Off the coast of central Italy are a set of two magnificant islands, Corsica to the north and Sardinia to the south. It was a toss up as to which island would win out but in the end I opted for Corsica. Aside from the absolutely stunning landscape of the island as a whole, the southern Corsican golf course of Sperone is a well regarded championship course designed by Robert Trent Jones and has some outstanding reviews. Some even call it the Pebble Beach of Europe. There was a bit of mystique surrounding this course and I just had to check it out.
After a couple of emails to the right people I was invited to come spend a day at Sperone. And with that Corsica became the next destination on our European vacation. Corsica has been part of France for quite a few years now but has a distinct Italian culture. The language spoken is predominately French, although some do speak a Corsican dialect. The Corsicans are a very proud people and have been vying for their independence from France for many years. This was evident by the scattered graffiti saying "Tourists Go Home!", and they weren’t talking about me!
Getting to Corsica from Italy (where we were at the time) can be a bit of a challenge. There are no direct flights from Italy so we opted for the four hour ferry ride from Livorno to Bastia (northern Corsica). Upon arrival at the port we grabbed our rental car from Hertz and the adventure began!
Sperone is in Bonifacio - all the way down south. We were all the way up north. But this gave us three days to explore Corsica as we drove on down. Our first stop was St. Florent, only a 30 minute drive from Bastia. The north is very rugged and some say it's the true authentic Corsica. St. Florent has one of the most glorious beaches in the world: Saleccia Beach. A bit off the beaten path, it's necessary to take a 30 minute taxi boat from St. Florent to Loto Beach and then a 90 minute hike along the coast before reaching Saleccia (there is also a 45 minute inland route but we took the hike by the water since it's much more scenic). Definitely worth the trek. If you make it to Corsica - this is a must!
Corsica has some spectacular fresh food with the specialty being veal and seafood. On our second night we were lucky enough to eat at an amazing local restaurant, La Villa Michel (in San Pietro, Corsica) that served butter and milk local to the island. According to our waiter Tom, there is only one farmer on all of Corsica that raises dairy cows for fresh milk and butter (which explained the lack of fresh dairy in all of Corsica!).
As we continued the drive down south to Bonifacio, I saw the signs for Sperone Golf Club. Up and down a windy road we came upon a small guard house and a gate. Inside the gate only a short distance away was the seaside style clubhouse. The winds in this area can be ferocious but the day I visited it was relatively calm at only 10-15 mph.
The course is semi-private with a membership of over 100 members. The course does not have caddies but that's not an issue since the majority of members prefer to walk. Push carts are available for rental as well as electric carts. The clubhouse is a modern design with an open feel throughout the interior. The pro shop is upstairs along with the world class restaurant which we visited at the turn. The pro shop offers a wide variety of merchandise with and without course logos. In the shop I was greeted by a welcoming staff ready to show off their beautiful course.
I was taken downstairs and introduced to the asst pro Stephane, who was nice enough to share with me all he knew about the course. After a great introduction it was off to the range to warm up. Lackluster it might be, but the views from the range are incredible. The range is long enough to hit a driver. To your right you can see the Italian island of Sardinia. Corsica, most notable Bonifacio, is popular with the rich and famous because of the remote nature and small crowds, fresh food and amazing weather and views. The practice putting green showed signs of crab grass which meant the putting may be a challenge. Some of the reviews I had previously read mentioned the conditions of the course being a little rough, and this is true due to the proximately of the course to the Mediterranean. It’s been my experience that coastal courses tend to have a more rugged conditioning. I personally enjoy this feature because it’s a different style which means all kinds of new shots will probably be required, adding to the test.
The first hole is a great starting hole. A wide open tee shot leads to a very interesting approach shot over a small patch of trees, to a false front green and a challenging green.
The second is a really tough Redan style hole. It plays only 150m slightly downhill. The green slopes severely from front to back away from your tee shot. If the pin is in the front you can’t land on the green or it will roll to the back. I was fortunate to make a nice putt after rolling to the back and saving my par.
