Written by: Jiří Vašek
If you’re looking to add some excitement to your golf game, just grab your clubs and visit one of these “extreme” courses. You may not improve your handicap, but you’ll come home with some great photos.
In his book “Way to the North”, Karel Čapek called the islands about 100 km north of the Norwegian coast the place where the world ends. With these words he excellently captured the inhospitality of the land, with bizarrely shaped mountains that rise straight out of the sea. You can play golf on the Lofoten Islands under the glow of the Arctic midnight sun, 24 hours a day, for six months a year! There is a par 31, 1,986 meter (from the white tees), 9-hole course within view of breaking waves. The only more extreme golf is on the frozen surface of the Torneälven river near the Swedish town of Jukkasjärvi – see http://www.icehotel.com.
One of the most famous “desert” courses, an 18-hole, par 72 course that is 6,196 meters long for men and 5,356 meters long for ladies. Although the little town of Alice Springs lies in the Northern Territory of central Australia, where it’s normally 45° in the shade, at first glance this course, with its two water hazards, looks as green as Great Britain. However, the more distant holes at the feet of the stony hills of MacDonnels Range and the original sand traps leave little question as to the locale. The course was established in 1980 by golf legend Peter Thompson, and today it’s one of Australia’s 25 most highly-rated courses.
Thirteen kilometers from the Bolivian city of La Paz lies the par 72 Mallasilla Golf Course, the highest 18-hole course in the world. Its fairways are literally in the clouds. Players have to rest often when playing, as the tee is 3,300 meters above sea level. The history of the course dates back to 1912, and although it doesn’t have a web site, you can obtain all relevant information by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cuba’s Varadero peninsula has one of only two courses on the entire island – a par 72, 18-hole golf course that was opened in 1931. It was build by the American magnate Irénée Dupont de Nemours, who got rich manufacturing dynamite and later nylon and teflon. However, the Cuban government confiscated his property, so today you can sleep in one of the five luxury rooms in his Xanadu villa and see the driving range out the window. Che Guevara introduced Fidel Castro to this “bourgeois” sport on this very course.
A very difficult par 70 9-hole course in the wild countryside of the Argentinian part of Tierra del Fuego, which is distinguished by strong gusts of wind from the nearby Gulf of Draco. During your game you can delight in the views of the Chilean Andes, whose peaks are always white, and a good five kilometers of greens run along the Tio Popo river on an unusually narrow path. This course was opened in 1992 and is in operation from September to April, during which time it hardly gets dark, so you can play for about 20 hours a day.
An electronic weekly devoted solely to golf. Registration is free, and summaries of the most important events over the last week will come to your e-mail address, including offers of Czech and foreign TV programs dealing with golf news. There is also a second-hand golf equipment shop.
Register at this address as a firm and you can get OK plus loyalty program points, for your employees or firm, which will bring cost savings or even bonus air tickets. This is one of the main novelties in ČSA’s on-line services, which have also added the possibility of buying only round-trip tickets over the internet, as well as combining different tariffs or ordering goods from the SkyShop offer.