The ten most weird golf programs on the earth | CNN

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You’d be hard-pushed to name golf an excessive sport. It’s a low-risk recreation performed at a leisurely tempo in largely scenic, however finally bizarre, locales.

Emphasis on most, as a result of in varied pockets world wide – and in a single occasion, outdoors it – golf is taken to extremes.

Throughout these venues, the acquainted guidelines in fact design have been shredded; gown codes are completely nude, tee packing containers require a helicopter journey to entry, fairways sit on the edges of lively volcanic craters, and water hazards are residence to sharks and alligators.

“The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if any individual put a flagstick on prime,” celebrated golf course designer Pete Dye as soon as mentioned. The next programs are a love-letter to that ethos.

Kantarat Golf Course, Bangkok, Thailand

Typically, golfers prefer it to be quiet after they swing. At skilled occasions, stewards will maintain up indicators to instruct close by spectators to be silent.

Unsurprising then, that no Tour occasions are hosted at Kantarat Golf Course in Bangkok, the place gamers should periodically tune out the deafening roar of passenger airplanes touching down and taking off both facet of them.

Located between the 2 runways at Don Mueang Worldwide – Asia’s oldest lively airport – the 18-hole, par-72 course was was constructed by the Royal Thai Air Pressure in 1952. It was the primary golf course established within the Thai capital, and the second ever constructed within the nation after Hua Hin Royal Golf Course.

A weekday spherical for guests prices 300 Baht, in line with the course’s web site, a really cheap $8.62 for these keen to climate the overhead distractions. Air Pressure personnel can play on the discounted value of 100 Baht – round $2.87.

Camp Bonifas Golf Course, South Korea

Described by Sports activities Illustrated in 1988 as “probably the most harmful golf course on the earth,” the course at Camp Bonifas – located 200 yards south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides North and South Korea – just isn’t a course in any respect: it’s a single, 192-yard, par three gap.

US and South Korean service members stationed on the army put up are welcomed to wind down with a enterprise down a fairway like no different – one bordered with barbed wire and army trenches, and ending with a inexperienced made from synthetic turf.

At most golf programs, the indicators to introduce every gap have a tendency to simply present the quantity and its yardage. Camp Bonifas’ signal follows the identical system, earlier than including a warning: “Hazard! Don’t retrieve balls from the tough. Stay mine fields.”

A tongue-in-cheek joke? Not in line with a 1998 Washington Submit article, which mentioned that not less than one wayward ball had detonated a land mine.

A sign spells out the hazards of playing golf at Camp Bonifas.

Legend Golf and Safari Resort, Limpopo Province, South Africa

For 18 holes of South Africa’s Legend Golf course, every designed by a distinct professional golfer, gamers take pleasure in a visually gorgeous expertise. At most venues, it could then be time to retire to the clubhouse. Right here although, a helicopter awaits to escort you to what the course claims is the world’s longest par-three gap.

“The Excessive nineteenth” tee field sits 4,500 toes above sea degree on the lip of a sheer cliff face on Hanglip Mountain, some 400 meters (434 yards) above, and 361 meters (395 yards) away from, a inexperienced formed just like the African continent. With most drives airborne for over half a minute, cameras and monitoring expertise are used to identify balls.

A view of

It’s a problem that has attracted among the world’s prime golfers and largest celebrities, with actor Morgan Freeman certainly one of an elite group to file par on the outlet, in line with South Africa’s official tourism website.

Former Barbados cricketer Franklyn Stephenson made historical past as the primary to make birdie, however spare a thought for musician Phil Collins, who might solely handle a double-bogey.

Carbrook Golf Membership, Queensland, Australia

Discovering the water along with your ball throughout your spherical might snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. At Carbrook Golf Membership in Australia, jaws may simply snatch your ball.

Lengthy believed to be a neighborhood legend, rumors of bull sharks within the water hazards on the Queensland-based course have been confirmed to be true in 2011 when common supervisor Scott Wagstaff uploaded YouTube footage of a finned native circling simply off the greens.

The arrival of the bull sharks – thought-about by many scientists to be probably the most aggressive shark species – is the results of heavy flooding throughout the mid-1990’s, Wagstaff advised {Golfing} World in 2012. In line with Wagstaff, the sharks entered the course’s lake after the close by Logan River overflowed, and have remained there ever since.

Right this moment, they’ve change into part of the course’s identification. The membership’s brand incorporates a shark, its youth program is coined the Junior Shark Academy, and the “Shark Lake Problem” is staged as a month-to-month event.

Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia

Staging an annual golf event on the world’s deepest lake appears like a recipe for misplaced balls, however organizers in Siberia have discovered an unlikely {golfing} ally: ice.

Each March, Lake Baikal levels the “Baikal Prize Open,” the place contestants don coats and gloves to play golf on the water’s frozen floor. Balls are completely vivid colours – purple, orange, or yellow – to make sure they are often noticed amid the countless flooring of snow and ice, and holes are made greater.