The front side never gives you a real view of the sea. This doesn’t mean the holes aren’t spectacular. The terrain is dramatic with huge rolls and some spectacular outcroppings of rocks.
Many of the holes on the front ask the player to be in certain positions off the tee to truly take advantage of the tough greens. From an architectural standpoint I found the front to be an overall better design than the back. The back, however, has some of the most spectacular views you will ever see.
After making a par on the 9th hole and shooting 36, it was time for some lunch. The course was a little crowded so I figured a nice long break would open things up a little.
Sitting on the terrace with views of the sea, we could hardly wait to feast on the impressive menu with all local ingredients. My girlfriend said her tuna, avocado, crab salad was the best she had ever had. My truffle risotto was incredible as well. And the Corsican wine...wow! After eating it was time to hit the back nine that I had read so much about.
The back 9 features mostly target style holes. You are not going to over-power the back but you can strategically place your ball and score very well. The first time you see the Mediterranean is on the 11th fairway. The next 3 holes are draped on the coast high above the sea.
The par 3 12th is a tough shot requiring a well struck shot to find the surface. More bogeys than birdies are made here - I'm sure of it.
After playing the 13th, a drivable par 4 with trouble everywhere, it's back to inland golf to set you up for a dramatic finish.
From the tee on the 15th it looks as if you will play another inland hole but once you find your tee shot, the hole opens up and you have a green hanging out near the edge of the sea.
The 16th is considered the signature hole and for good reason. The short par 5 forces you to not just go over the water on your drive but also on your approach shot. It’s a truly visually stunning hole. It certainly does stack up there with some of the views at Pebble Beach. When comparing Sperone with Pebble Beach (if you can even compare the two - which are two completely different courses) the one commonality is obvious: the outstanding views. Outside of the views, you really can't compare these two courses - they each hold their own.
The 17th is a wonderful par 3. 180m to a postage stamp size green with an inland lagoon on your right. The precision required is surgical.
The 18th is a roller coaster par 5. The crickets on the island can be overwhelming at times but never seemed to be too much of a distraction from this truly outstanding seaside course. The smell of fresh sea is always present and after our round we decided why not hit the beach, which we had admired all day below us while playing the course.
After a short drive, we arrived at a path that said "La Plage" and had an arrow. This way to the beach! Over cliffs, natural stone staircases and a maze of shrubs we arrived at our destination: a secluded beach with crystal clear water. The perfect ending to a perfect day of golf. But that wasn't the end of this Corsican adventure...
We had one last visit and that was to the medieval town of Bonafacio. We had no time earlier in the day to explore the oldest town in Corsica (founded in the 9th century) so now was our chance. The dramatic clifftop citadel takes your breath away, as does the town itself, which appears stuck in time.
Walking along these medieval cobblestone streets with over 1000 years of stories to tell, I feel exhausted yet exhilarated. The past four days in Corsica have felt more like four weeks. Bright sunshine, glorious blue waters, picture-perfect golf, scrumptiously fresh food, adventure at every turn. Yes...life is good.
Use these links for more info on the course and the area!
This trip all started when my girlfriend told me her boss was getting married in Tuscany and she would need to go. She then mentioned why don’t we take the rest of the summer and travel all over Europe. Uh ok!
And with that my planning began. First up, Castiglion Del Bosco, one of the oldest and best-preserved estates in Tuscany (with a golf course, hotel and winery on the property) - the course considered by many to be the Augusta of Italy for its truly elite membership and exclusivity. It’s the only truly private club in all of Italy (74 members) and is owned by the Ferragamo family. Yes that Ferragamo!
