I think it’s safe to say most of us have hoped to travel far away to play golf at a course with stunning views and prime playing conditions. Before this article, Iceland might not have made your list of top golf destinations. Here’s why you should reconsider.
Imagine playing golf where the sun never quite sets. Iceland is such a place in the summertime. That was the destination of The Weekend Golfer, a Canadian who travels to far-flung destinations in search of unique golf adventures.
“This place is perfect for midnight golf,” he says.
Best Golf Courses To Play In Iceland
Akureyri Golf Club
The Weekend Golfer describes two basic options for playing midnight golf in Iceland. The first option is The Arctic Open at Akureyri Golf Club. The event began in 1986 and attracts golfers from all over the world. The tournament is 36 holes over two days and uses the Stableford scoring system.
The club is located in the northern region of the country, a five-hour drive from the airport in Reykjavik. “But it’s one the most scenic drives you’ll take,” he says.
The second option is casual golf outings in the vicinity of Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital and major metropolitan area.
“Expect to pay through your nose for a hotel room that’s the size of your closet at home,” he says.
And yet it’s not all that important since he admits there are nearly 24 hours of daylight. Not much time is spent sleeping or hanging out in a tiny hotel room.
Brautarholt Golf Club
The Weekend Golfer then heads outside of the city to a golf club (GolfKlubbur) called Brautarholt. He is unprepared for its impact.
“What I found is the most stunning, challenging golf course I ever played,” he says. “I can truly say that if you’re going to play one golf course on your trip to Iceland, make it this one.”
The Weekend Golfer also visits the famous Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa that he calls “a bit of a tourist trap” but adds “you have to go.”
“It’s good to find a little relaxation between rounds.”
GKG Golf Course
The last stop is the “main event”—midnight golf at the GKG Golf Club. The club has a nifty program called “Golf Buddy” that pairs tourists with local golfers.
“After just a few holes, it felt like it was my Sunday foursome,” he says.
The Weekend Golfer strikes his final drive at 11:48 p.m. and putts out at midnight. The sun sets (sort of) and begins to rise again.
“Everybody had a few beers and is ready to go back out and do this again,” he reports at 1 a.m. “Golf around the clock—why not?”
Iceland Is The Perfect Travel Destination For Golfers
“Iceland is obsessed with golf.” Iceland has 65 golf courses for a population of 321,000, that’s more courses per capita than any country in the world! About 60,000 of them identify as occasional golfers.
Despite climate assumptions based off the country’s name, golf season runs from May through September. About what you can expect in most regions in the US. As an added bonus for hardcore golfers, many courses are open 24 hours in the summertime.
Iceland is a golfer’s paradise and is worth the long flight to experience it.
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