Tag Archives: sports

Screen Golf in Korea

Two weeks before I left Korea, after a year of nagging, I broke down and agreed to accompany some coworkers to play screen golf. Screen golf is an indoor virtual golf game in which players use real golf clubs and balls to play an 18-hole game. This stunning marriage of real golf and video game was much more fun than I expected. It was so fun that I returned a few days later with my roommate for one last round.

Each round of screen golf is $20 per person. This seems a bit high; my hometown public course is about the same price. Despite the price tag, it was a lot of fun and left me wanting more.

Screen golf business hallway.

The screen golf business was much larger than I expected. There were at least six private golf rooms, each with a couch, table, and golf screen.

Screen Golf computer and camera

This computer controls the video portion of the game. The camera on top films you and gives you the option to replay it and watch your swing.

To play screen golf, you hit the ball full-speed into the video screen. The screen is nothing more than a thick white sheet that absorbs the energy of the ball. A projector displays the image of a golf course on the sheet, so it feels like you’re teeing up at a real course. Several cameras and sensors judge the speed, spin and trajectory of the ball. The computer program calculates the shot so quickly that it really looks like you’re playing golf.

Screen golf driving range

Before the game begins, players can use the “driving range” and warm up. It’s surprisingly accurate. I know because I sliced every shot!

Screen golf swing

My roommate, Adam, setting up for a practice swing.

My only regret is not playing screen golf sooner. Every neighborhood has at least one screen golf business. My only hope is that there are some great places to play screen golf in the US.

Until next time.

-Taft

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Silly Moves

I’m not a soccer fan, but this guy caught my attention. This may not be particularly amazing to soccer fans, but I’ve never seen anything like it:

That’s just silly.

Until next time.

-Taft

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Broken Bones

I’ve been growing concerned over the past few months because of a rash of broken bones at my school.  At least once a week, my students tell me that someone is absent because he “broke his leg [or arm].”  The first time or two, I didn’t give it much thought – after all, these kids are very physical and broken bones have to be expected.  But the stories of broken bones kept rolling in.

Last month, two students in my after-school class were missing on the same day.  Absences are rare in that class, so I noticed immediately.  The other students explained that they were injured while playing soccer.  They went to the hospital after one broke his leg and the other broke his finger.  The next day, another student broke his leg playing soccer.  This can’t be normal.  I think it’s time for the school to invest in some extra milk.

The day of my open class, a few weeks ago, Mr. Kim informed me that one of the foreign (American) teachers who was slated to visit our school and watch my class would not make it.  He said that Anthony broke his leg.  Apparently this is happening everywhere, and not just to students.

On Tuesday of this week, I went to another foreign teacher’s open class.  As we were waiting for the class to start, I asked a lady from the Office of Education about Anthony’s injury.  She said that he is doing well, but the burns on his leg will take some time to heal.

Wait…what?   Did he burn himself at the same time as he broke his leg?  Was he in a car wreck or a house fire?  She explained that he spilled hot water on his leg and sustained a serious burn.  But she was unaware of any broken bones.

As soon as I got back to school, I asked Mr. Kim about Anthony’s injury again.

Me:  Mr. Kim, do you know what happened to Anthony, the other foreign teacher who missed our open class?
Mr. Kim:  Oh, yes.  [Translation: I don’t have a clue what you just said.]
Me:  The teacher who broke his leg, do you remember?
Mr. Kim:  Yes.
Me:  How did he break his leg?
Mr. Kim:  Because very hot.

That’s when it hit me – “broken” does not necessarily mean fracture.  I thought back to the students who “broke” arms and legs.  Some of them never even wore a cast, but I was so busy that I didn’t pay any attention.

Now I’m one step closer to speaking Konglish.  “Broken” means injured.  I also learned that “hospital” can be a reference to any doctor’s office.  So next time someone is at the “hospital” because they “broke” their leg, it is entirely possible that they are at the doctor’s office for a rash.

Until next time.

-Taft

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