Golf in Iceland

20 courses
4 reviews

Playing golf in Iceland is an experience like no other you will have had before. During the summer months, where there is 24 hours of sunlight, it is possible to tee off at midnight – combine this with the fact that one-tenth of Iceland’s land mass is lava means that it’s pretty important to be hitting straight off the tee!

The majority of the golf courses in Iceland try to trail the natural outline of the diverse landscape, a style which is becoming more and more popular with modern golf courses. The intimidating mountains are the backdrop for many a course, and there are also some brilliant views of the ocean from some of the links courses.

The popularity of golf is increasing at a dramatic rate and the Icelandic Golf Association has revealed there are now more than 30,000 members of golf clubs.

The best time to play golf in Iceland is probably between May and September due to the chilly conditions that Iceland experiences during the winter.

Reykjavik and its surrounding area is probably the most popular golfing region in Iceland. Clubs such as Keilir and Grafarholt  are leading the way with regards to the quality of golf courses in the country.

Keilir was opened as a 9-hole course in 1967 and it wasn’t until 1994 when the full 18 was complete. The new front nine was built over lava fields and if you stray too far off the fairway, there’s every possibility that you’ll have to leave your ball!

Grafarholt, also opened for play in the 1960’s, has hosted many championships over the years and is the oldest course in Iceland. The harsh winter conditions mean that the course sometimes isn’t at its best until the middle of the summer depending on the amount of visitors.

There are many projects on the table at the moment for new courses in Iceland but one in particular stands out, Black Sand. It has been described as one of the world’s most exciting golf projects and is set in an isolated fishing village around an hour’s drive from Reykjavik. The architect Steve Smyers, lead architect for Sir Nick Faldo’s practice, hopes that it will be a links course equal to anything that the United Kingdom has to offer!

The views of the volcanoes and glaciers in the distance, humungous sand dunes and inconsistent weather will, according to Sir Nick, ‘put Icelandic golf firmly on the map!’ However, the project at the moment is still unfortunately on hold much to the dismay of links lovers all over the world.

Away from the golf, it seems there is an endless list of activities available for all tastes. From Reykjavik, the Hvita River and Geysir Hot Springs are within an hour’s drive allowing for white water rafting, kayaking and many more activities. The Geysir Hot Springs are home to the world renowned thermal baths which are a brilliant experience. Reykjavik also offers a vibrant nightlife which attracts tourists from all over Europe; during the summer it’s possible to leave a nightclub to bright sunlight – a very strange experience indeed!

Around twenty different airline companies have daily flights to and from Iceland to various major European cities making it simple to get to the country. Keflavik Airport is the busiest of the airports in Iceland with over two million passengers passing through in 2012; the airport also plans to either extend the current terminal or build a new one in the next few years as well as building a third runway to ease traffic pressure.

Iceland has the potential to become a favourite holiday destination amongst golfers and much looks to rely on the Black Sea project near Reykjavik. There are already some brilliant courses to enjoy and Midnight golf is something that everyone has to try!

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Destinations in Iceland

destination courses rating
Vík 2 7.5
Reykjavík 15 4.7
Akureyri 2 N/R
Selfoss 1 N/R
  • Vestman Island Golf Club - Vestmannaeyjar
    Beautiful place!
    I had a really good playing at Vestman Island golf club, the setting is just breath-taking, with amazing views of the sea and volcano. The course is rated as my top1 track due to his spectacular layout, unique challenges and excellent condition!! The clubhouse is great too and the staff are super friendly. I can’t wait to be back!
    Vestman Island Golf Club - Vestmannaeyjar
    10 / 10 stars
    this review is the subjective opinion of a GOLFBOO user and not of GOLFBOO S.L