As many golfers in the United States, winter is a time to practice indoor putting and hit the virtual simulators. Unless you live in warm climates, sports are seasonal for a lot of people as winter marks basketball and ice hockey rather than hitting the links or swinging a baseball bat.
When you’re stuck inside on a putting mat, consider some extreme golf holes for your daydreaming pleasure when the snow flies outside your window.
Coeur D’Alene Resort
Idaho is known for its rugged beauty and potatoes. However, one hidden gem is the Coeur D’Alene Resort Golf Course. The 14th green is perhaps one of the most challenging in the world. It’s so hard you can only get there by boat. Because it’s a colder climate, the course opens April 1 every year and stays open for about six months.
The green is unique in that it floats. Every day, the computer alters the distance from tee to pin from 95 to 200 yards. All you have is a tee box and then 15,000 square feet to land on in the middle of a lake. You may have to spend money on a bucket of balls for just one hole.
Hanglip Mountain in South Africa is a prominent landmark near Legend Golf and Safari Resort. Guests can play a round of 19 holes and tour some of Africa’s greatest specimens of wildlife. Yes, I said 19 holes. The 19th tee sits a quarter of a mile above the green atop Hanglip Mountain as golfers try to land their ball on a green the shape of Africa.
The challenge is even greater as the ball accelerates faster from high above and not just from arching into the air from a normal golf swing. Luckily, there are some short fairways around the green so your target is a little bigger. The tee is only accessible by helicopter and is touted as the longest par three hole in the world.
According to the site’s leaderboard, no one has aced the hole and only four golfers have shot a two. Only 49 participants have made par. Actor Morgan Freeman was one of the lucky ones—he made par.
Green Zone Golf
Nothing beats international golf. In Lappis, Finland, you can play the Green Zone Golf Club that is unique for two reasons. First is that the back nine and front nine are in two different countries. You start in one country and cross the Tornio River to go to the other. Second is that during the summer months you can play at any time. The sun never sets due to the inclination of the earth to the sun. At only 6,422 yards, the 18 holes are relatively short. Don’t look for the European Tour to come here anytime soon.
William Browning has covered sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network including golf and local golf courses in southwest Missouri. He currently resides in Branson, Mo.
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