Arriving at the course was a bit of a challenge as my cell phone wasn’t getting any reception. I was stuck with a GPS unit that guided me through the woods onto a dirt road. After about 15 minutes on this dirt road I arrived at the GPS coordinates but...where was the golf course? Not here! Totally frustrated I just decided to keep going down the dirt road, thinking the whole time I must be nowhere near this course because how could a super exclusive private club be on a dusty dirt road? But guess what- a few miles later there it was!
I pulled into the parking lot and was immediately greeted by Martin, the head pro/golf operation coordinator. Martin, to my surprise, was not Italian but Scottish. I guess if you are considered the best club in all of Italy why not hire a staff from the birthplace of golf. As Martin lead me inside the rustic restored farm houses that had been converted into the clubhouse and pro shop, I had few questions.
My first questions seemed an obvious one: how come you guys have a 20 mile dirt road and not pavement? This can’t be favorable for the Lamborghinis and Ferraris. "There is a very simple explanation to this," he said while laughing. The entire grounds, all 5000 hecters, is a UNESCO world heritage site which means no changes are allowed anywhere on the property. This includes the road, buildings and grounds themselves. In fact, any new structures (including bathrooms on the course) were forbidden and only structures that were already on the course property where able to be restored and/or built upon. Currently they were scouring the property to try and find old foundations to restore and turn into villas and other necessary buildings. Quite a task! But wow - what history.
The property consists of three different locations: the golf course, the town/hotel (consisting of various suites in the old village/borgo and scattered villas) and the winery. Originally the vineyard was the main focus but soon after, a few American investors suggested that Massimo Farragamo build a golf course in addition to the winery. After all...is there a better combination- Italy, wine, golf?! And with that the project began. From that point until my arrival marked seven years. Now here I was, ready to rate this truly magnificent course.
Inside the clubhouse I was taken to the men’s locker room which is behind a locked door only accessible by staff and members. Once inside the small, well appointed room I was shown to my locker, which was inscribed with my name on a plaque on the door. This was a very nice touch as I have not seen such detail at any of the clubs in America. After changing into my golf clothes and grabbing an espresso and piece of fruit (true Italian style), it was time to hit the course.
I would be playing with Martin, which is something I always find enjoyable when the head pro joins me. Carts are not mandatory but there are currently no caddies, so if you choose to walk you will be using an electric push cart. Most members opt for a cart, as did I.
First stop was the range. The range is full size, allowing drivers and any other club of your liking. The amount of space on the tee is quite small but with only 75 current members and most being either from America or international, a bigger teeing ground is really not necessary.
The course is divided into two sides. Each 9 is separated by the dirt road. The course was designed by Tom Weiskopf who was given instructions that the course should blend seamlessly with the surrounding land. This task can be a real challenge if the land you are given is not suitable for golf. Fortunately for Weiskopf, he was given a piece of land that any architect would die for. The rolling terrain of Tuscany is perfectly suited for golf.
One interesting story about the course is that when Tom was ready to put the sand in the traps, he wanted to use white sand to make the course pop in contrast. But this was immediately shot down by Massimo, as he wanted sand the color of the fescue to ensure the seamless blending of the course and its surroundings. Once the right sand was found and placed in the bunkers, Weiskopf agreed that it was the perfect accent to the land and the course. Massimo had chosen wisely.
The front nine gently makes its way down toward the bottom of the valley and then just as gently finds its way back up to the clubhouse. The entire time you stand in awe of your surroundings as the hills of Tuscany truly take your breath away. Pictures don’t do the course justice. The magnitude and scope of the surroundings can’t truly be captured on film. This is a course for the eyes.
The course itself can play very tough from the tips at nearly 7200 yards. It offers all you could want if torture is your game! The wind was blowing quite hard the day I played and I told Martin to mix up the tee boxes when he thought necessary. I’m not a big fan of playing 3 woods into every green. My feeling is you should try and find a tee that allows you to play the hole the way the architect designed it. This means understanding how far you hit and where the kick points in the fairway are. Designers are always thinking about where you should land your ball if you strike it perfectly and then rewarding you with either a better angle to the green or a slope in the fairway that will give your tee shot some extra roll if you hit the correct spot. Understanding this aspect of the game can increase your enjoyment 10 fold. Even for myself who hits the ball 275+ yards, a hole can become a nightmare if the wind is blowing too hard for me to reach the proper location off the tee. This is why in tournament golf they move the tees up or back on certain days depending on the weather.
