What is Better Than No Golf This Winter? Snow Golf!

As the night’s draw in and the temperatures start to drop, the first taste of winter hangs in the air, reminding golfers that it is the time of the year when only the hardiest can venture out into the course.  Whether it is because of dwindling daylight hours, plummeting temperatures, waterlogged, frozen or snowbound courses, there are many reasons why only the bravest golfers venture out onto the fairways at this time of year.


But does that have to be the case? Do we really need our fairways and greens to be fair and green?

The answer is, no you don’t, especially if you fancy trying your hand at snow golf.



Although the game was first given some degree of organisation and authenticity in 1998, by Canadian Tina Blomme, it actually has its roots far deeper in history than that.

Indeed, there are several paintings by Dutch artists Aert van der Neer and Hendrick Avercamp that shows the native dutch playing a winter game of “Kolf” against icy and snowy backdrops.


At the turn of the 19th century, eminent author of The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling, became arguably the first snow golfer when composing that very book in Vermont. To give himself a break from his writing during the winter Kipling would head out into the snow armed with a club, some golf balls painted red and some red cups. which he would sink into the snow to use as holes.


The sport was largely forgotten about until 1998, when Tina Blomme founded Snow Golf and developed the first 9-hole snow golf course in Quebec, next door to the famous Ice Hotel.



Nowadays though, during the winter months there are several notable places where the sport is played.

The frozen tundra of Finland provides one of the best snow golf opportunities in the world each winter near the town of Jamijarvi. This 9-hole course is newly constructed each winter and features a par five hole of 480 metres.


The smooth conditions of the ice and relatively calm conditions mean that this is arguably the version of snow golf that is most akin to the summer game.


The World Ice Golf championships have been held most years since 1997 in Uummannaq in Greenland, though conditions there are much tougher – players are advised not to use graphite clubs as the freezing temperatures can cause the shafts to shatter!

The first European Snow Golf Championship was held in Switzerland in  January 2011 and there are also official events held in Argentina, Canada, the United States and Austria.



How do you play Snow Golf?

Snow golf is played in the same way as traditional golf, the player with the fewest shots wins. The main difference being that for each shot a player can tee their ball slightly off the ice, the balls are painted bright colours to make them easy to spot against the snow and lastly, the greens are not greens at all, but ‘whites’.


The other key difference is that due to the number of clothes a competitor is required to wear in the freezing conditions, plus the effect of the colder temperature, the golf balls tend not to be hit anywhere near as far as in the summer game.


  • So what are your impressions of the game?
  • Would you be tempted to throw on some warm winter clothes and head out with your clubs for a spot of snow golf?
  • Or are you definitely a player more inclined to sunnier climes and more verdant courses?

At the very least it is worth noting that if the icy weather means there is no golf, you can always snow golf!


All videos courtesy of You Tube



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If you enjoyed this post please leave us your comment below

Jack November 26, 2013

Snow golf is a fun way for golfers to discover a new way of playing.


GolfPro March 30, 2018

Nice… I had never heard of snow Golf before. Then again I reside in Spain so we don’t really get much snow here. Our alternative to the traditional game is speed golf. It’s fun and helps us get a bit of cardio exercise.


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This looks like fun.


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