Golf is already a pretty weird game for the uninitiated. Hitting a tiny white ball into a tiny hole in the distance whilst avoiding sandpits and trees and agreeing to spend hours searching for these tiny balls if they disappear from view rather than produce new ones, might seem like an odd pastime. Yet for seasoned golfers, these are the very things to be appreciated about this game. Once the game has settled under then skin of the golfer it becomes slightly more than a passion and arguably a minor addiction. And like all good addictions, location or conditions are never to be used as an excuse.
As Pete Dye once said: “The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody put a flagstick on top.”
So it’s no wonder that golfers the world over play in some of the strangest locations, on the oddest of surfaces in the unlikeliest of conditions. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the weirder locales favored by these ardent addicts.
Nullarbor Links, Australia
Nullarbor is Latin for no trees, the course in Western Australia is one of the most barren landscapes in the world, let alone the world of golf. It’s also, unequivocally the longest golf course in the world at 848 miles long from Kalgoorlie to Ceduna. The course runs along the Eyre Highway that joins Southern and Western Australia and is structured uniquely with a single hole in each of 18 towns en route.
The designers behind the idea set out to create a unique experience for travelers that might give them a little break from an otherwise bleak trip, appreciating some of the beautiful landscapes on their way.
Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Club, Australia
Staying in Australia but turning up the heat a little is the golf course in Cooper Pedy in the Northern reaches of Southern Australia, on the Stuart Highway. It’s a hot desert climate out there and in the small town responsible for most of the world’s finest opals, opal miners also seem to be golfing fanatics.
White sandy fairways and black greens make this one of the oddest golf locations in the world. Not only does it look odd but quite often they have to use specialist equipment like glow in the dark balls as the extreme Summer heat means they can only play the game at night. Be sure to pack a high-quality putter before arriving at this destination.
From extreme heat to extreme cold. Once you’ve shed the layers and adjusted your eyes from the hot, dark conditions of Cooper Pedy, it’s time to cope with the white Arctic glare and -45 degrees celsius cold of Greenland. It’s actually a pretty popular golfing hotspot and home to a genuine tournament; the World Ice Golf Championship. Briefings for this competition include how to wrap up nice and warm and also how to spot the first signs of losing your fingers and toes to frost-bite.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about sand traps out here. On the other hand, you may need to keep your eyes open for ice falling away to create large crevasses, not to mention marauding polar bears.
La Jenny, France
You’ve wrapped up nice and warm in the Arctic Circle, you’ve adorned your shorts and t-shirt for the heat of the desert. Finally, you can enjoy golf as nature intended, completely naked. La Jenny is the only European golf course where you can (legally) play your favorite game without restrictive materials inhibiting your swing.
It might only be a six hole course, but it has all the luxuries you’d expect of a top class club. Perhaps not for everyone and you certainly need to be careful where you put your balls but it certainly makes for a refreshing round of golf.
Furry Creek, Canada
We aren’t quite sure why it’s called Furry Creek, but it’s certainly quite a spectacle. A stunning course that was sculpted from the surrounding hilly landscape to create a unique golf course that undulates from its highest point to it’s lowest by 600 feet and driving from the 1st tee sends your ball 165 feet below. An unforgettable golf course and famously used as a setting for some hilarious scenes in the comedy golf movie, Happy Gilmore.
Not all golf courses are created equal so if you’re bored of the usual environments, why not take a trip to one of these odd-ball locations?