Birdies in Beirut

If Dubai is the new kid on the golfing block, then Lebanon, or the Golf Club of Lebanon to be precise, is the golfing Grandaddy of the Middle East with an interesting history and more than a few tales to tell.

Established in 1923, at the behest of bored French officers who were in the country after Paris was granted a mandate to govern both Lebanon and neighbouring Syria, the Golf Club of Lebanon started life on an unremarkable plot of land adjacent to the main southern highway from Beirut. Even by the standards of the era, the short nine hole course was crude, and after the initial novelty of the game wore thin, the French officers spent more and more of their time away from the course and in the clubhouse where they would get merry on the rough reds brought down from the Bekka Valley. (Today, Lebanon’s vineyards produce excellent wines; try the spicy Chateau Musar which is freely available worldwide).


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