Golf isn’t the easiest game to master at the best of times but there are those who aren’t satisfied with the challenge of avoiding the rough, escaping from bunkers and holing those pesky three footers. So for the more intrepid golfers out there here are five alternative golf experiences:
If you have ever considered a golf holiday in Mexico then Resorts like the Fairmont Mayakoba Resort in Cancun offer stunning accommodation and world class golf courses that boast an enviable backdrop of sandy dunes and crystal clear lagoons. While visiting Mexico you may feel the need to embark on a golfing adventure and that’s where the Elfego Baca Golf Shoot comes in. This is a unique golf tournament where competitors play only one hole. Sounds simple doesn’t it? It would be if the hole in question didn’t happen to be over 3 miles long with an elevation drop of 2550 feet! Competitors are loaded into four-wheel drive vehicles to ascend Socorro Peak, upon which the tee resides…7,243 feet above sea level! Needless to say that such a unique event requires the use of unique rules. Players are allowed a maximum of ten balls to complete the hole and thanks to the rugged terrain they play on they are allowed to tee up each shot. Joined by a team of ball spotters, medical experts local guides each player will be hoping to stay under the 75 shot limit and the truly optimistic competitors may well have their sights set on the record score which is a spectacularly low total of nine shots! If you thought the Xtreme 19th at the Legend Golf and Safari Resort was the world’s most outrageous golf hole then think again!
The Badar Awesome 8 is a truly unique golfing experience and is perfect for the most enthusiastic (and well funded) golf travellers. Golfers are challenged to play the most extreme, remote and climatically challenging golf courses in the world. In an effort to raise money for the Douglas Bader Foundation golfers will play the most northerly, southerly, coldest, hottest, highest, lowest, toughest and greatest golf courses in the world.
The courses in question are as follows:
Most Northerly – Hammerfest, Norway
Most Southerly – Ushuaia, Argentina
Coldest – North Star Alaska
Hottest – Alice Springs, Australia
Highest – La Paz, Bolivia
Lowest – Furnace Creek, California
Toughest – Ko’olua, Hawaii
Greatest – St Andrews Old Course, Scotland
Needless to say the globe-trotting golfers who undertake this challenge will need plenty of time in which to complete the mammoth feat!
There is nothing better for a golfer than a perfectly manicured, lush, green paradise on which to stroll the fairways playing the game we all love. From desert miracles like the courses at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai to age old parkland delights like the West Course at Wentworth would be atop any golfer’s wish list but try telling that to residents of Coober Pedy in Australia. Here the day time temperatures soar to such heights that residents have taken to living underground! That still doesn’t stop golfers from taking to the fairways of the Coober Pedy Golf Club. Well…fairways is a bit generous. Players here actually play on a barren wasteland and carry around a patch of Astroturf to play their shots into the greens…no wait…the browns. The browns are patches of dark sand that is constantly flattened. Next time you complain about the state of the greens at your local club spare a thought for the members of Coober Pedy!
Modern technology in golf has enabled players to hit the ball monstrous distances and as a result modern championship golf courses are being stretched to mind boggling distances. Golfers setting out on UK golf breaks can expect a tough challenge at courses like Rockliffe Hall, Dalmahoy and the Players Club which measure 7,800, 7,500 and 7,600 yards respectively. While these courses are certainly long not one of them has a touch on the longest course in the world. Nullarbor Links in Australia is an 18 hole par 72 golf course that spans 1,365 kilometres with one hole in each participating town or roadhouse along the Eyre Highway, from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Ceduna in South Australia. Golfers who are travelling to Australia will love the challenge as the golf course provides a quintessential Australian experience and a much-needed activity for travellers along the renowned desolate highway.
If you embark on an Irish golf break or a golf trip to Scotland to sample some of the finest links courses in the world you may well have to battle some pretty challenging weather conditions. Some golfers embrace the challenge while others scuttle back to the clubhouse at the first sign of rain. Those of you who fall into the category of ‘fair weather golfer’ need not apply for the Ice Golf World Championships which are held on the island of Uummannaq off the coast of Greenland. With average temperatures of minus 13 degrees and lows of minus 50 degrees the golfers who compete in the World Ice Golf Championships really are subjected to the worst of the weather. Freezing glaciers and huge icebergs frame the course and continue to move slowly all year round – even in March the “green” is cut literally days before the event. Other factors to consider are that the ‘green’ is in fact white; the ball is fluorescent orange and there is always the risk of losing the odd golf ball to a hungry polar bear!
No extreme golf experiences guide would be complete without mentioning the amazing Xtreme 19th hole at the Legend Golf and Safari Resort. A South African golf holiday has to include a visit to this amazing resort where golfers can hitch a ride on a helicopter to a tee some 400 meters above a giant Africa-shaped green. If playing the most breathtaking par 3 in the world isn’t enough incentive then there is always the small matter of $1,000,000 waiting for the first person to bag a hole in one!