A LIT­TLE FLIGHT READ­ING

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Australian Holidays -

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

SPORTS GUIDE

NAR­RA­TIVE

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)

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