Weiskopf has added some great design features to the course. From the tees and from the fairways the traps are ever present. He has done a remarkable job of disguising the traps. What looks like three small pot bunkers are actually one giant bunker across an entire area. This is a great visual illusion that not every architect takes the time to incorporate into their designs. The greens as well offer some tough challenges with many crowned areas ready to repel shots not struck with precision.
Once we finished with the front nine, Martin asked if I would like to stop and have some lunch. I gladly accepted of course! Anna, the PR manager of CDB, joined us as well. The lunch was delicious - I had an octopus salad with potatoes. There were chunks of giant octopus that were cooked to perfection and boiled potatoes that had just the right texture. Yum! I always try and eat a light lunch on the course. I find if I eat a heavy lunch my body becomes too lethargic for the back nine.
After a great lunch and wonderful conversation, off we went to see the rest of the course. The back nine, in my opinion, is the better of the two but Martin told me his favorite changes daily! I see his reasoning as both are superb but the back just captivated me in a different way.
It starts with a steep descent downward to a short but challenging par 4. It then winds itself between and around steep rolling hills. The fescue grasses are quite tall and almost all balls entering tend to stay in this grassy abyss.
The next 3 holes on the course were my favorites. The 11th is a tough driving hole that wants you to cut the corner but this is a mistake as the rough is so high - any shot not finding the fairway will surely be a lost ball or an impossible shot out of the rough.
The 12th hole is an uphill par 4 that will require a precise tee shot threading its way between a bunch of traps, leaving you with a tough uphill approach to a blind green surface.
Finally the 13th hole is a brilliant par 5 that is cut right between two Tuscan hills. The hole is quite long and challenging. A par here and you will feel like you accomplished something. Lol!
After finishing the back with a beautiful uphill par 4 I was bummed that the round was over. I removed my hat and with a customary handshake, thanked Martin for a great round. He smiled at me and informed me we weren’t quite finished yet! "Don’t forget about our 19th hole," he said. Sure enough, only a few steps away was a 100m par 3 called the 19th hole. It was built as a hole to settle all unfinished bets that needed one more hole. I nearly holed out my sand wedge and rolled in a well timed birdie putt! Classic.
At the close of the round, I headed to the clubhouse and was introduced to the GM, David Waters (another Scottsman), who suggested I join Martin for a tour of the grounds including the first class winery. I thanked David for inviting me out for the day and told him how much I loved the course. After a quick shower and change of clothes, I jumped in the car with Martin and off we went to the winery.
The winery has been perfecting its techniques for a few years and is considered one of the top wineries in the area. I did a wine tasting of 5 different wines and all were spectacular. After purchasing a bottle, it was off to the wine cellar where I was shown the private wine room where each member is assigned a wine locker for their own collections. The circular room can be transformed into a dining room upon request from any member. This was truly one of the coolest wine rooms I had ever seen. Private, exclusive, classy.
We made our way by car (about a mile from the winery) to the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco Hotel. Truly magnificent. The hotel property consists of 23 suites and 11 villas, as well as a world class spa. And you don't have to worry about being disturbed. The staff moves about the property through an underground tunnel system that was built during the restoration some years ago. There is an infinity pool on the edge of a hill and a vegetable garden used by the restaurant for a true farm to table experience. The hotel and winery are open to the public (average nightly rate at the hotel is around 1350 Euro) but the golf course is private. The public is afforded a one time only chance to play the golf course so if you are in Tuscany and want a first class experience, you would be well served to stay and play here.
