There are almost 40,000 golf courses in the world – and about 17,000 of them are found in the United States of America – but which are the strangest and most peculiar layouts of all?
Here we pinpoint five of the weirdest and wildest tracks on our planet – one of which regularly hosts a DP World Tour event.
La Jenny, France
Sometimes golfers, particularly in bad weather, get frustrated with a lack of mobility when wrapped up in several layers of clothing. Swinging freely is difficult with two jumpers on.
Well, those who tee up at La Jenny in France have no such concerns – it is the only known course that runs through a naturist setting.
If you fancy some naked golf, head to La Jenny. This is a club which never runs out of balls.
Furnace Creek, USA
Clothes must be worn at Furnace Creek, even though most of the players would love to strip off and cool down.
The layout is in Death Valley, California, where in the peak of the summer, temperatures can reach 55 Celsius, baking anyone brave enough to step on to the fairways.
It is the lowest altitude course in the world and it is safest to tackle it in the winter. The surface temperature at Death Valley once hit 93.9C.
Coober Pedy Opal Fields, Australia
Much is being made lately about how eco-unfriendly golf courses are – requiring gallons of water to survive – but Coober Pedy Opal Fields is not causing any problems…because it has no grass.
The course is essentially one big bunker, but extremely playable.
The firm desert dirt means plenty of run on the fairways, while the ‘greens’ are oiled sand, providing a smooth putting surface. Maybe the future of golf is grassless.
Merapi Golf Course, Indonesia
Golfers often get scared on the course, lining up a shot over a water hazard or stroking a key putt towards the cup, but players need to head for Merapi GC for the ultimate fright.
Merapi is located right next to an active volcano. In 2006, 2010 and 2018, the volcano erupted, and for more than 300 days a year smoke can be seen emerging from Mount Merapi.
Even Keegan Bradley might speed up going down the stretch with red-hot lava about to spurt over his slacks.
Leopard Creek, South Africa
The professional circuits obviously stay away from the quirkiest courses – the Tour players tend to moan if a piece of grass is out of place on the greens, let alone if the locker room is drenched in volcanic lava.
Arguably the most unusual venue on the main tours is in South Africa, with Leopard Creek hosting the annual Alfred Dunhill Championship on the DP World Tour.
As the name suggests, leopards roam the outskirts of the course, but they are not alone. Crocodile River flows beside the track, elephants are watching you tee off from the back of the tenth tee, hippos are grunting behind you while you putt on the 13th green, and giraffes can be spotted everywhere.
It is not easy for humans to concentrate on their boring old golf ball.