W e know! Iceland is not the first country to come to mind when thinking of golfing in some exotic locale. Hell, it´s probably near the bottom of the list alongside North Korea. Do they even have golf courses over there???
But lo and behold, we do. Actually you´ll find amazing variety of golf courses in a country boasting of population around 300 thousand people. Even more amazing considering extremely short summers so playing time is severely limited.
But when the time is right, from middle of May until middle of September, the sport is so popular you will find it hard to get tee time at all on the major courses in this country if the weather holds and often when it doesn´t. No matter if you show up 7 am or 21 pm.
While playing the next course if you happen to find yourself in the country is fine and dandy, the major thing to do if you are seriously into golf in exotic locations is to make your way to the far North of the country in middle of June each year. It´s here you´ll be able to partake in a not-too-serious tournament called Arctic Open which takes place long into the night.
By “long into the night” we don´t mean you´ll have to play in darkness. Far from it. You´ll actually be playing in sunshine. Midnight sunshine that is. Arctic Open is the most famous midnight golf tournament in Iceland for the simple reason that the town of Akureyri, where the event takes place, is very lively and being this far North gets almost non-stop sunlight in the middle of the month of June. This, naturally, is dependent on clear skies which do not always comply but even if clouds hide the sun you´ll still have a blast.
The course in question, called Jadar, is said to be the northernmost 18-hole golf course in the world. Though it must be said the Norwegians make similar claims about a course not far from the city of Trondheim. Neither will you actually be playing near the Arctic Circle. That point on the globe is a little over one hundred kilometers further North. Close, but no cigar.
But even if the name is a little bit off you will still be pretty satisfied. The course is overall very good and quite comparable to good foreign courses. Indeed, Jack Nicklaus did turn up here in times past, totally unannounced, and played a round long into the evening. Better yet, if you still feel up for shit after the golf you´re just five minutes away from central Akureyri. The name might not ring a bell but by Icelandic standards this is pretty lively in summertime. Bars good enough to make you instantly forget that horrendous quadruple bogey on hole 9.
So next time you and your golf buddies want something new and fresh head on over to Akureyri, Iceland in June. Pack sunscreen. More details here.