After touring the grounds I thanked Martin and the staff for a truly exceptional day and one that any golfer would enjoy. I drove away down the dirt road, fully aware that I had just played one of the most exceptional courses in the world. If you have the opportunity to play CDB, do it. You will always remember the course, but most of all you will remember the adventure.
Please use this link for any contact information regarding the property.
In the past 44 years of my lifetime, I have seen and played thousands of golf courses. But nothing prepared me for the Tórshavn Golf Club on the Faroe Islands.
In preparation for my trip to the Faroe Islands this summer, I was curious to know whether or not they had a golf course, Could these remote set of 18 tiny islands, where there are more sheep than people, actually have a golf course? If so, I was going to find it. The results of my research weren't too encouraging. All I could find was a Faroe Islands local website confirming that there was indeed a 9 hole course but the information provided was beyond vague. No reviews could be found any where. I did find a few articles about a new course being built in 2020, but again I found myself searching for some concrete evidence that an actual course existed in these elusive islands. I tried calling the number given for the supposed 9 hole course but no one ever picked up. I was about to embark on a month long golf journey around Europe (Italy, Corsica, France, Sweden) and the Faroe Islands would be my final stop. This was going to be a true adventure. Since my months of research had proved futile in finding any actual proof that a golf course existed, I thought I might as well lighten the load and ship my clubs home before flying to the Faroes. Then my girlfriend stepped in and convinced me otherwise. Just in case...
So the story begins....
From the moment I stepped off the plane in Vagar, I was blown away by the topography of the Faroe Islands. Just outside the airport it looked as if 18 holes were begging to be discovered. Unfortunately looks can be deceiving. The entire set of islands are basically barren. The reason being is that the whole thing is one big rock. The little top soil is spread thinly on top. It rains constantly leading to unimaginably beautiful waterfalls everywhere you look. Unlike Scotland and Ireland, where the natural dunes and sand terrain lead to courses which take care of themselves, the Faroe Islands have no such luck. My thoughts upon surveying the landscape were that to build a course here would be quite an endeavor. That being said, if someone could build a modern design in these otherworldly islands, it would be something truly unique.
I was soon to find out that someone had indeed already built a course here, one reminiscent of the origins of the game of golf.
Where does one go to discover landmarks and places of interest upon visiting a new land? The tourist information center. Off I went to the capital of Torshavn and found myself conversing with a young lady, a "knower-of-all-things-Faroe Islands", inside the tourist information center (which also happens to have a delicious little cafe with homemade pies and chocolates). She acknowledged that there was a golf course in Torshavan (the only one on the Faroe Islands) but she, nor anyone else she knew, had ever been there. I was excited at the mere confirmation of this course and asked her to point on the map exactly where it was, which she graciously did (about 20km from town). Map in hand with X marking the spot and my clubs in the trunk of my rental car, I was off to find the Faroe Island golf course.
An hour later, after a harrowing car ride on winding, narrow roads with both steep cliffs and sheep meandering into the road to contend with, my initial elation faded when I found myself at a dead end. This was exactly where the tourist lady told me to go! This is where the golf course is supposed to be! Where was it? I looked around and all I saw was a desolate and foggy shepherd's farm. A young girl appeared from a small wooden hut with a grass roof. "Hello! Is there a golf course nearby?" I asked with a waive and a smile. The little girl smiled at me, waived back, then walked back inside. Well, it was worth a try. I'm hungry, tired and needless to say, disappointed - but still magically intrigued by these strange lands. No golf course but hey, maybe I'll have better luck getting some good food.
