Top 10 Best Iceland Golf Courses, Must-Visit in 2024 Golf Holidays

Last updated on March 14, 2024 in Best of Golf, Courses & Travel 0 comment.
best Iceland golf courses

While Iceland is renowned for its mesmerizing natural wonders like the northern lights, whale watching, and captivating ice caves, it also boasts a lesser-known attraction for sports enthusiasts: its vibrant golf scene. The country offers an impressive array of over 70 golf courses set against the backdrop of its spectacular landscapes. What sets Iceland golf courses apart are the breathtaking vistas and the unique opportunity to play under the midnight sun during summer months, providing an unforgettable golfing experience.

For avid golfers planning a trip to Iceland, here is a curated list of the top 10 golf courses that promise not only challenging play but also awe-inspiring scenery.

Best Iceland Golf Courses

1. Keilir Golf Course

Location: Steinholt, 220 Hafnarfjörður, Iceland

Keilir Golf Course

Keilir Golf Course

Nestled in Hafnarfjordur, just a short drive from Reykjavik and the international airport, Keilir Golf Club offers a unique blend of geological and scenic golf experiences.

Established in 1967 with a modest nine holes, it has since evolved under the guidance of Hannes Þorsteinsson, reaching a full 18-hole capacity by 1994 and adding another nine in 1996. The front nine, set amidst dramatic lava fields, offers challenging play where accuracy is key. Conversely, the back nine unfolds on serene farmland, introducing water hazards to test golfers’ skills.

The club’s modern clubhouse, established in 1993, provides stunning oceanic views and a historical nod to Jules Verne’s literary escapade, enhancing the allure of playing here. Particularly notorious is the second hole, where golfers must strategize their tee shot carefully to navigate between safety and risk for an optimal approach to the green.

2. Grafarholt Course – Reykjavik Golf Club

Location: Grafarholt, 113 Reykjavík, Iceland

Grafarholt Course - Reykjavik Golf Club

Grafarholt Course – Reykjavik Golf Club

The Grafarholt Course at Reykjavik Golf Club holds the distinction of being the first golf course in Iceland, yet it remains a favorite among both local and visiting golfers. Located conveniently within Reykjavik, it allows players to immerse themselves in golf without the need for extensive travel.

The course’s distinct and rugged landscape ensures that each hole presents a unique challenge, contributing to its reputation as a demanding course that tests a comprehensive range of golfing skills. Its recognition extends beyond Iceland’s borders, having hosted numerous European and Nordic golf tournaments. Golfers of all levels are encouraged to experience its challenging layout, making Grafarholt Course one of the best golf courses in Iceland, a top recommendation for anyone planning a golf trip to this country.

3. Urrida Course – Oddur Golf Club

Location: 210 Garðabær 116, 210 Urridavollur, Iceland

Urrida Course - Oddur Golf Club

Urrida Course – Oddur Golf Club

Initially established in 1993 as a members-only facility, Oddur Golf Club – Urrida Course was not initially seen as particularly challenging compared to Iceland’s more notorious courses. However, perceptions shifted dramatically following the 2006 Icelandic Golf Championship, as participants found the course unexpectedly testing.

Situated just a 20-minute drive from Reykjavik, Urrida Course offers accessibility amidst a breathtaking landscape, characterized by the natural beauty of nesting birds and distinctive lava formations. While the stunning surroundings can easily captivate golfers, they’re advised to maintain focus on their game to navigate the course’s subtle challenges effectively.

The blend of moderate initial expectations and surprising complexity makes Urrida Course a noteworthy destination for golfers seeking an engaging round near Iceland’s capital.

4. Westmann Islands Golf Club

Location: Hamarsvegur, 900 Vestmannaeyjabær, Iceland

Westmann Islands Golf Club

Westmann Islands Golf Club

Located on the scenic Westmann Islands, the Westmann Islands Golf Club offers a unique golfing experience that combines the beauty of Icelandic nature with the challenge of a meticulously designed course.

Originally established as a 9-hole course, it expanded in 1994 to offer golfers more variety and challenge. The landscape was dramatically altered by a volcanic eruption in 1973, with the aftermath leaving the course buried under ash, necessitating a four-year cleanup.

Today, the course is not only known for its challenging layout but also for the breathtaking views and the opportunity to spot wildlife, such as puffins during the summer months. Playing a round here is not just about golf but also about immersing yourself in an extraordinary natural environment, making it a worthwhile addition to any Icelandic adventure.

5. Geysir Golf Club

Location: Haukadalur 3 801, 806 Selfoss, Iceland

Geysir Golf Club

Geysir Golf Club

Named after the iconic Great Geysir, which lies tantalizingly close to its clubhouse, Geysir Golf Course in Iceland offers a unique golfing experience that merges natural wonder with sporting challenge.

Established in 2006, the course quickly gained domestic acclaim, particularly for its pristine fescue greens. Its design by Edwin Roald is reminiscent of the storied layouts like the Old Course at St. Andrews, with an L-shaped routing that allows golfers to witness geothermal eruptions, particularly from the Strokkur geyser, during their round.

The course features natural hazards, with two rivers influencing play across all holes and indigenous flora lining the fairways. The bunkering integrates seamlessly with the landscape, edged with native heather to provide an organic aesthetic.

Designed to respect the land’s innate contours, Geysir Golf Course eschews artificial shaping for a layout that highlights the inherent undulations and features of the Icelandic terrain, offering a golfing experience deeply rooted in the unique geothermal and ecological character of its environment.

6. Akureyri Golf Club

Location: Eikarlundur 18, 600 Akureyri, Iceland

Akureyri Golf Club

Akureyri Golf Club

Akureyri Golf Club offers a distinct moorland feel, presenting a unique golfing landscape amidst broad ridges, tree clusters, and rock formations that serve as natural tee sites. Celebrated as the world’s northernmost 18-hole golf course by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, it provides a striking contrast to Iceland’s typical coastal courses with its lush vegetation.

