The Most Unique Golf Courses in Our Galaxy
Sure there are the greatest, most affordable, newest, and most expensive courses; yet where are the wild ones, where the design ingenuity constitutes art and imagination as much as anything else, where magic meets the mundane?
Reciprocal Rights at The Home of Golf
Tucked away in the Australian outback, Coober Pedy is known for something more than crocodiles, caves, warm beer, and kangaroos. The opal capital of the planet offers what is essentially the largest sand trap on earth: a course without a single blade of grass, where players carry around a small “turf” to tee off with glow in the dark balls, because play often occurs at night to avoid the heat. With fantastic scenery, salt lakes, even an underground church, Cobber Pedy is an extraordinary adventure and the night and desert golf might improve fundamentals that could translate into the more “normal” game at home. Another thing that makes this Australian wonder interesting is that it’s the only golf club in the world to offer reciprocal nights at The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
The Legend Golf and Safari Resort in South Africa showcases what is perhaps the most unique and incomparable nineteenth hole: a par three elevated nearly one kilometer above the green. Players will need to take a helicopter to the top. Tee off near the ethereal summit of Hang Slip Mountain and then watch the drive plummet toward the earth below. The Legends was built for adventurous travelers who love golf, helicopters, and safaris. Each of the eighteen holes was designed by one of the leading male professionals, providing an exciting, diverse course in an unprecedented environment.
Tee Off in Front of a Quarter Million
Perhaps a little closer to home, for leisure golfers who dream about playing in front of thousands of fans: there is Brickyard Crossing Golf Course. Here the meritorious can imagine 220,000 spectators screaming their names from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway stadium bleachers on four holes, holding their breaths every putt you make, or miss. The 2.5 mile track intersects with the course and provides an awesome backdrop; even if a quarter million supporters didn’t come out to watch you tee off.
A Constantly Moving Target
Perhaps those searching for an island only for golf might enjoy what the owner of Coeur d’Alene Resort Course in Idaho refers to as the only floating movable island on earth. This is the most remarkable fourteenth hole, offering a picturesque island green complete with sand traps and floating target. The location and distance of the green changes every day, and this is due to the whims of the computer system. (There are 95 to 200 playable yards, with the average being 147 yards from the standard men’s tee.) The fourteenth green is 15,000 square feet and weighs as much as 5,000,000 pounds when soaked with moisture.
A (Green) River Runs Through It
Heading back to the exotic, Himalayan Golf Club in Pokhara, Nepal offers an experience unlike almost any other course on earth, with a green river running all the way through and abundant fauna and flora, including monkeys, sheep, eagles, geraniums, foxes, hawks, and a kaleidoscope of wild flowers. This Nepalese course is carved into the earth by glacier ice, with spectacular canyon and mountain scenery. Snow-capped peaks tower above the verdant valley. Himalayan Golf Club is like playing Stonehenge.
Two Countries, 18 Holes
Golfers looking to actually include the celestial into their experience can find the heavenly at Green Zone Golf Club, where players at two in the morning, in two different time zones, with the sun shining, can enjoy nine holes in Finland and nine in Sweden. The epitome of unique, Green Zone is an international affair between the neighboring cities of Haparanda, Sweden and Tornio, Finland.
Where Golf Balls are Red and Greens are White
Those searching for some winter golf might fall in love with Uummannaq, Greenland, where the World Ice Golf Championship has been hosted since 1997. This is the world’s northernmost golf course, a favorite of Santa and the elves. Engulfed by icebergs, players use red golf balls (for obvious reasons) and the greens are called whites. This breathtaking course undergoes changes every year determined by the movement of the icebergs.
After an adventure to any of these astonishing destinations, truth seekers and golfers alike will endeavor to wonder whether anything better, encompassing the imagination and majesty of the sport, could come soon; and where might this next unusual golf wonder of the world arise?