A LITTLE FLIGHT READING
IF, like me, you consider golf a little dull, ExtremeGolf may make you think again.
Extreme? Try the one-hole wonder course straight down a mountain at New Mexico in the US. Competitors are allowed three ball spotters and, more tellingly, a safety expert. Or how about the Gary Player-designed course in South Africa where hazards include 24 snappy crocodiles?
ExtremeGolf is well-written, entertaining and, at times, mind-boggling. There’s even a French course in the shape of naked women (two men were added after complaints of sexism).
In Idaho, a bizarre floating green means golfers have to take a boat ride to make their second shot. Alice Springs rates a mention as the hottest (we’re talking temperatures) golf course in the world, ‘‘ and possibly the friendliest’’. And did I mention the World Ice Golf Championship in Greenland? Just be sure to take a red ball and a warm coat. A good walk spoiled? More like gone stark, raving mad. Barry Oliver
THE Lonely Planet publishing empire has nothing to fear. This cheekily titled narrative presents no threat to facts-and-figures guidebook reportage. It’s a blog of champion sprint kayaker Bill Curry’s headspinning adventures on a nine-month odyssey that takes him from Melbourne to the US midwest via a slice of Europe, the subcontinent and South America.
The tone is affable and the rather dull self-published presentation is augmented by Curry’s look-at-me pictures on the associated website. Which rather begs the question why he didn’t just spare a few trees and produce it all online.
The standard of writing is no worse, or better, than most travel blogs, with the seemingly requisite exclamation marks, expletives, big parties and casual flings. The likes of Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson and Jonathan Raban have nothing to worry about, either. www.unlonelyplanetthebook.com. Alexandra James
Extreme Golf Duncan Lennard (Cameron House, $24.95) Unlonely Planet Bill Curry (Thinking Publishing, $24.95)