Golf has a reputation for being boring but these zany golf courses certainly put some thrill into the sport.
From greens crafted out of giant icebergs in Greenland to holes located a stone’s throw from deadly bubbling mud pits, MailOnline Travel has scoured the world for some of the most extreme golf courses.
For a James Bond-style golfing experience head over to Par 3 in New Zealand, where the tiny green is only accessible by helicopter.
The Extreme 19th course in South Africa also features a supremely high par 3, where it takes almost 30 seconds for any tee shot to reach the Africa-shaped green below.
Meanwhile, Merapi Golf Club in Indonesia sits within range of one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Scroll down to swing your way through some of the globe’s ultimate spots for thrill-seeking golfers…
Ice Golf Championships – Greenland
Annika Ostberg of Denmark in action during the 2002 Drambuie World Ice Golf Championship in Uummannaq, Greenland
During matches, the temperature can fall below 50° Celsius. Brightly colored balls help players keep track of them in the white landscape
The Drambuie World Ice Golf Championship in Uummannaq, Greenland, was started in 1997 by local resident Arne Neimann.
During matches, the temperature can fall below 50° Celsius.
The chilly tournament involves a two-day, 36-hole tournament between 36 players. Brightly colored balls help contestants keep track of them in the white landscape.
Because the game is highly dependent on weather conditions, it has been canceled for several years running.
Par 3 – New Zealand
This may just be the world’s toughest Par 3 – a tiny green accessible only by helicopter nestled into the mountainside overlooking the city of Queenstown, New Zealand
Built on top of a 4,500ft high mountain overlooking the lake, the hole’s players have nothing but the green surrounded by jagged rocks and spiky rough at which to aim.
This may just be the world’s toughest Par 3 – a tiny green accessible only by helicopter nestled into the mountainside overlooking the city of Queenstown, New Zealand.
Built on top of a 4,500-foot high mountain overlooking the lake, the hole’s players have nothing but the green surrounded by jagged rocks and spiky rough at which to aim.
Mis-hits and errant golf balls are gone forever, while those who do make the green must travel to it by helicopter if they wish to finish their round.
The one-off nature of the course requires exceptional rules, including driving off only when the helicopter is behind you and keeping an eye out for prickly mountain flowers.
The Kabul Golf Club – Afghanistan
An armed Afghan security guard stands beside the entrance to the Kabul Golf Club
An Afghan golfer tees off on the 2nd hole at the Kabul Golf Club. It costs $15 to play the entire course
The Kabul Golf Club describes itself as the ‘best and only’ course in Afghanistan and promises ‘golf with an attitude’.
In its heyday, the sun-baked, nine-hole course – which first opened in 1967 – was frequented by Afghanistan’s royal family before the last monarch, Mohammed Zahir Shah, was deposed in 1973.
It went on to become a battlefield in the 1990s when rival Mujahideen factions fought amongst themselves over overthrowing a Soviet-backed regime.
It reopened in 2004 and costs $15 to play the entire course.
Rotorua Golf Club – New Zealand
A hot spring bubbles beside holes on the Rotorua Golf Club 9 hole Thermal Course in Rotorua, New Zealand
Rotorua Golf Club in New Zealand features a course with many of the holes played over and around both dormant and active thermal areas.
Players must navigate deadly pools of bubbling mud and burning spouts of steam.
Dangerous areas on the green have been cordoned off with signs warning people to not go fishing for stray balls.
Other unique features include warm water creeks and a huge thermal crater to the left of the 14th hole.
The Extreme 19th – South Africa
The Extreme 19th is the world’s longest par 3, measuring 391 yards, and challengers can only access the tee by helicopter
Sat atop South Africa’s Hanglip Mountain, at 400 meters tall it is also the globe’s highest hole, meaning it takes almost 30 seconds for any tee shot to reach the Africa-shaped green below.
Forget your local pitch and putt, this mammoth Par 3 is one of golf’s greatest challenges – and that’s just getting to the tee!
The Extreme 19th is the world’s highest and longest par 3, measuring 391 yards, and challengers can only access the tee by helicopter.
Sat atop South Africa’s Hanglip Mountain, at 1,312 feet tall it is also the globe’s highest hole, meaning it takes almost 30 seconds for any tee shot to reach the Africa-shaped green below.
Volcano View Golf Course – Indonesia
Merapi Golf Club is said to be a challenging course offering a very scenic view of the much-feared Mount Merapi in Indonesia. The volcano, located near Yogyakarta, is one of the most active on earth.
The volcano, located near Yogyakarta, is one of the most active on earth.
There have been small eruptions every two to three years and bigger ones every ten to 15 years, causing chaos in the surrounding area.
Luckily, Merapi Golf Club is located a relatively safe distance away from the smoldering peak.
The course is considered long and with very tricky greens.
Hawkes Bay – New Zealand
Cape Kidnappers golf course in New Zealand boasts a dramatic location, perched 459 feet above sea level on a cliff edge.
Revealing what golfers can expect of the rugged course, a blurb on the website reads: ‘You’ll hit shots over the tops of the tea trees, and play along the edges of deep ravines.
‘If you stray on your approaches, you’ll actually hope to get caught up in bunkers hanging off the green’s edge, some of them deeper than you’ve ever seen before.
‘Three times, you’ll have to make the perilous leap from the end of one ridge to the end of the next. And at the sixth and fifteenth holes it’s possible to pull your approach off the very end of the earth, though it will take nearly ten seconds of hang time for your ball to reach the ocean below.’
Kauri Cliffs Golf Course – New Zealand
Set amid 6,000 acres of sprawling hills near Matauri Bay – a four-hour drive from Auckland – Kauri Cliffs boasts jaw-dropping vistas of the ocean beyond.
The par 72 championship course measures 21,360 feet and offers five sets of tees to challenge every skill level.
Fifteen holes view the Pacific Ocean, six of which are played alongside cliffs that plunge to the sea.
Meanwhile, the inland holes wind through marsh, forest, and farmland.
La Paz Golf Club
Andrea Quispe (left) an Aymara indigenous woman, plays an approach shot as her colleague Marta Mamani holds the flag, during their work break at La Paz Golf Club
La Paz Golf Club – opened by British officials who arrived in Bolivia at the beginning of the century – is said to be one of the highest golf courses in the world.
The greens range from 10,751 to 10,964 feet above sea level.
Players say because the air at altitude is thinner, the golf ball has less resistance and travels further.
Founded in 1912, the club sits in the upscale district of southern La Paz, and its exclusive facilities receive the local elite.
Golf can hardly be called a spectacular sport and, despite the fact that a rather limited number of players are engaged in it, it has gained popularity all over the world.
Different clubs are used for the game, with which athletes move from hole to hole. For the convenience of moving, special cars were created, called golf carts. The device is designed to transport its owner’s sports equipment. A golf push cart is a popular piece of equipment among golf lovers.