With winter in full swing, it’s hard to imagine playing golf until spring arrives. However, some people have found a way to play their favorite sport with a little twist. It’s called snow golf. Snow golf is a sport based on golf but played over snow (or ice) instead of grass. The "greens" are called "whites" and have a maintained snow or ice surface and you use a colored ball so you can see it in the snow.
Currently, you can play snow golf at select locations in the US, Canada, China, Korea, Japan, Europe, and South America. If you’re really serious about it, you can test your cold weather skills in a tournament. Here are several events that sound like fun!
The St. Moritz Snow Golf Days
The St. Moritz Snow Golf Days will take place from February 8 - 10, 2023 on the frozen lake of St. Moritz. A 9-hole golf course will be created on Lake St. Moritz and will be open to all golfers for three days. The event features a mix of competition and casual play. A golf tournament is held in the morning for the more serious players and after that the course is open for free golfing. Rental equipment is available on site for anyone who wants to try their hand at ice golf.
Barnes Winter Golf Week
The Alps play host to another tournament, the Barnes Winter Golf Cup, which began in 2017. Four different alpine resorts rotate hosting the event: Courchevel, Megève, and Val d’Isére, in France; and Crans-Montana, in Switzerland’s Canton Valais, host of the Omega European Masters and one of eight golf courses in the canton. This year, the Barnes Winter Golf Week is February 16-19, 2023, on the snowy Crans-Montana course.
Baikal Open Ice Golf Tournament
Lake Baikal in Siberia is the is the world’s largest freshwater lake and is also home to the Baikal Open Ice Golf Tournament which started in 2004. Each year, locals carve-out a golf course on the icy surface of the frozen lake and ice-golfers from around the world come to compete and play the course. This year, the event takes place on February 24, 2023. Competitors take this event seriously. Regular rules of golf listed by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews apply and players are even expected to comply with the anti-doping policy and adhere to golf etiquette.
World Ice Golf Championship
The annual World Ice Golf Championship has been held on the shelf ice near Uummannaq, Greenland since 1997. This 9-hole course is recreated annually due to shifting ice and weather conditions. Temperatures can reach as low -19 degrees Fahrenheit (-28 Celsius). Competitors are allowed a maximum handicap of 36. The tournament consists of a 36-hole stroke competition played over two days. Clubs with graphite shafts are not recommended, as they can shatter in the extreme temperatures.
Have you ever played snow golf?