If you think golf is cold in your area in the winter, you probably haven’t seen anything like the World Ice Golf Championship held in Greenland each year around March. Dubbed by some as “the ultimate golfing adventure”, ice-golfing is a new experience for the average golf aficionado.
The game is played on ice in one of the coldest parts of the world for a 2-day, 36-hole event. The winner is the person with the lowest gross score at the end of 36 holes.
Where is it?
The World Ice Golf Championship is held almost 600 km north of the Arctic Circle. It is on the west coast of Greenland in a small town by the name of Uummannaq, which was chosen partly because the weather is perfect there for such an event. Local sponsors are friendly for this tournament that has received international recognition after it broadcast to more than 530 million homes in over 130 countries.
Uummannaq has a fjord that is covered by meter-thick ice from December to May of the year. There are huge froze icebergs and chunks of old ice floating and frozen in the fjord that get caught up on their journey out to sea.
What is it?
The World Ice Golf Championship allows up to 20 golfers with a handicap of up to 36 to experience golf like nowhere else on earth. You will find breathtaking views in this incredible championship and a new twist on golf that you’ve probably never done before.
The course has a dry high arctic climate, nature becomes the architect of the course. There is not a lot of snowfall in this town so you will find mostly dry ice, made for perfect ice sculptures. The ocean helps form the icebergs and the framework for the course during the months of January and February.
In March, about a week before the actual tournament, the golf course is laid out. Its shape is different each year because it is determined on the shape that the weather creates and the position of the icebergs that year.
About the Course
The official website explains the details of the course itself:
“The course is a nine holes par 35 or 36 and consists ideally of 5 par 4’s, 2 par 3’s and 2 par 5’s. The distance is about 5-7% shorter than a normal average golf course (5.400 – 5.800 meter for 18 holes).”
The “green” is actually white and the ball is red/orange but other than that, it’s mostly the same as traditional golf, except much, much colder. There are no records to be set or broken on holes because the course is always moving day-by-day and even hole-by-hole so the conditions are never exactly the same.