Ask anyone who doesn’t play golf if they have played the great game before and the inevitable and irritating answer is “no…but I have played crazy golf though!”. As we all know crazy golf is not golf as we love it but it is a whole load of fun nevertheless! Having recently visited Celtic Manor on a UK golf break I was lucky enough to have a crack at the two new adventure golf courses at the resort. One of these adventure golf courses has been based on famous holes from around the world and that got me thinking about some of the most extreme and whacky golf holes that, when scaled down, would be right at home on a crazy golf course. Here are ten of the best.
Coeur d’Alene – 14th hole – Par 3
What better way to start a guide to the craziest holes in golf than with an island green par 3? Unlike other par 3s that claim to have an island green the 14th hole at Coeur d’Alene has a true island green and is only accessible by boat. The craziness doesn’t stop there either as the green is actually floating…and can be moved using a computer controlled pulley system that is stored in a room underneath the green itself! Ranging from a little flick with a wedge to a maximum distance of 275 yards this hole is definitely out of the ordinary.
Cape Kidnappers – 15th hole – Par 5
The stretch of holes that makes up the back nine at Cape Kidnappers could be seen as a full size crazy golf course in itself thanks to its breathtaking location. Perched atop a series of promontories that jut out into Hawkes Bay in New Zealand this is truly one of the most visually stunning golf courses in the world today. The 15th hole sits in the middle of the stretch of holes that sit on these remarkable land formations and is known as the “Pirate’s Plank”. While playing this long par 5 it is essential to keep your ball on the short stuff as there is a 140 metre cliff drop to the left and a deep cavern to the right. In fact if you don’t like heights the middle of the fairway is the only safe place to be!
Old Head Links – 18th hole – Par 4
When we think of crazy golf we think of ramps, tunnels and windmills and the lighthouse sitting at the end of this stunning par 4 would be right at home on a miniature golf course. From the tee the golfer has too options. Play safe and away from the cliff drop on the left or take the aggressive line and cut the corner over the abyss! Either way you play this hole a par is always welcome as a double bogey is never too far away thanks to the Celtic Sea that lurks ominously close to the left hand side of this beautiful hole.
Punta Mita – Hole 3B – Par 3
This gorgeous par 3 in Mexico even has a name that would be perfectly suited to a miniature golf course. The “Tail of the Whale” sees the golfer play from the mainland over an picture perfect bay to an island green that is surrounded by craggy rocks and the crystal blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Miss the putting surface and you had better pray you find one of the miniscule bunkers around the green as anything else will no doubt lead to your ball finding a watery grave whether it finds the ocean directly or via a huge deflection off one the rocks surrounding the green.
Teeth of the Dog – Casa de Campo – 5th hole – Par 3
If the “Tail of the Whale” sounds like it belongs on a crazy golf course then the Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic is equally as whacky! This stunning Pete Dye course is breathtaking from start to finish but there is a stretch of holes that are so awe-inspiring that Dye himself refuses to take credit for them as “they were created by God himself”. The pick of the bunch is the par 3 5th hole that forces the golfer to play their tee shot over a small cove and hopefully onto the small green that is well protected by bunkers and the rocks that line this beautiful stretch of coastline.
Royal St Georges – 4th hole – Par 4
As one of the most traditional golf clubs in England it may come as a surprise that Royal St George’s has made it onto a list of crazy golf holes but the enormous bunker that sits smack bang in the middle of the 4th fairway reminds us of the whacky obstacles that make crazy golf so much fun. Ideally you would send your tee shot soaring over the top of “the coffin” bunker but from time to time this giant obstacle will claim an unlucky victim who will almost certainly be dropping a shot to par.
Avoid this bunker at all costs!
Farmstead Golf Links – 18th hole – Par 6
The Farmstead Links course in South Carolina is a lovely golf course with a great collection of holes but undoubtedly the 18th is the hole that will you will remember should you play the course while on a USA golf holiday. Stretching a monstrous 767 yards from the back tees, this amazing par 6 hole stretches from South to North Carolina and will certainly test the shorter hitters out there!
There aren’t many holes in golf that pass the par 5 mark and this is one of the best!
Legend Golf & Safari Resort – Xtreme 19th – Bonus hole – Par 3
Possibly the most extreme and crazy golf hole in the world today awaits at the luxurious Legend Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa. The hole is actually a bonus hole that isn’t part of the main golf course which is made up of holes designed by a collection of the world’s best touring professionals including Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington and Retief Goosen.
The only way to access this bonkers golf hole is to hitch a ride on a helicopter up to the tee which sits atop the Hanglip Mountain. This is the longest par 3 in the world measuring 395 yards and it is certainly the highest as the tee sits 1,300 feet above the Africa shaped green. Tee shots take about 30 seconds to hit the ground below and as if this hole wasn’t crazy enough there is a $1,000,000 prize waiting for any golfer to score a hole-in-one!
Dunkerque – 3rd hole – Par 3
The Dunkerque golf course looks exactly like a blown up crazy golf course. Unlike any other this course features bizarre geometric shapes and patterns that give this course a completely unique character. Perhaps the most bizarre hole on the course is the par 3 3rd where the heart shaped green juts out into the water which is a common feature on this course, coming into play on no less than 15 holes.
Sawgrass Stadium Course – 17th hole – Par 3
If you asked any golf fan to name a real golf hole that would be at home on a crazy golf course the 17th at Sawgrass would certainly be a popular choice. In fact this hole has been turned into a miniature golf hole at the Celtic Manor Resort which is home to two brand new adventure golf courses, one of which has drawn inspiration from famous golf holes around the world.
This is one of the most famous holes in world golf and anything but a shot into the heart of the green will spell trouble. As a matter of fact the water surrounding this famous island green claims an estimated 120,000 golf balls every year which has provided the opportunity for a tidy little business for the guys who go diving to retrieve them!