7 Bizarre — And Awesome — Golf Courses
Landmines in the rough, fairways made of ice, and killer hippos are all features of some of the world’s weirdest — and most fun — golf courses.
By Michael Irons
You don’t have to be a good golfer to enjoy playing golf — just ask Charles Barkley. After all, you may simply enjoy the serenity of walking the course, or opportunity to get some light exercise, or the chance to down dozens of beers with your buddies while driving an electric golf cart in an extraordinarily ill-advised manner.
But whether you’re a Sunday duffer or a a regular Judge Smails, these seven courses are sure to intrigue you. They all have something pretty weird about them, but they’re also all totally legit courses — okay, one is really just a single hole, but a bad shot promises certain death — that’ll serve up a healthy challenge. Fore … go whatever you were about to do, and check them out.
Uummannaq | Greenland
In addition to being the world’s least efficiently spelled word, Uummannaq is also home to the World Ice Golf Championships, which are played on an enormous iceberg in subzero temperatures. (Orange balls, not white, are encouraged.) The actual holes on the “greens” are nearly twice the size of regulation ones, and the course is only nine holes long — no doubt to lessen the chance of frostbite and/or gruesome encounters with hungry polar bears.
Nullarbor Links | Australia
Pack a canteen and make sure your car’s gas tank remains full if you plan to play the longest golf course in the world. The 18 holes span 850 miles, which means there are about 50 miles between holes. Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “What the f*ck?” Well, it’s laid out that way because there’s one hole in each town the Eyre Highway that crosses West and South Australia. And if you’re dedicated enough to complete the course, you’re given
a putter made of crocodiles a certificate you can proudly show your golfing buddies.
Hans Merensky | South Africa
Nestled next to Kruger National Park, the 18-hole course is as charming as any rural golf course you’ll find stateside — except sometimes there are giraffes, zebra, and elephants obstructing your shot. Voted the best walking course in South Africa, the $40 greens fees will get you a unique golf/safari experience. Unfortunately, it won’t keep your limbs intact if you tussle with the hippos that lurk in water hazards. Those guys are real *ssholes.
Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course | Idaho
Idaho is beautiful, but unless you have relatives there, you probably need an excuse to go. For serious golfers, this course is more than enough of one; Coeur d’Alenehas been hailed by both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as one of the best spots in the U.S. to golf. And while the floating 14th hole may be what garners most of the attention, from the time you tee off on the first hole way until you dive in to fetch your ball on the 14th and until you finish up on the 18th, you’ll be treated to pristine landscaping and challenging golf.
Camp Bonifas | South Korea
It’s billed as the most dangerous golf course in the world, and considering you can set off an explosive if you have a nasty hook or slice, we’ll go ahead and agree. The one-hole, par 3, 192-yard “course” is situated on Astroturf in a United Nations military compound in South Korea — and it’s surrounded on three sides by minefields. So if you hit it into the thick stuff, go ahead and take a mulligan.
Brickyard Crossing | Indianapolis, Indiana
If you think watching cars circle a racetrack at 200 mph for hours at a time is boring, but find golf extremely compelling, we won’t judge you. But there’s still a great reason to head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500 and an 18-hole course that’s open from April to end of October. Your $90 greens fees even allow you to play four holes inside of the track, where you come out smelling like motor oil and exhaust fumes for no extra charge. Don’t worry, there’s no need to look both ways before crossing the fairway.
Old Works Golf Course | Anaconda, Montana
Jack Nicklaus designed the course that features black sand-filled sand traps throughout. Of course, the sand isn’t actually sand, it’s slag. We’re pretty sure that’s something English dudes call women whose reputations they’re drawing into question, but in this case it’s a byproduct of what happens when you put copper in a smelter. (Smelter also sounds like something English dudes call women whose reputations they’re drawing into question.) Playing 18 holes on a weekend will run you $38 if you’re walking and $54 in a cart.