If you like a thrill, add these courses to your golf bucket list.
If you love golf, then you have a bucket list of dream courses in your head you want to play. It probably includes Augusta National, Pebble Beach and The Old Course at St. Andrews. But if you like a bit more of a challenge, check out our bucket list of the 7 most extreme courses in the world.
Uummannaq World Ice Golf Championship (Greenland)
Have you ever played golf in the snow? Have you ever tried to putt on ice? Have you ever desired to play golf in temperatures well below freezing? Have you ever wanted to win a million dollars? If you answered yes to any of those questions, the following might pique your curiosity.
Since 1999, Uummannaq, Greenland has hosted the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championship. Located 600 km north of the Arctic Circle in Greenland, Uummannaq’s tournament involves a two-day, 36-hole tournament between 36 players. The holes are beautifully sculpted over the frozen sea into which seven glaciers have released enormous icebergs.
Camp Bonifas (Between North Korea and South Korea)
Playing golf at Camp Bonifas in South Korea can prove dangerous in more ways than one. After all, it is notorious for being the most dangerous golf course in the world. What’s the worst thing that can happen, you ask? Well, you could get blown up to smithereens, for one.
The deadly golf course is pretty small at 192 yards, but it feels like a good 250 yards. The place is flanked by military style bunkers on the right, and on the left side, separated by an 18-foot high security fence topped by concertina wire, lie buried countless unexploded mines. Even a small mistake could cause a huge, fatal explosion. A nearby sign warns players, “Danger. Do not retrieve balls from the rough. Live mine fields.”
Arikikapakapa Rotorua Golf Club (New Zealand)
Playing this course isn’t necessarily dangerous, unless you’re fully aware of just how dangerous geologically unstable land really is. For instance, Yellow Stone National Park is a super volcano capable of destroying most of the northern hemisphere and creating nuclear winter at any moment … bet you didn’t know that either, huh? Okay, maybe I’m a little paranoid, but it must be a bit strange smelling sulfur all afternoon. In addition, there are a number of geysers around the course which, clearly, are free-drop areas — unless you want to risk walking across an active geyser. Your choice.
Legend Golf Resort Extreme 19th (South Africa)
Forget your local pitch and putt, this mammoth Par 3 is one of golf’s greatest challenges – and that’s just getting to the tee!
The Extreme 19th is the world’s longest par 3, measuring 391 yards, and challengers can only access the tee by helicopter. Set atop South Africa’s Hanglip Mountain, at 400 metres tall it is also the globe’s highest hole, meaning it takes almost 30 seconds for any tee shot to reach the Africa-shaped green below.
Kabul Golf Club (Afghanistan)
If golf seems trivial in a war-torn nation, don’t tell that to Mohammad Afzal Abdul, owner, operator and head pro at this bare-bones five-hole course outside the Afghan capital. Given the risks (Abdul’s brother, Khan, was murdered by the Taliban for his association with foreigners), not many people play it. But those who do are rewarded with much more than a been-there-done-that story. They get to see the sand-green course for what it really is: a hope-filled project in a ravaged land.
Nullarbor Links (Australia)
Looking for the cart girl? Bad news is, there is none. Good news is, it’s just a 90 mile walk to the next tee. That’s the longest haul between holes on the Nullarbor Links, which runs 848 miles across the Australian Outback, a wildly remote region that happens to be home to some of the world’s deadliest snakes. On the downside, one bite from a death adder can kill a cow in minutes. On the upside, there’s lots of room to run on a landscape so expansive and sparsely populated that when SkyLab fell here, no one got hurt.
Merapi Golf Course (Indonesia)
That shaking in your hands could be first tee jitters. But it also might be brought on by Mt. Merapi, an active volcano that looms over this otherwise placid 18. Several eruptions have occurred in recent years, including a disaster in 2010 in which ash, smoke and lava flow caused more than 350 deaths.