the night before, my husband arranged with the project manager (who organised the sponsorship and tournament) that Morag and I play together because we shared my ladies' clubs. This was always announced to the other competitors and they always all agreed! Ironically, the last tournament we played in, we also drew two excellent golfing partners. We subsequently won the tournament.

I look back with longing and nostalgia on my life in West Africa.
The golf course in my town; I live two doors from here!

Above are photos of the golf course here in town. I live two doors away from the 17th hole and yet I’ve never played there. Morag has returned to the UK, I came home to South Africa. I don’t think a game of golf will be same without her. Maybe someday I’ll dust off my golf clubs in their cart, wheel them down the road to the course and hit a few balls...


  1. Oh Jo, I also felt nostalgia when reading this post as I remember so clearly all the emails & photo's you used to send me when you were still living in West Africa, & telling me all about the adventures you got up to - made mine pale in comparison ;)

  2. I knew you would relate, Lynda, and that you'd recognized the photos. Hugs Jo xxx


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