In 2020, the lake hosted the World Ice Golf Championship, a event lengthy held at Uummannaq in Greenland.

Jack O'Keefe of USA in action during the 2002 Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland.

Fra Mauro formation, the moon

Granted, there isn’t any official golf course on the moon, however so far as excessive {golfing} goes, Alan Shepard’s legendary exploits in February 1971 have been out of this world.

Having snuck a modified membership in his go well with, the Apollo 14 astronaut hit arguably probably the most well-known two photographs within the historical past of the game, and the one ones ever made on the lunar floor. He might need scuffed the primary, and the second could solely have traveled 40 yards – not the “miles and miles and miles” he initially claimed – however Shepard’s feats have lengthy since resonated as some of the iconic, human moments of NASA’s area missions.

Unaffected by wind or erosion, the balls stay frozen in time, unmoved for half a century. With the launch of Artemis I final month, humankind’s long-awaited return to the lunar floor edges nearer, however the universe’s most unique golf membership seems set to remain restricted for some time but.

“Perhaps sooner or later we’ll have colonies on the moon and it’s like Stonehenge – we don’t need to be messing round within the Apollo touchdown websites,” NASA’s chief historian Brian Odom advised CNN.

“I feel they (the balls) are the place they should keep and we want to verify they’re preserved as they have been.”

American astronaut Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr (1923 - 1998), Commander of NASA's upcoming Apollo 14 lunar landing mission, with the mission's insignia behind him at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, 14th November 1970. (Photo by Space Frontiers/Getty Images)

The unbelievable true story of the time an astronaut performed golf on the moon


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Volcano Golf Course, Hawaii, USA

“Kīlauea ranks among the many world’s most lively volcanoes and should even prime the checklist,” reads a US Geological Survey report. Appears like a superb website for a golf course.

Located near the crater rim of the island of Hawaii’s southeastern-most volcano, Volcano Golf Course brings a brand new which means to “enjoying with hearth.” Set 4,000 toes above sea degree, the course presents golfers breathtaking views of Mauna Loa – the world’s largest lively volcano – to the west and Mauna Kea to the north.

That proximity supplied gamers with a front-row seat to the eruption of each Kilauea and Mauna Loa earlier this month. The eruption of Kilauea in 2018 brought on devastating injury to tons of of surrounding properties, however lava from an ongoing eruption that started in 2021 has been confined to the summit crater.

A golfer plays the Volcano Course as ash from the summit crater of Kilauea rises in the background, May 2018.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina, USA

As if taking over certainly one of golf’s most notoriously troublesome programs wasn’t daunting sufficient, gamers at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course should share the fairways with a crowd of sharp-toothed residents.

Host of the 1991 Ryder Cup and 2012 PGA Championship, the course welcomes an array of wildlife – together with turtles, dolphins, and bobcats – however alligators usually steal the present. Be it swimming within the water hazards or basking within the South Carolina sunshine, the reptiles are naturally shy of individuals and require little administration, resort official Bryan Hunter advised CNN.

“Actually, there’s not a lot to handle so long as folks respect the alligators and don’t feed or harass them,” Hunter mentioned, including that anybody caught aggravating them is hit with a $2,000 high quality.

An alligator crosses the sixth green at the 2021 PGA Championship, staged at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course.

“Feeding them is equally unhealthy as they quickly study to affiliate folks with meals, which isn’t a superb mixture, clearly. So, actually the secret’s to watch and admire them from a distance.

“They’re really outstanding creatures, and play a significant function within the ecology of the island.”

Nullarbor Hyperlinks, Australia

One gap down, simply 17 extra and 863 miles to go. At Nullarbor Hyperlinks in Australia, the world’s longest golf course brings a brand new complete which means to “the lengthy recreation.”

Beginning at Ceduna within the nation’s west, gamers cease off at holes unfold throughout close by cities and roadhouses alongside the Eyre Freeway earlier than ending up their spherical – typically days later – within the western metropolis of Kalgoorlie.

A map of the Nullarbor Links Course, running from Ceduna (R) to Kalgoorlie (L).

Taking over the problem has change into a bucket checklist merchandise for golfers world wide. Annually the Nullarbor Hyperlinks levels its “Chasing the Solar” event, traversing the whole thing of the course.

La Jenny, Le Porge, France

A course in France has adopted a novel method to the infamous drawback of golf’s gown code: no gown in any respect.

Located close to Bordeaux within the nation’s southwest, the La Jenny naturist vacation resort lays declare to the world’s solely naturist golf course. Climate allowing, nudity is obligatory on the six-hole course.

Golfers on the green at La Jenny.

In addition to internet hosting tournaments and Professional-Am competitions, the course additionally presents guests a driving vary and {golfing} classes, taught by a member of the PGA France, in line with the resort’s web site.

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