Unique golf courses to tee off at
When it comes to golf, location matters. Yes, climate is important too - teeing off in warm, sunny weather is a formidable way to spend a day. But it's also to do with the surroundings, and there are some expanses in far-flung countries that really lend themselves to delivering stunning landscapes which remind golfers that they really are far from home. From glacial golf to putting on the greenest greens, the world's most unique courses have to be seen to be believed.
So the Flexicover team has rounded up a few golfing holidays where breath-taking scenes and memorable experiences are all par for the course - quite literally.
Furnace Creek Golf Course, California
For fans of warm weather during golfing games, be careful what you wish for: like the name suggests Furnace Creek is one of the hottest places on earth. Its top temperature - 56.7 degrees Celsius - is the highest on record in the Western hemisphere, making the golfer's par the least of their concerns. Situated 214 feet below sea level in the depths of Death Valley, which makes it the lowest golf complex too, this 18-hole facility might not make for a relaxing round, but at least it's something to tick off the (ice) bucket list.
Prison View Golf Course, Louisiana
When thinking about where to play a round of golf it's pretty unlikely that a prison will be at the top of your list. So this makes us wonder why exactly there's a nine-hole course on the grounds of Louisiana State Penitentiary. Calling it 'Prison View' doesn't make it sound any more appealing either, especially as it's better known as the largest maximum security prison in the States. So why go? Mostly because before you've
even tee'd off it's an experience to tell the golf buddies about back home. To play, you have to book in your slot 48 hours in advance, clear a background check and be searched on arrival. When playing you'll also be under the watchful eye of the prison staff which at the very least will make you think twice before cheating.
Himalayan Golf Club - Western Nepal
Outdoorsy types will already be flocking to western Nepal, mostly to climb in the famous Himalayas, but it's an emerging destination of choice for golfers too. A contender for the most scenic golf course in the world, the Himalayan Golf Club is set in the depths of a canyon created from Himalayan water, with its nine-hole course spread out around the Bijayapur River. The course makes the most of its location, with the clubhouse set 250ft above, on the canyon walls, to offer a birds-eye view of the course as well as a closer look at nature around the area. Foxes, monkeys, hawks and eagles surround this luscious area, and with the majestic mountains in the background, it may well be hard to concentrate on the game in hand.
Whoever said that golf was a quiet and relaxing endeavour has only seen part of what the world of this particular sport has to offer. In Lapland, there's extreme golfing which takes place in Uummannaq, the most northern golf course in the world, which changes layout every year to accommodate the shift of snow and ice. Thrillseekers take to the frozen fields wearing extra-padded material, and using orange balls that can be seen in the whiteout. But leave your graphite clubs at home - special ones are used as the temperature often plummets to -50 degrees Celsius, which would break any ordinary club in two.
Dunkerque Golf Club, France
This 50-hectare complex isn't your average golf course. A world away from gentle hills and curvy slopes, it's a one of a kind golf course with square bunkers and angular greens, making for an interesting golfing experience. What's the idea behind it? According to the Club, the geometry of the two courses is a nod to the equally unique architecture of the nearby Fort Vallière, but we reckon it adds plenty of character too. Players of all levels can traverse over its 26 holes, taking in characteristically French views of Flanders, flora and fauna, plus the highlight of the third hole - played on a heart-shaped green.
If you fancy heading somewhere different for your next game of golf it's good to know that Flexicover policies cover the sport as standard while also offering a special add on called Golf Plus which for a small additional premium covers green fees, equipment and even hole in ones!