Longest, Highest, Hottest: Golfing Extremes Around The World

26 October 2016
Read Time: 3.8 mins

Words by Renae Spinks

Golf has long been the domain of the well-heeled and genteel – where once you may have rubbed shoulders with Mary Queen of Scots, today you might mix with the Sultan of Brunei. The reach of golf has stretched to the farthest realms, the greatest heights, the coldest climes and the weirdest of accoutrements – or lack thereof. Here’s our list of golfing extremes around the world – to what lengths will you go for your golfing fix?

Longest

Nullarbor Links, Australia

Nullarbor Golf Links, Australia.
Picture: Getty Images

It’s long, hot and improbable. The par 73 Nullarbor course has 18 holes spanning 1,365 kilometres, with one hole each in towns and roadhouses along the Eyre Highway from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Ceduna in South Australia.

Honourable mention: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club, China, at 5,596 metres long and at an elevation of 3,100 metres.

Highest

Yak Golf Course, India

Yaks are used for transport in Sikkim.
Picture: Getty Images

The Guinness Book of World Records says Yak Golf Course in East Sikkim is the highest, and who are we to argue? At 3,970 metres, the 18-hole course may induce altitude sickness, and yaks are recommended for senior players to get around.

Honourable mention: La Paz Golf Club, Bolivia, at 3,246 metres.

Hottest

Merapi Golf Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Indonesia's Mt Merapi volcano is an awesome sight from Merapi Golf Yogyakarta.
Picture: Getty Images

While not that hot in temperature, Merapi Golf sits in the shadow of an enormous volcano – Mt Merapi – the most active in Indonesia. The last eruption was in 2014, and it can often be seen smoking away. Prepare for a hilly landscape, volcanic rocks and awesome views.

Honourable mention: Furnace Creek Golf Course, USA, sits in Death Valley, where temperatures have been known to soar above 50C.

Iciest

Frobisher Bay Golf & Country Club, Canada

Up around the Arctic Circle in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, sits a temporary golf course in the middle of frozen Frobisher Bay. The Par 52, 18-hole course disappears each year with the spring melt. You have 14 hours of sunlight in which to play, but rug up against the -20C temperatures.

Honourable mention: Uummannaq Golf Course, Greenland, home of the World Snow Golf Championships.


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Oldest

St Andrews Links, Scotland

The famous Old Course at St Andrews.
Picture: Getty Images

St Andrews is widely seen as the spiritual home of golf, with Archbishop Hamilton officially recognising the right of people to play golf on the Links in 1552. The Old Course is what draws people from around the world, but you must enter a ballot to play.

Honourable mention: Musselburgh Golf Course, Scotland, dating to 1672 (documented), but reputedly Mary Queen of Scots played here in 1567.

Most Dramatic

Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, New Zealand

The dramatic clifftop Cape Kidnappers golf course in New Zealand.
Picture: Cape Kidnappers/Tourism NZ

This Par 71 golf course is perched atop a spectacular coastline of cliffs on New Zealand’s North Island. Designed by Tom Doak, the course offers shots over the tops of tea trees and along the edges of ravines. If you luck out, it takes 10 seconds for your ball to reach the ocean 140 metres below.

Honourable mention: Legend Golf & Safari Resort, South Africa, with its Extreme 19th on top of Hanglip Mountin, with a 361-metre shot to the green, 400 metres below the tee.

Weirdest

La Jenny Golf Club, France

Calling all naturists – La Jenny Golf Club on France’s west coast caters to those who like to be unencumbered by the usual golfing attire. You can play six holes over nine hectares, and there is a 20-stand driving range. You can even have lessons with a pro.

Honourable mention: Royal Colombo Golf Club, Sri Lanka, where among the hazards are trains that pass across the fairway.

Most Luxurious

Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

Yas Links in Abu Dhabi.
Picture: Yas Links

This Kyle Philips-designed masterpiece was the first Links golf course in the Middle East, and affords dramatic views of the Arabian Gulf. It’s situated on Yas Island, and rubs shoulders with Ferrari World and the F1 Marina Circuit. The Clubhouse has its own infinity pool and steam rooms.

Honourable mention: Empire Hotel & Country Club, Brunei, where you might rub shoulders with the Sultan himself.

Most Prestigious

Augusta National Golf Club, USA

The prestigious Augusta Golf Club in Georgia, USA.
Picture: Getty Images

One of the most famous golf clubs in the world, August National Golf Club has hosted the annual Masters Tournament since 1934, after the legendary Bobby Jones built his dream course in the state of Georgia. Its members have included the likes of Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Condoleezza Rice.

Honourable mention: The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Australia, formed in 1891.

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