Golf obsessed in Iceland


Last October I was in Iceland which might be the most golf obsessed country on earth. There are more courses per people 65 to just over 300,000 inhabitants with 60,000 occasional golfers. This is because the season is so short mainly from May to September, but for two or three weeks around the 20th of June it’s possible to play 24 hours a day under the midnight sun.

There were other things to do, to see the Northern lights, the whales and the John Lennon tribute, so the golf season was mainly finished but an important club , Oddur GC near Reykjavik was still open. It was interesting to seemthe lava round the greens, volcanic rock, the spectacular scenery near the Atlantic Ocean. It was unbelievably windy and challenging. A ferry across to Vestman Island to see Vestmannhayeir GC, which has hosted the National Matchplay Championship played over only 13 holes. I thought that this was a creative idea, not sticking to the 18 hole format. It also appealed to me as a female player, being short at only 5,400 metres long.


Interesting to see that the Icelandic team won the European Tour’s first Mixed Team European Championships last month. For a country with a female Prime Minister which does much to promote equality, they were suitable winners of what I hope is a new trend of integrating men and women in professional events.

It is amazing to know that golf is even played in Iceland’s neighbour, Greenland, at a place called Uummannaq. There are no greens, just snow and ice.




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