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A Hole in What?

Unless you’ve qualified for this month’s PGA Championship, your chances of ever sinking a putt at the lush Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, are slim. An exclusive private course, Valhalla rarely gives out even non-championship tee times. Don’t despair, though: There are plenty of other superlative courses around the world that would love to host you, if you dare.

Author Jacqueline Detwiler Illustration Craig Robinson


Hottest: Furnace Creek Golf Course, Death Valley, California
You’ve got a golf cart with a refrigerated glovebox? That’s cute. You might want to stick your head in it while playing on this 18-hole, Perry Dye–designed course at Furnace Creek Resort, where the hottest air temperature on Earth was recorded in 1913—a blistering 134°F.

Coldest: Uummannaq, Greenland
Located on a glacial island off the coast of Greenland, this 5-mile, 9-hole course is a lot like a good snowshoe spoiled. Golfers play with orange balls, so they can see them in the snow, and steel clubs that won’t shatter in the cold.

Most likely to result in you being eaten by large animals: Skukuza Golf Course, South Africa
Many golfers enjoy the sport because it’s relaxing. Unless, of course, they’re sprinting away from one of the hippos that live in this course’s water feature, which is named, appropriately, Lake Panic. Other hazards on this nine-hole course in Kruger National Park include warthogs, baboons and, gulp, lions.

Most Likely to start a war: Camp Bonifas, South Korea
Though this course has only a single hole, it is absolutely surrounded by hazards. It sits on a U.S. and South Korean military base 440 yards from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, near jumpy soldiers with guns, barbed wire and, ahem, a minefield. What could go wrong?

Longest: Nullarbor Links, Australia
Duffers who’ve always wanted to quit their jobs and play golf for a month straight can pull it off in a single game on this course in the Australian outback. It starts at Ceduna Golf Club in South Australia, and ends 18 holes, 850 miles and dozens of dingo sightings later at Kalgoorlie Golf Club in Western Australia.

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