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Fair Isle

This club is famous for… being Britain’s most remote

Fancy a round of extreme golf?
 

You’ll see 20,000 puffins on Fair Isle but these aren’t the only birdies you can find at one of the northern most points of the UK.

Lying half way between Shetland and the Orkney Islands, around 60 people live on the remote rock, which is three miles long and a mile and a half wide.

That’s hardly enough room for a course and a car park but you’ll find Fair Isle is home to Britain’s most remote club.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Golf Course doesn’t have greenkeepers. The team of mowers are the residing sheep.

The fierce gales sweeping in off the Atlantic make a breezy day at Turnberry or Carnoustie seem like childsplay.

It’s an adventurous round and not for the faint-hearted as you can see on this YouTube video by Tom Hyndman.

[skylab_video id=”35112″]Fair Isle Golf[/skylab_video]

The American resurrected the six hole links after moving to Fair Isle in 2013.

It had been going since the 1960s and used broomsticks for flags and old tins for holes.

When the lighthouses at both tips of the island became automated in the 1970s, though, the course was forgotten.

Hyndman recreated it after being told tales from other islanders and the course has become a cult must-play – famed for its carries over the sea to small greens, which are not the easiest on which to putt.

With a par of 20, almost surrounded by the sea and set up on jagged rock cliffs, it is so weather-beaten that most of the flags and poles need regularly replacing.

Clubs, balls and tees are available for brave golfers and the course is free to play (although donations are welcome).

Playing in 70mph winds in a remote location may be one thing, but Fair Isle may still have a mountain to climb when it comes to the most extreme golfing tests.

Fair Isle

The World Golf Ice Championships, in Greenland, is played in temperatures which fall to -50 degrees Celsius and where glaciers and icebergs prove more problematic than your average bunker.

The 19th hole at the Legends Golf Resort, in South Africa, can only be played with the help of a helicopter, while the 9-hole Kabul Golf Club became a battlefield in the 1990s.

Click here for the full ‘This Club Is Famous For’ archive

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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