Sir, please explain why we no longer have decent Known Distance ranges available for qualification, designated marksman and sniper training, and shooting events?
Military golf. Of course, generals and admirals aren’t the only ones who get to enjoy some of perks of being in the U.S. armed forces. Although lower-ranking service members don’t get private jets and personal chefs, U.S. taxpayers still spend billions of dollars a year to pay for luxuries that are out of reach for the ordinary American.
The Pentagon, for example, runs a staggering 234 golf courses around the world, at a cost that is undisclosed.
According to one retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, who also just happens to be the senior writer at Travel Golf, the very best military golf course in the U.S. is the Air Force Academy’s Eisenhower Blue Course in Colorado Springs, Colo.
He writes, “This stunning 7,000-plus yard layout shares the same foothills terrain as does the legendary Broadmoor, just 20 minutes to the south in Colorado Springs. Ponderosa pines, pinon and juniper line the fairways with rolling mounds, ponds and almost tame deer and wild turkey.” (The Department of Defense did come under fire a number of decades ago when it was discovered that the toilet seats at this course cost $400 a pop.)
And the number of golf courses is often undercounted, with controversial courses in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Mosul, Iraq, often left off the lists, which makes assessing the total costs difficult.
Yet some courses rack up staggering expenses as they become far more than mere stretches of grass.
According to journalist Nick Turse, “The U.S. Army paid $71,614 [in 2004] to the Arizona Golf Resort — located in sunny Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,… The resort actually boasts an entire entertainment complex, complete with a water-slide-enhanced megapool, gym, bowling alley, horse stables, roller hockey rink, arcade, amphitheater, restaurant, and even a cappuccino bar — not to mention the golf course and a driving range.”
DoD’s Sungnam golf course in the Republic of Korea, meanwhile, is reportedly valued at $26 million.
For non-golfers, the military also maintains a ski lodge and resort in the Bavarian Alps, which opened in 2004 and cost $80 million.