Anyone who loves and appreciates the game of golf has created a bucket list of courses they want to play. Many have courses like Pebble Beach, Augusta, or Pinehurst #2, but here are some unconventionally awesome courses to add to the list.
1. El Camaleón at the Fairmont Mayakoba
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Time to take a drop if your ball goes in there. This course gets its name from the chameleon because of its ever-changing challenges. This course is filled with hazards like sand dunes and mangroves that line the fairways, cenotes (subterranean caves) with names like “The Devil’s Mouth”, and beautiful lagoons.
2. Fossil Trace Golf Course
Make sure you can clear those boulders. Designer Jim Engh left old rusty pieces of equipment alongside many of the holes. Footprints left by dinosaurs on holes 11 through 15, make this former clay mine quite unusual.
3. Coeur D’Alene Golf Resort
Pack extra balls for this one. Overall, this course has a pretty traditional park-like feel. That is until you get to the par-3 14th hole, which is one of the most unforgettable par-3s on the planet. It is an actual island green that can be moved as far as 218 yards through a system of cables and winches. Golfers head over to the 15,000 square-foot putting surface by ferry.
4. Le Touessrok Golf Course
Port Louis District, Mauritius
If you have ever dreamed of playing in paradise, Le Touessrok is probably exactly what you pictured. Golf World Magazine calls it “A Top 10 Golf Course in the World”. Le Touessrok is an 18-hole course on its own island, across the water from the mainland resort.
5. La Jenny Golf Course
Golfers can feel free playing a round in the nude at La Jenny. Said to be the only place in Europe where the sport is practiced in a naturist setting, golfers play the 6-hole course (4 par 3, 2 par 4)
6. Furnace Creek Golf Course
Located in Death Valley, Furnace Creek is 214 feet below sea level, making it the lowest altitude golf course in the world. In the peak of summer, temperatures can reach 134 degrees. The course remains open throughout the summer, when the sun is set on broil and the coolest days still average in the triple digits
7. Palmetto Hall Plantation (Robert Cupp Course)
South Carolina, USA
The first geometric golf course of its kind, featuring trapezoidal-based bunkers and fairways, along with square/rectangular tees and greens. Originally designed on the computer, the results make a unique golfing experience.
8. Brickyard Crossing Golf Course
A Pete Dye-design that is partially contained within the oval of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500. Though the course is walker-friendly, given the surroundings, it feels like you should ride.
9. Prison View Golf Club
This is probably the only golf course where a background check is needed in order to book a tee time. The Louisiana State Penitentiary, once known as the “bloodiest prisons in America”, operates this 9-hole golf course. Play may be suspended at any time, due to institutional need or at the Warden’s discretion.
10. Nullarbor Links Golf Course
Western Australia to South Australia
Golf for days! Meet the world’s longest golf course measured to be about 850 miles long. An average round of golf on Nullarbor lasts about four days with 30-mile drive in-between holes. The course spans two time zones with plenty of service stations and accommodations along the way.
11. Himalayan Golf Club
One of the most unique golf courses based on its mountainous view. Along with that golfers can expect plenty of wildlife as they play off 70 foot elevated hillside tees, an island fairway, and a canyon amphitheater layout.
12. Merapi Golf Course
Yogyakarta Special Region, Indonesia
Ever dream of playing a round at the base of an active volcano? Well now you can! Smoke can be seen emerging from Mount Merapi three hundred plus days a year. Smaller eruptions happen approximately every two to three years, and larger ones about ten to fifteen years. With eruptions happening in 2006 and 2010, we won’t be visiting very soon.
13. Uummannaq Greenland Golf
With its frozen-over fairways and its greens of winter white, Orange balls are used for easier spotting. Uummannaq is actually the home of the World Ice Golf Championships. The holes are cut larger than regulation cups and players get all the time they need to warm up. But no one goes as low as the mercury, which bottoms out at minus-50 degrees Fahrenheit.
14. Camp Bonifas Golf
Between North & South Korea
The most dangerous course on the planet has to be Camp Bonifas. This single-hole course, near a military base in North Korea, is a 192 yard par-3 beside one of the most fortified borders in the world. Did we mention that the green is surrounded on three sides by minefields?
15. Extreme 19th at Legend Golf & Safari Resort
Limpopo, South Africa
The picture says it all. Accessible only by helicopter, the tee shot 400m above the ground on Hanglip Mountain is breathtaking. Some 1,200 feet above your target: a green shaped like the African continent. Pro golfers and celebrities come from around the world for a chance at making the toughest par-3 on the planet.