British entrepreneur to start North Korea golf tournament

A young British entrepreneur is putting on the world's first amateur golf competition in North Korea.

North Korea - regarded as one of the world's most secretive societies - has agreed to let Dylan Harris, 32, from Wigan, organise a golf tournament at the country's one and only golf course in Pyongyang.



Mr Harris, who runs Lupine Travel which specialises in unusual getaways, ended up organising the event "by accident" when he tried to set up a one-off golf trip for a very particular customer.



He said: "Some Scottish guy phoned me last summer and said he wanted to play golf in North Korea."



"He kept phoning back. He said he had played golf countries all over the world and North Korea was one of the only ones left. He said; 'can you just ask them?"'



Mr Harris, who had never played golf in his life before, made the call but didn't expect the reaction he got.



"I did call them and surprisingly they said yes. They asked me if golf was a popular sport and they started getting interested in it.



"Then they said, have you ever put on a golf competition before? It was really strange."



"I know nothing about golf. I never thought I would be going over to North Korea to run a golf tournament. It's just bizarre really."



When Mr Harris advertised the contest on his website he was flooded with inquiries.



"I just thought a couple of people would be interested. The tour is full now but I'm still getting inquires coming in every day."



There are 30 people signed up to go on the trip from China, Australia, Britain, America, Germany, France, Sweden, Finland and Luxembourg.



Since the news broke about the trip Mr Harris says he has done interviews with Japanese television, France 24 and even The Wall Street Journal.



Mr Harris hopes that his excursion will in some small way help to aid peoples' understanding of a mysterious country - one of the few still under communist rule.



North Korea's nuclear ambitions, fuelled by the leadership of Kim Jong-il, have exacerbated its isolation from the rest of the world and led to it being fixed on the "axis of evil" by former President of the United States George W Bush.



Mr Harris said: "I'm hoping we can use sport as way to build bridges with the North Korean people."



The businessman, who has travelled in North Korea before is not sure what it will be like hosting a tournament there.



"I don't know what to expect. It's controlled when you are over there but it's a good experience."



Each of his customers is paying £850 each for the five-day trip, which includes three days of tours around North Korea - a stipulation from the Government.



Mr Harris said that if the trip is a success he will be able to expand the tournament next year and open it up top more people.



For more information log on to: http://www.northkoreanopen.com



The North Korean Embassy declined to comment.



Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?