Distant Greens travels to the highest golf course in the world, where breathless Tibetan precepts come face to face with the oxymoronic Indian military. To a golf course in the Amazon jungle, near the source of rubber, which revolutionised the game. To the Middle Kingdom, to examine claims that that it was the Chinese, and not the Scots, who invented golf. And what’s happening at the active volcano of the home course of the Sultan of Yogyakarta, where his consort, the Mermaid Queen, ensures the rain never falls when he plays and that lava never damages the course? Distant Greens also travels into the soul of golf, the rituals, the belief that a tetrachaidecohedron dimple pattern can make a difference. Why can throwing junkshop 4-irons provide an insight into the soul? What does a Zen priest in Japan hope to teach his acolyte golfers? Why do people cheat? And why is golf more important, to some folks, than sex? What is the future of golf? Can golf and nature support each other? What can golfers do to ensure that their golf course is environmentally and socially responsible? And what happened when Jesus, Moses and Mohammed played a round?
Paul Spencer Sochaczewski is a Bangkok-based writer and writing coach. He is also chairman and creative director of International Golf and Life Foundation, a Swiss-based NGO which promotes environmental and social responsibility in golf.
While with WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature International, Paul created global campaigns to protect rainforests and biological diversity and then developed the WWF Faith and Environment program.
He has written more than 600 by-lined articles for publications including the International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Travel and Leisure, CNN Traveller, Reader’s Digest, Destinasian and Geographical. He wrote Redheads, a comic conservation adventure set in a mythical sultanate on Borneo, The Sultan and the Mermaid Queen, which describes rarely written-about Asian people, places and events, Distant Greens, which looks at golf’s curious facets. Heco-authored two books with Jeff McNeely: Soul of the Tiger: Searching for Nature’s Answers in Southeast Asia, which examines the eco-cultural revolutions that have influenced people-nature relationships, and Eco-Bluff Your Way to Instant Environmental Credibility.
Paul wrote about the nature of Malaysia in Malaysia: Heart of Southeast Asia and served on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Indonesian Heritage Encyclopedia. He was project initiator for Tanah Air: Celebrating Indonesia’s Biodiversity.
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