Traveling the globe with your golf clubs in tow can transform an average sightseeing vacation into an international claim staking mission.  Each course you conquer is like another push pin inserted into the map of your golfing mettle.  Exciting adventure and exotic travel are gaining popularity among some of today’s golf vacationers, but a trip to the birthplace of the game somehow never gets old.

Look no further than the Arctic Open to get your golf adventure launched.  Officially listed by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club as the world’s northern-most golf course, Akureyri Golf Club in Akureyri, Iceland holds this 36 hole golf event every June when the weather is mild and the sun stays high in the sky all day and all night.


Akureyri, Iceland

Entries are open to the public and the tournament is scored Stableford style – awarding points for relation to par, but that’s not what makes this event unique.  Akureyri Golf Club’s unmatched latitude gives players at the Arctic Open an opportunity to play golf all day, and right through the night.  Tournament tee times run as late as 10:00pm and players utilize the glowing arctic sun to navigate their way.  Getting to Akureyri is a cinch – there are multiple flights between Iceland’s capital of Reykjavík and Akureyri every day.  You can also choose to hop a direct flight between Copenhagen airport in Denmark and Akureyri.

If a more exotic and pampered golf experience is what you are looking for the game’s newest destination is without a doubt the United Arab Emirates – specifically Dubai.

Tiger Woods-in-Dubai Emirates Golf Club

Dubai Desert Classic

Emirates Golf Club boasts some of the world’s swankiest golf facilities complete with floodlight fairways (Northern Iceland isn’t the only place you can tee it up after dark), 5 star restaurants, fitness facilities, tennis courts, swimming pools, and more.  The quality of golf is nothing if not a match to the world-class facilities.  At over 7,000 yards the par 72 Majlis Course plays host to the European Tour’s annual Dubai Desert Classic, drawing some of the golf game’s most talent players.  The Faldo Course, designed by six-time major championship winner Nick Faldo, has come to be known as one of the finest golf courses in Dubai since it’s opening in 1996.

These two upcoming golf destinations might provide a refreshing take on the old boondoggle, but if they don’t send you on a mad dash to your favorite travel-booking website it’s understandable. For those who are looking for a hot golf destination in the west, you could try some of the many Tucson golf courses in Arizona. But for many, St. Andrews, Scotland and the region’s courses will always be the epic golf destination.


St. Andrews Old Course

Try to time your trip with the five year rotation of the British Open and you will be in for a very special treat.  Speaking of special treats,  if you happen to find yourself in the historic fishing village of Anstruther just north of St. Andrews eating fish and chips out of a cardboard box and looking out across the sea you will know you have arrived.

Anstruther-fish-and-chips shop

Anstruther fish & chips shop

Images by Francois Marier, Abdul Halim Ab Rahman, Brian Forbes, Jenni Douglas

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