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.



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders