Statistics say that more than 60 million people in the world have tried to play golf. What do you think how many of them tried to play snow golf? That’s right, not too much. Snow golf is much more rare and unusual kind of sport. Here the green grass is white snow, the balls are fluorescent orange, and icebergs are the new sand traps. Therefore, thanks to this uniqueness, ice golf is considered to be a luxury activity.
How did ice golf appear?
Ice golf is not a young kind of sport. It was known back in the XVII century. Some Dutch golf gamblers were so passionate about golf that they decided to play golf in winter/ without waiting until the spring season. That was the time when ice golf was born. Since that time ice golf has had a long way of development and finally turned into a unique winter sport having many fans and huge playgrounds in different corners of the world.
Where to play ice golf?
Where else should ice golf take place? Certainly, in Greenland.
However, nowadays you can try this kind of sport not only in the land of midnight sun. Snow Golf World Championships also take place in Austria (Obertauern), Argentina (Cerro Castor, Ushuaia) and Switzerland (Engadin). There is also an annual tournament called Wayzata Chilly Open that takes place in Minnesota (the USA) on frozen Lake Minnetonka.
Who plays ice golf?
The answer is simple. Extreme sports lovers play snow golf. We called them extreme because only risky people can play golf near the Arctic Circle. They are not afraid of strong wind, severe cold and white bears. Why is snow golf luxurious? Al least because participation fee for playing snow golf is € 2 000. Not everybody can offer such entertainment in such a spectacular and unreal place filled in with unexpected sights and amazing natural ice sculptures. Annika Östberg, a winner of 2000/2001 tournament says: “Playing golf on ice is not easy and the ball will make some crazy things but be patient and enjoy!”
World Ice Golf Championship in Greenland
The World Ice Golf Championship, which was started by a local hotelier of Hotel Uummannaq, has turned almost 16 years old. The World Ice Golf Championship is held every year in Greenlandic city Uummannaq. This place has become world’s most popular playground of snow golf because of its perfect ice conditions. Thanks to the Arctic Circle, freezing glaciers and huge icebergs it offers the best, most extreme and spectacular ice golf course on earth.
The Tournament is a 36 hole-stroke competition played over 2 days. 9 holes are played in the morning and 9 holes are played in the afternoon both days. The maximum number of participants is 20; maximum handicap is 36. There is a tournament committee to choose the winners and organise rewards.
In a word, if golf is your passion, this tournament beats everything you have ever done in your golf career.
Snow golf is an adventure you will never forget.
By Max Statham