After a truly great dinner at Barbara Fishouse (so damn good) in Torshavn, I decided to roll the dice one more time so before leaving for the night, I asked the waiter if he knew if/where there was a golf course. Yes! He gave me directions, telling me it was in the complete opposite direction I was originally told. It was now after 9pm but luckily it doesn't get dark until around 11:20pm. Off I went again...searching. After about 20 min I was ready to admit defeat and call it a day. In a last ditch effort I stopped a couple walking on the side of the road to see if maybe they knew. They both shook their head yes and said there is a small course over there down a small dirt road. They told me where the road was and how to get there. Awesome - we're making progress. Before leaving I quickly say to them, “So there is a golf course down this road?” The response was nothing short of classic: A shrug of the shoulders with the response of “I really don’t know”. What?!
How could a golf course exist in a town of 20,000 people and no one has ever seen it or knows where it is?! I was starting to get intrigued to say the least. I was not giving up. Down the said dirt road was over a mile of nothing, just sheep roaming all over the place. It was about 11pm and the sun was just about to go down. As I came over a ridge I saw what looked like a shipping container sitting on the edge of a road. Ready to call it quits I turned my head and did a double-take. I saw what appeared to be a flagstick blowing in the wind. It was nearly dark and maybe my fatigue was making me see things. But no- right there next to the brown shipping container-like building was a flag and a small green. Holy Moses! This was it. I had actually found the course! There was a fence guarding the course so I would need to return the following day to investigate further.
The next day I headed out bright and early to see about playing this odd looking golf course. Upon arriving, I see what looks like a large shipping container with an attached deck. This, my friends, is the club house. Before I have a chance to go inside I spot a group of three men walking toward me on the course - they happened to be playing their club championship match and were making the turn. After introductions and hearing about my scavenger hunt adventure of finding this place, they gladly invited me to join them, as "this would make a great 4 ball", one of the guys exclaimed! I followed behind them to the next t-box, noticing the distinguished footwear each member wore. Nike? Under Amour? Puma? No, these gentlemen were all fitted with heavy duty rain boots. Finn, one of the players, looked at my designer golf shoes and cracked a smirk, "those won't work on this course." Out here in the wilderness on this throw-back shepherds golf course, it was all about the game of golf - and that's it.
As we made our way down the 1st hole, Finn began telling me about the creation of the course (built upon land owned by a neighboring shepherd), starting with the first fairway. As you walk along you realize how perfect the grass is but when you look at the rest of the course it is nothing like this. Instead, it is natural in every sense of the word. Finn began to explain that when the local Torshavn soccer stadium was replacing its turf to synthetic, the members of the golf club decided to bring all the old sod up to the course in their cars and create the first fairway and all the greens. The membership is very proud of the grass from the stadium - they quoted me all the great players (including Ronaldo) and matches that were held at the stadium (World Cup Qualifying). It was such a moment of pride on such a small island.
The first 3 holes were my favorite. The second was essentially a blind green par 3, with only the tip of the reg flag showing...if you make an effort to look for it. The shot was only 120 yards at most, but the stunning ocean backdrop and the unknown right out of the box had me super excited! I was able to get up and down for a second par of the round. Finn continued to tell me that he, along with some other members were essentially the caretakers of the course. There are no official groundskeepers or staff.
The walk to the 3rd hole has you climbing a short ladder to cross over the sheep fence. Definitely the best tee box on the course, the 3rd is a blind driving hole. All that can be seen are the orange boundary stakes making the edges of all fairways. If there were no stakes you could not determine a fairway at all.
As local rules go this one is as unique as any I've ever heard: If you hit your ball anywhere inside the orange fairway markers and don't find your ball (which happens more than you can imagine) you get a free drop in the area you feel is a good lie. If however you hit outside the orange markers and don't find the ball, it is considered lost and you must walk back and hit off the tee again!
The 3rd green is probably one of the toughest to hold with its slope running away from you for your second shot. On top of that, the green was covered in sheep @#$%!! Luckily the members at the club have rakes near all the greens for just such a problem.
The walk from the 3rd to the 4th hole is the most uphill part of the course. Care must be taken on this course as the damp conditions make for a slippery situation.
