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15 Unique, extraordinary and unusual golf courses

  • Multiple countries

Last updated: 25 April, 2024

A round of golf can be so much more than just eighteen holes on pristine greens; over the last twenty years, course designers have grown increasingly ambitious, and new technology means that golf courses can now be found everywhere from the sun-baked plains of Death Valley to windswept sand dunes and mountain plateaus.

Whether you want to tee off besides a glittering ocean, surrounded by towering peaks, or play on ‘whites’ – a course of frozen ice and snow in Greenland – golf expert, journalist and avid player Fionn Davenport recommends fifteen of the world’s most extraordinary and unusual courses to pay at least once in your lifetime.

Table of Contents
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America (USA)

Bear’s Best

Experience

Bear’s Best

A tribute to Jack Nicklaus, this public course just outside Las Vegas has 18 holes that are all replicas of those he has designed in other locations, from Arizona to California and Mexico. As close to playing golf in the desert as you can get.

Adult price: 100

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

  • Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Designed by Greg Norman, the course weaves its way through dense jungle, beautiful stretches of white sand and mangrove forests, with cenotes – natural sink holes – and water canals providing natural hazards.

Adult price: 125

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

  • Death Valley National Park, California, United States of America (USA)

The lowest golf course in the world (214 feet below sea level) is also the hottest (130°F in summer) – a course to play in the winter months. The low elevation and barometric pressure make the ball do unexpected things.

Adult price: 55

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

  • Pokhara, Nepal

No manicured greens or smooth fairways, but a setting that’s absolutely breathtaking; framed by the towering Annapurna massif and set alongside a deep canyon, with each ball rising and falling along the valley contours.

Adult price: 6

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

  • Trou d’Eau Douce, Mauritius

Ile Aux Cerfs

Experience

Ile Aux Cerfs

The epitome of a golfing idyll – a course set on its own private island in the middle of a tropical lagoon on the east coast of Mauritius. Designed by golf legend Bernhard Langer.

Adult price: 125

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

  • Le Porge, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

La Jenny

Experience

La Jenny

La Jenny has only six holes – each is played three times to make the full eighteen – but it’s real claim to fame is as the world’s first golf course for naturists. Apart from no clothes, all other normal golf rules apply.

Adult price: 25

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

  • La Paz, Pedro Domingo Murillo Province, Bolivia

A golf course two miles in the air, La Paz is not just the world’s highest course, but a beautifully manicured one too, carved into a dramatic lunar-like landscape.

Adult price: 45

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

  • Cangkringan, Java, Indonesia

Laid out on the slopes of one of the island’s most active volcanoes, Gunung Merapi, fairways wend their way over ancient lava tracks and there are repeat views of the spectacular volcanic slopes.

Adult price: 18

Min age 10

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

  • Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga, South Africa

The only course inside the Kruger National Park, Skukuza’s nine holes are not fenced in, meaning you may get a lion strolling across the green, or an audience of warthogs, baboons or even the odd hippo.

Adult price: 20

Min age 13

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

  • Uummannaq Island, Greenland, Denmark

350 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the greens at Uummannaq have been re-named ‘whites’ – shots are played on a frozen course of snow and ice. Seal dens, cravasses and even polar bears are possible hazards, and players are given tips on spotting the early signs of frostbite.

Min age 6

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -