Letter From Kabul: Beware of Land Mines On the First Fairway

How a determined twosome turned a ravaged battlefield into a duffers' oasis

Like most obsessive golfers, Paul McNeill occasionally ponders the game's standard frustrations--the blown putts, the sliced drives into the rough--and questions his devotion to such a maddening pursuit. But as a regular at Kabul's only golf course, McNeill puts up with some extra hazards that would test the mettle of Tiger Woods. The grassless fairways of rock and stubble are cratered by rocket shells. The greens are in fact brown, a mix of oil and dirt with the consistency of quicksand. Approach shots are complicated by the possibility that insurgents have planted land mines on the course. And your swing may...