The club started almost 30 years ago. It now consists of around 100 members with only about 30 active members, the rest being international members. Finn and the guys expressed their hope that the island would support an initiative to build a full 18 hole championship course on the grounds of the current 9 holes. This would allow the the Faroe Islands to compete in an International Island Olympics, which would bring more of an international appeal to this area. As I will explain later, an 18 hole championship course is not something I would like to see done at this course.
Here on the 4th green I was informed that the mower broke down during the mowing so it's usually a little bigger. Are we sure he broke down? He looks fine to me!
One of the biggest issues with the course is the lack of drainage, hence the need to wear waterproof boots. This would definitely be a place I could see the club investing a little money to make a much better experience. This could be done with the help of an experienced course designer who wanted to see this hidden gem reach its full potential. Or perhaps in true Faroe Islands style maybe the local plumber will solve the problem once he becomes a member. Or does the fact rain galoshes come with your greens fees make you wanna play it even more now?
Walking back toward the clubhouse on the 7th hole, you can see the lawnmower is hard at work on the 1st fairway.
The shape of the 7th green would make Donald Ross smile! The upside-down saucer shape was one of the more difficult to navigate. The members here may not have a traditionally designed course but they have all traveled off the island to play other courses (including those in the homeland of golf, Scotland). They have taken their own knowledge of the game they love and applied it here in the best way they can. I see this course as a testament to the game of golf and it should be held in high regard. I imagine this is how the first golf courses looked- rough and authentic with a touch of artistic genius.
On the 9th hole my ball hit this rock in the center of the fairway, which the locals claim to be the home of a troll. There is more than one hole with a troll on the course which they say accounts for all of the missing golf balls.
After the round was over, the guys lead me into the clubhouse, a bare bones makeshift freestanding structure with an attached deck. The inside was as barren as the course, consisting of a couple of shelves with a coffee pot and snacks, a room for club storage, and a sturdy metal desk upon which lied a green guest ledger (where I was instructed to write my name and put the 50 Kroner greens fee). Here I met Joguan, the President, and Janus, the Vice President. They both invited me back to play anytime and Janus was receptive to my ideas about making minor improvements to the course, which included making the course more accessible to guests of the island (let's start with a sign!).
The greens fee of 50 kroner for an outside guest may seem high at first but converted to dollars it's only about $7.50 US. This was certainly the most fun I have had for under $10 at a golf course. I gave a couple of the members a lesson after the round, as I was told the teaching scene here on the island is a little slow right now.
This group of golfers have taken a barren piece of land and transformed it into a golf course. They established a clubhouse, scorecards, meter posts, rakes for sheep shit, fairway markers, greens and a fairway from a soccer stadium. They have themselves created a destination that they seemed not to be aware of. I told them how I had been all over the world playing this game and very few places have done so much with so little. Think about it - they don't have any golf balls, clubs or anything else golf related available for sale on the island. You have to travel by boat for 30 hours (or if you have the money you can take a one hour flight) for the closest golf ball! And these guys don't flinch at that. It's just a way of life. This course was as close to what the original creators of the game must have faced some 500 years ago. This is golf with sheep grazing on the course while you play. This is golf with natural rugged terrain and players who passionately love the game. This is golf - period. This kind of charm will be lost forever if a full 18 hole modern design becomes a reality. My advice to these gentlemen was to look for another piece of property to build the 18 holes and leave this 9-hole course as it is. This little 9 hole track should be embraced and any money dedicated to it should be for subtle improvements.
The rest of my time in the Faroe Islands was spent exploring all the amazing terrain. It truly is a special place that everyone should visit once in their lives.
As the sun sets on my trip to the Faroe Islands, I am left pondering the direction golf is headed and wondering if a course like this can make us realize what is really important about the game. It's always been about more than just the score. It's about creating a connection between yourself and others and the land you play upon. Thank you Faroe Islands for one of the best experiences of my life!