April 6, 2008

Under the knife and the gun...

This will be an interesting trip south for sure.

Once again, I am heading south for the Norfolk Invitational Golf Tournament at VGCC this Saturday, but due to a shoulder injury, I will most likely be emceeing the event instead of playing. Yes, I will TRY to play, but I have a feeling that one or two holes will be all I can manage without screaming and passing out.

I will be going under the knife for rotator cuff surgery next week as well. That should be a real joy. Quit smoking AND get cut apart like a Christmas turkey. Oh well, ya do what ya gotta do. Thank G-d I have a good insurance company.

Anyway, I was sitting there trying to figure out what to write last Wednesday, when out from the blue, a copy of Vietnam News dropped into my lap. Lo and behold, a snippet on page 17 exclaimed "Keeping mining companies from building golf courses, for instance".

Ok, the story was about Official letter No. 1931 confirming that State corporations must do what they do best and not get involved in stupid ideas where they have no experience, and I have no problem with that in general, but the example chosen was incorrect because mining companies makes more sense than communications, shipping or insurance company trying it.

Look, mining involves digging like gophers, stripping the Earth of all the minerals possible and leaving behind an ugly scarred piece of land, devoid of any positive attributes and useful for almost nothing.

What a perfect place to build a golf course!

Yes, you are probably saying, "Robert, youíve finally lost it completely...time to check in to the Rubber Room Hotel" and to which I smugly reply, "Blue Canyon".

Thatís right...Blue Canyon. A perfect example of how you can change an old tin mine into a gold mine and they werenít the first either. Phuket Country Club did it years before them.

If you ever saw the before and after photos, youíd have trouble believing your eyes. They look nothing alike. The burned-out tin mines were a blight on the landscape. You could almost hear the planet screaming in pain from the ugly wound inflicted by the miners in their quest for tin, but the golf courses built on these sites, on the other hand, are first rate and the owners did a remarkable job of repairing the damage. Blue Canyonís main fixture Ė the huge canyon lake is the main body of the mine pit itself

So, when I see headlines like that, I have to smile as once again someone made a comment without understanding the actual situation.

Personally, I would love to see the government pass a law stating that golf courses could ONLY be built in areas which cannot be used for any other practical purpose (beach resorts notwithstanding as they need golf courses as a draw factor).

But, I am vehemently against the idea of using farm land for golf courses.

Sacrificing food security for golf is a stupid idea and a dangerous gamble. Sure, there might be a lot of food now, but what happens in 20-30 years when things have spun out of control and there are 200 golf courses and a population over 120 million people?

While I probably wonít be here to see it, my daughter will and Iíd hate to imagine her suffering (along with the rest of the population) due to my generationís greed and stupidity.

Yes, I am still not smoking, canít ya tell by my cheery demeanour?

Right now, every province seems to have a golf course on their wish list of investment projects and most of them need a golf project like they need holes in their head. Schools, roads, power plants, hospitals would be better projects and industrial parks seem to be a more worthwhile idea than a golf course in the beginning.

Sure...after the economy of the area increased significantly, they might want to build a golf course, but build up the area first.

The good thing about golf courses is that if things DO spin out of control, itís relatively easy to turn them back into farm land. Try doing that with a parking lot.

It costs more to build a golf course on reclaimed land, but itís worth it.


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