It’s 4:36 am and a full eight iron. A good hit; the ball flies on a perfect trajectory towards the final green at Narvik Golfklubb (pictured below) in the North of Norway. The ball lands softly, and the applause from maybe ten pair of hands by the green disturb the quietness of the morning. I am about to finish the most bizarre day of golf in my life.
It began more than 18 hours earlier, at 10 am. The golf club in Narvik, a city of about 20.000 residents on 68° North, was hosting a tournament for club professionals. It was a big event for a golf club in such a small city. So even though the prize money was low, there was a ProAm as well as a CelebrityAm. The ProAm was at 10 am., followed by a long lunch. And yes, beer is a common commodity in our parts of the world and goes well with any lunch. Especially in a golf club house.
After a quick shower there was dinner at 8 pm.. And again yes, we do enjoy a glass of wine or two (even three) at dinner time. It turned out to be a great party. But maybe not the perfect preparation for the CelebrityAm, that started at 2 am. Luckily, the tournament was only 9 holes. And when I hit that eight iron onto the last green, I had been sober for at least 15 minutes. Which made it less embarrassing bending down to mark my ball, considering the crowd of at least ten spectators.
More than 25 midnight golf courses
In Norway, there is close to 15 golf courses above the Arctic Circle (Narvik is approx. 2° above). Among the 15 you’ll find the world’s northernmost golf course, North Cape Golf Club, the world’s northernmost 18 hole course, Tromsø Golfklubb, and the only true links course in the world where the sun will never set in summer: The Troon Golf managed Lofoten Links (pictured at the top and bottom of the article). It will open the second loop of nine in 2015, and is is a nominee for «The Worlds Best New Golf Course 2015» by World Golf Awards. By open all 18 holes, Lofoten Links become the world’s northernmost 18 hole true links golf course.
Also to be mentioned is Bodø Golfpark, opened in 2013. “What a hole”, Suzann Pettersen said teeing off at the 3rd. It’s a 414 meters par-4 dog leg left, where you can see the flag across the bay from the tee.
Included some courses not too far South of the Arctic Circle, it is possible to play all night at more than 25 of Norway’s 170 golf courses. Some of these courses will even issue a Midnight Certificate if you’re out playing their course at midnight. Isn’t that something to frame for your den or office?
What the Arctic Circle really is? It’s the boundary for where you’ll get 24 hours of sunshine in the summer. And just as many days where the sun never climbs above the horizon in the winter, by the way. But that’s a completely different story. And the reason there is such a thing as The Migrant Golfer.
You can find a complete listing of Norwegian golf courses by following this link. The page is in Norwegian, but you’ll find the midnight golf courses in the three Northernmost regions on the map (clickable).
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