每日英語跟讀 Ep.K161: Night Golf Is Taking Over South Korea
City lights shimmer in the distance.
Shadows splay in every direction on glowing green grass.
It’s close to midnight, the moon hangs high in the dark night sky, and South Koreans are still outside, golfing.
This is “white night” golf, a nocturnal sports phenomenon in South Korea that reflects the still surging popularity of the sport there, the persistent challenges many encounter in nabbing a tee time in the country’s dense cities and the lengths to which some will nevertheless go to get one.
South Korea is the third-largest market for golf in the world, behind only the United States and Japan.
For golf fans worldwide, the game’s grip on the country is most easily observed in its surplus of elite professional players, particularly in the women’s game. As of last week, 32 of the top 100 players in the women’s world rankings, including four of the top 10, were from South Korea.
But on the ground, golf is very much a participatory pastime, even if the popularity of the sport and the undersupply of courses in metropolitan areas make opportunities to actually play scarce and expensive. Seoul, a city of nearly 10 million people, has only one course, and it is open only to military personnel.
Some make do with screen golf, a virtual simulation game played indoors, which has become its own booming pastime in South Korea, with some facilities offering 24-hour service.
But golfers understandably desire the real thing. So what do you do when the demand for tee times outstrips the sunlight in a given day?
According to Seo Chun-beom, president of the Korea Leisure Industry Institute, South Korea now boasts a whopping 117 golf courses of 18 holes or more that offer nighttime play for willing golfers, with tee times as late as 8 p.m. Seo said there are countless other 9-hole courses that also feature floodlights and do not close until midnight or later.
Many people from Seoul, for instance, make the trek to Sky 72 Golf & Resort in Incheon, close to the area’s main international airport, where 2,700 lights have been installed to illuminate 36 of the facility’s 72 holes.
The concept of golfing under lights exists outside South Korea, of course.
A writer for the website GolfPass last year counted 65 courses in the United States that featured at least some amount of nighttime lighting — although all but one of them were short courses. And courses in the United States that offer late tee times still close far earlier than those in South Korea, which often remain open as late as 1 a.m.
去年，一位幫GolfPass寫文的作家統計，在美國，擁有一定數量夜間照明設備的球場至少65座，儘管除了一座以外都是球洞較少的球場。而且美國晚間打球的高球場，打烊時間仍比南韓球場早得多，後者通常營業到凌晨1點。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5574918