Since its establishment in 1935, just a year after Reykjavik Golf Club, Akureyri has been pivotal in nurturing Icelandic golf talent, notably under the guidance of Magnus Gudmundsson, an international caliber player who left a lasting legacy on the course design. By 1970, the club settled at Jadar farm, evolving from a 9-hole to an 18-hole course by 1980, with contributions from Gudmundsson and Gunnar Thordarson. The layout exemplifies strategic design, leveraging the natural terrain to challenge and delight golfers.

7. Brautarholt Golf Course

Location: Brautarholt, 162 Reykjavík, Iceland

Brautarholt Golf Course

Brautarholt Golf Course

Brautarholt Golf Course offers a unique golfing experience with its breathtaking coastal scenery and rolling landscapes. The 12-hole layout presents a flexible play format where golfers can either replay the first 9 holes for a par-70 game or opt for a combined 21-hole round.

The first hole sets an impressive tone for the round, positioned atop a cliff providing dramatic views and a challenging start with the ocean lurking to the right. Each hole at Brautarholt is designed to integrate naturally with the coastal terrain, offering both beauty and challenge, ensuring a memorable round for every golfer.

8. Borgarnes Golf Course

Location: Hamri 310, 310 Borgarnes, Iceland

Borgarnes Golf Course

Borgarnes Golf Course

Established on January 21, 1973, Borgarnes Golf Club initially began with just a modest parcel of land granted by the Town Council and quickly developed a three-hole course for practice and golfing endeavors. By 1976, the club had completed its front nine holes and initiated the back nine in 1987, culminating in a comprehensive redesign and full 18-hole course completion by April 2007.

Characterized as a parkland course, Borgarnes Golf Course provides a scenic experience with tree-lined fairways, natural rocky outcrops, and engaging water hazards. The course boasts stunning mountain and bay vistas from each of its 18 holes, particularly notable at the par-71 track. A highlight is the 8th hole, a captivating par-3 featuring an island green, offering a blend of beauty and challenge. Golfers at this championship course can anticipate a rewarding test of skill against a backdrop of exceptional Icelandic beauty.

9. Thorlakshofn Golf Course

Location: 815 Thorlakshofn, Iceland

Thorlakshofn Golf Course

Thorlakshofn Golf Course

Thorlakshofn Golf Course, one of the 10 best golf courses of Iceland, is located just a 30-minute drive from Reykjavík. Inaugurated in 1997 and initially developed as a 9-hole course by Hannes Thorsteinsson, it expanded into an 18-hole course by 2005 under the guidance of the same architect.

Nestled along the coastline, it exemplifies a classic links course, set against a stunning backdrop that includes views of the renowned Hekla volcano. Spanning around 6,400 meters from the championship tees, the course presents a stern test, particularly on windy days, a common feature in the area. It is lengthy parfives and treacherous rough, composed of sand, lava, and gorse, penalizing errant shots.

Renovations between 2004 and 2010 by Edwin Roald introduced four new holes, enhancing playability and reducing its length, resulting in a diverse layout with six par threes, a couple of very short par fours, and five par fives, ensuring a varied and engaging golf experience.

10. Sudurnes Golf Course

Location: 2CR2+RPV, 251 Garður, Iceland

Sudurnes Golf Course

Sudurnes Golf Course

Situated near the seaside on the enchanting Reykjanes Peninsula, the Sudurnes golf course offers a stunning blend of natural beauty and golfing challenges, just a short drive from Keflavik International Airport. This links-style course provides panoramic views of Reykjavik and the majestic mountains Esja and Akrafjall, enhancing the playing experience with breathtaking landscapes.

Designed to test golfers of all skill levels, Sudurnes is particularly noted for its signature par 3 hole “Bergvik.” This iconic hole demands a daring 200-meter shot across the sea to reach the green, earning its reputation as one of the most remarkable Iceland golf courses. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a golf enthusiast, Sudurnes Golf Courses offers a unique blend of natural beauty and golfing excitement, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience Iceland’s golfing allure.

Midnight Sun Golfing in Iceland

Midnight sun golfing in Iceland

Midnight sun golfing in Iceland

In the unique geographical setting of Iceland, the summer months of June and July are characterized by continuous daylight due to the country’s proximity to the Arctic Circle. This extraordinary phenomenon allows golf enthusiasts the flexibility to play at any hour, day, or night, making midnight golf a sought-after experience.

Imagine teeing off with a stunning sunset that transitions seamlessly into the sunrise, all without the interruption of the night. This endless daylight not only allows for flexible tee times but also enhances the golfing experience with extraordinary views and lighting conditions that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The serene and ethereal landscape under the midnight sun creates a tranquil atmosphere, making it a memorable golfing adventure. Additionally, you can savor the beauty of Iceland’s rugged landscapes, from volcanic terrains to sweeping coastlines, all while enjoying your favorite sport.

Playing golf under the midnight sun is not only about the game but also about soaking in the enchanting Icelandic landscapes under a different light, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. While this experience is available on both nine and eighteen-hole courses, it is essential to book in advance. Availability for midnight golf may vary depending on the facilities and services like clubhouses and dining options that the golf course can provide during these hours.

The diversity of landscape makes Iceland golf courses not only beautiful but also provide an unparalleled experience. Have you ever played at these courses? Share your feelings by commenting on the box below. Also, don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions about golf in Iceland.

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Linh Chi

I am an avid traveler who loves to play golf and have experience in tourism golf in Vietnam and Asia countries. I'm here to provide you with useful information and help to plan a perfect golf holiday in Southeast Asia.

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