Oct 29th, 2017
The 7 Craziest Golf Courses In The World
From the coldest to the highest
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: Getty Images
And you though Chambers Bay and Whistling Straits look bonkers?! They haven't got anything on these 7 wonders of the golf world...
The last thing you need when you’re lining up your putt is to feel the earth trembling underneath you and suddenly realise you’re playing golf on an active volcano. Situated on the rim of the active Mount Merapi in Indonesia, the Merapi Golf Course is about as extreme a golf course as you can get. Not surprisingly, the course has incredible views.
Of course there's a World Ice Golf Championships. Why wouldn't there be? After all, it's only snow, ice, freezing winds and polar bears you have to contend with. This tournament is played in Uummannaq in Greenland where the golf course spreads out over massive icebergs and the golfers are confronted with temperatures as low as -20 degrees. The rules are the same as regular golf but the ‘green keeper’ kindly makes the course shorter and the hole is a little bit bigger. The green is white and they use orange balls. The golfers, not the polar bears. They prefer tennis.
The average round of golf usually lasts a four or five hours but when you rock up to play the Nullarbor Links Course in southern Australia, you’d better have told work you won’t be back for four days. Measuring 848 miles in length the course is the longest in the world and spans two time zones, with holes situated at 18 towns and service stations aimed along the Nullarbor Plain. That equates to 18 19th holes, so take your drinking boots!
If you are struggling to get distance on your drives then head to the Government Golf Course found in Gulmarg, India where the course is the highest in the world at over 8,500 feet. Established by British residents in 1904 the air is thinner on the course because of the altitude which means that the ball will travel further to increase the distance of a drive.
5. Most dangerous
The Panmunjom Golf Club is situated on the Camp Bonifas military base, perilously close to North Korea and the most heavily fortified border in the world. It has rightly earned the tag of the world’s most dangerous golf course. The 'course' is a single hole, a par three of 192 yards. If you miss it right or left, hit another ball – the rough is littered with land mines.
6. Get your rocks off
Let's face it, wearing clothes on the golf course is so last year. So get your kit off and get down to La Jenny Golf Club in France. Actually, on second thoughts, get down to La Jenny and then get your kit off. Established in 1993 this club is one of the few places in the world that allows golfers to play naked. The only naturist course in Europe, La Jenny even has its own professional (I wonder what the job description in the advert for that job looked like?!) and there are various tournaments throughout the year. The French eh? Le grande ecrous!!
7. Train in Vain
Remember when a train thundered past Severiano Ballesteros 10 feet away as he made a putt in the Open all those years back? A commentator later asked Seve how come he wasn’t put off by the thundering noise and horn which the driver conveniently let rip. Seve looked at the commentator nonplussed and said: “What train?” He would have loved it at the Royal Colombo Golf Club in Si Lanka. Located in a picturesque suburb of the city the club has the distinguishing feature of the Kelani Valley steam railroad running through the course. Four of the holes are traversed by the trains which run past packed full of locals ensuring the golfer will often have a receptive gallery.