An Unexpected Juxtaposition

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Six weeks ago I saw the Air Force Thunderbirds on my rakish tour of Oregon, and I happened to be near Don Muang International Airport (DMK) at Bangkok yesterday when the very same Air Force Thunderbirds put on their impressive show here at Thailand, adjacent to (and very much over) the 2nd most interesting golf course at Thailand. The most interesting course I can write about another time, but the Kantarat course here at Don Muang is between the two runways and provides some incredible playing experiences as planes take off and land.

I played a round here in 2006, just before Bangkok’s international flights were transferred to the new Suvarnabhumi airport (now BKK). Fortunately I don’t miss many shots left or right — if I did, they would bound across the runways. In fact, I made an eagle this round, holing a full wedge shot on a par 5 hole from about 120 yards out. Above you can see a Boeing 747 on approach behind the two-engine plane that is about to land. And that is how it went the entire round, with a steady procession of planes landing, and a steady roar every few minutes as another jet took off.

The planes have the right of way as they taxi to the terminal building, so golfers may have to wait between holes. This can be somewhat disruptive to the flow of a round, but so is a screaming 777 taking off while I’m putting.

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