TEE OFF: Seven out of the ordinary golf courses

18 Nov 2009

Golfers are always looking for challenges in their game, well, the following listed golf courses are certain give them that and more.


Indiana, US

Why is it special:  Four holes of the golf course are located inside the  famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. The remaining 14 holes lie adjacent to the backstretch of the racetrack. Don't expect the racetrack and golf course to come alive at the same time though, the golf course is not available for tee off during the major motor racing events.

Number of holes: 18

How to get there: The course is just a 10-minute drive from downtown Indianapolis and the Indianapolis International Airport.


North Idaho, US

Why is it special: Hole 14 in The Coeur d'Alene Resort Course claims to be the world's only floating green. Board the "Putter" boat – a shuttle that brings players from the tee to the green – to complete the hole. Once you've sunk the putt (or even hit a hole-in-one), the boat captain will present you with a personalised Certificate of Achievement. The distance between the tee and the green can be controlled, offering the player a different challenge with each visit.

Number of holes: 18

How to get there: The resort is a 40-minute drive from Spokane International Airport. Passengers in private planes landing in the Coeur d'Alene Airport need just 15 minutes to reach the resort.



Why is it special: Cross Golf puts a twist on the traditional game. Players use the same set of clubs, ball and set of rules. However, the hole in the golf green is replaced by an aerial target. Fairy chimneys and sandy valley floors take the place of lush greens. The natural features not only provide a unique challenge to golfers, but they also promote environmental friendliness. In addition, water is not wasted as there are no greens to maintain. Golf carts are substituted by donkeys, led by caddies, further reducing the golf courses' carbon footprints.

Number of holes: 18

How to get there: The valleys are a five-minute drive from Uchisar village and a 35 minutes' drive from Nevsehir Airport.


South Africa

Why is it special: Eighteen golf legends, including Vijay Singh and Padraig Harrington, might have designed the golf course at The Legend Golf & Safari Resort, but the real attraction is the 19th hole. Also called the "Extreme 19", the tee is perched on the edge of Hanglip Mountain. It offers the golfer a par three hole played from a height of 430m. Only a helicopter is able to get you up to the tee. Once you have teed off, four separate cameras and the latest tracking equipment captures the flight of the ball. Pocket a hole-in-one and earn US$1million.

Number of holes: The 19th hole can be played as an extension of the round of 18 holes.

How to get there: The drive from Johannesburg would take approximately three hours.


Shenzhen, China

Why is it special: Mission Hills has been accredited as the world's largest golf club. The golf complex covers over 20sqkm of land, comprising 12 18-hole courses. In 2007, Mission Hills secured a 12-year deal to host the Omega Mission Hills World Cup. For those interested in experiencing a World Cup championship, attempt the Olazabal Course. The par 72 course has 155 bunkers, including 24 on Hole 15 alone.

Number of holes:
12 18-hole courses

How to get there: The golf course is accessible by a half-hour drive from the city centres of Shenzhen and Dongguan. If you are in Hongkong, it takes approximately an hour to drive to Mission Hills.



Why is it special: Spanning 1,365km, Nullabor Links is the world's longest golf course. The par 72 course takes about four days to complete so it is not for those seeking a quick game between meetings. Players can start at either Kalgoorlie in West Australia or Ceduna in South Australia and work their way to the other end, passing through two timezones. Get a stamp after finishing every hole and once you collect all 18, you would be rewarded with a certification acknowledging your completion of the world's longest golf course.

Number of holes: 18

How to get there: If you intend to start at Kalgoorlie, the drive from Perth would take an approximate six hours. Should you start from Ceduna, prepare to spend eight hours on the road travelling from Adelaide.


London, UK

Why is it special: If you are in London, it is possible to tee off in Europe's Valderama course and make it back in time for the next meeting. Urban Golf gives players the chance to enjoy 52 of the world's golf courses under one roof. Players hit the ball towards a projected image showing their chosen course. The simulator senses and measures the speed and spin of the ball, and then projects that image onto the screen, mimicking the flight path as if it was a real golf course.

Number of holes: Time is the only restriction here. Rates are hourly and there is no limit to the number of holes or courses you intend to attempt.

How to get there: The Soho outlet is a three-minute walk from Piccadilly Circus. Walking to the Smithfield outlet from Farringdon Tube Station takes three minutes as well.

Jarrel Tan

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