Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — It’s hard to describe golf as an extreme sport because it’s a low-risk game played slowly, often with beautiful scenery. But in some parts of the world this sport goes to extremes.
In these places, the usual rules of court design are ignored. One course has a dress code for nudity, while others require a helicopter ride or play near active volcanic craters. Here are some of these strange playgrounds:
Kantarat Golf Course, Thailand
Golfers generally like to stay calm when playing.
So it’s no surprise that Bangkok’s Kantarat Golf Course doesn’t host tournaments, where players have to brave the deafening roar of passenger planes as they land and take off.
The stadium is located between two runways at Don Mueang International Airport, the oldest active airport in Asia. The 18-hole course was built in 1952 by the Royal Thai Air Force.
Camp Boniface Golf Course, South Korea
In 1988, Sports Illustrated described the course as “the most dangerous golf course in the world”, located 200 meters south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea. But it’s not a course at all, it’s one hole, 192 yards, and three holes.
On most golf courses, hole signs usually show the hole number and distance. Camp Boniface Course follows the same formula, but adds the following warning: “Danger! Do not retrieve balls from the grass. Active minefields.”
But is it a joke? The answer is “no,” according to a 1998 Washington Post article, which reported that at least one ball detonated a land mine.
Legend Golf and Safari Resort, South Africa
Players enjoy a visually stunning experience on this 18-hole course, then a helicopter awaits to take them to what the course claims is the longest par 3 hole in the world.
The 19th hole (The Extreme 19th) is located at an altitude of 4,500 feet above sea level on the edge of a cliff on Mount “Hanglip”, at an altitude of 400 meters, and is 361 meters from a green area in the form of the continent of Africa.
Lake Baikal, Russia
Organizing an annual golf tournament in the world’s deepest lake might seem like the quickest way to spill balls, but organizers in Siberia are turning to ice to prevent this.
Every March, Lake Baikal hosts the Baikal Prize Open competition, in which competitors don coats and gloves to play golf across the frozen water.
And the balls are distinguished by bright colors from red, orange to yellow, to ensure that they can be seen among the endless expanses of snow and ice, and the holes are larger. And in 2020, the lake hosted the World Snow Golf Championships, a tournament long held in Greenland.
Formation “Fra Mauro”, the moon
There’s certainly no official golf course on the moon, but when it comes to extreme golf, the legendary exploits of astronaut Alan Shepard in February of 1971 are out of this world.
After hiding a modified racket in his suit, the Apollo 14 astronaut made the two most famous strikes in sports history, also the only ones on the moon. And the balls remain frozen over time, and motionless after half a century, due to the lack of influence of winds or erosion factors.
Volcano Golf Course, Hawaii
According to a USGS report, “Kilawea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and may even top the list.” The Vulkaan golf course brings new meaning to the expression ‘playing with fire’.
Located at an elevation of 4,000 feet above sea level, the course offers golfers breathtaking views of the “Mauna Loa” volcano, which is the largest active volcano in the world.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort, USA
In the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, players must share the field with a group of gravel-toothed residents. The stadium is home to a wealth of wildlife, including turtles, dolphins and baboons, but crocodiles usually steal the spotlight.
But whether they’re swimming in the water or basking in the South Carolina sun, these reptiles need very little supervision because they’re shy by nature, resort administrator Brian Hunter told CNN.
La Genie, France
A golf course in France has taken a unique approach to the infamous golf dress code problem by wearing no clothes at all.
La Genie, a naturist holiday resort near Bordeaux, in the south-west of the country, claims to be the only nudist golf course in the world. Nudity is compulsory on the 6-hole course, weather permitting.