Are you a golf lover looking for your next big adventure? You probably haven’t considered Iceland golf courses, but you should!
This land of fire and ice is not only known for its stunning landscapes and incredible natural wonders but also for its thriving golf scene.
10 of The Best Iceland Golf Courses
With a population of just 372,000 people and a staggering 66 golf courses, Iceland is among the countries with the most golf courses per capita in the world – in fact, it’s got one for every 5,636 people! So whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner, there’s an Iceland golf course for you
1. Westman Island (Vestmannaeyjar)
If you’re a golfer wanting a truly unforgettable experience, then playing Iceland golf courses is an absolute must. And one course that should be on your list is the Westman Island golf course.
The Westman Islands are just a 30-minute ferry ride from Landeyjahöfn, with the course itself being a hidden gem that offers a one-of-a-kind golfing experience. It’s actually set in an old volcano, which provides a spectacular backdrop for your round of golf.
The changing wind directions on the same hole and playing across and over the sea are just some of the unique features that make golfing in Vestmannaeyjar a true test of your skills.
But it’s not just the challenging layout that makes this course special. The mountain scenery is truly awe inspiring, with birds, including the famous puffins, flying overhead. And the course is renowned for having the best greens in the country, making it a favorite destination for golfers of all levels.
Originally opened in 1938 as a 9-hole course, the Westman Island golf course was later expanded to 18 holes (after a five-month volcanic eruption on the island, no less). The par-70 course may not be the longest, but it offers a fantastic playing experience that is taken to another level by the surrounding landscape.
Looking for a stunning course that combines breathtaking natural beauty with a challenging layout? Then the Brautarholt golf course is a destination that you simply shouldn’t miss.
Just a 30-minute drive from Reykjavik and about an hour’s drive from the capital’s Keflavik International Airport, Brautarholt is a 12-hole course that offers a golfing experience like no other.
The course follows the natural contours of the coastline, with fairways and greens sites that fit the landscape beautifully alongside broad views over Reykjavik and the surrounding mountains that can be enjoyed from the course. On a clear day, you can even see the magnificent Snæfellsjökull glacier in the distance.
And you can take advantage of a unique opportunity here during the summer months. That is, while the golf season may be relatively short, lasting from May through September, Iceland’s location provides an incredible experience for golf enthusiasts. Specifically, in June and early July, the midnight sun shines around the clock, allowing for literal non-stop golfing.
The course is renowned for its challenging layout, with holes that will test even the most skilled golfer. And with all of this, it’s no wonder that Brautarholt is consistently ranked among the top golf courses in the world. It’s currently listed as 62nd on the top 100 best golf courses in the world (and the second in Scandinavia) according to Golfscape and in 4th place on the Golf World Continental Europe’s X-factor.
3. Geysir Golf Course
For a truly unique golfing experience in Iceland, the Geysir Golf Course is for you. It’s next door to the Great Geysir hot spring area, at just over an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, making this 9-hole course a true gem that offers a golfing experience like no other.
This Iceland golf course is in an L-shape, with holes routed in an out-in fashion similar to the Old Course at St. Andrews. The landscape dominates the site, with two rivers coming into play on every hole.
When it comes to the fairways, you’ll quickly notice that they’re bordered by native roughs, with shrubs and heather all around you. This style of bunkering is rare in Iceland, with the heather creeping around the rough edges, giving a natural and authentic look.
In fact, the entire course was designed to take advantage of the area’s unpredictable landforms that were allowed to shine through from tee to green. There’s no artificial mounding, and the greens rely totally on hints from the original undulations that were found on the site.
And, of course, the location of the course is beyond compare. Situated just a golf shot away from the geothermal area where Iceland’s Great Geysir and Strokkur, among other hot springs, are located, the course offers breathtaking views of the surroundings. You’ll actually see at least one eruption of Strokkur while playing and if you take some time in the clubhouse afterwards, you’ll get to see more!
4. Isafjordur Golf Club
Isafjordur Golf Club is in the Westfjords and was founded in 1943, making it one of the oldest golf clubs in the country. The 9-hole course offers a challenging layout that will test your skills and abilities, while still being accessible to golfers of all levels.
For beginners or those looking to practice their short game, there’s also a six-hole golf course (par 3) beyond Tunguár in Tungudal that is perfect for getting started in the game.
The club actually offers courses suitable for beginners as well as advanced students, with a focus on helping players improve their skills and reach their full potential. These courses can even be geared towards children and teenagers who either want to start playing golf or want to develop their game further. It’s a great pick during a family golf vacation.
5. Keilir Golf Club
Keilir Golf Club is a must-visit for any golfer traveling to this beautiful country. With the 18-hole course offering spectacular views of the sweeping landscape around the course, it’s no wonder why Keilir is one of the top-rated courses in the country.
One of the things that sets Keilir apart from other Iceland golf courses is the vast difference between the front nine and the back nine. The front nine is surrounded by lava, while the back nine is placed on a small peninsula at the entrance into the Hafnarfjordur harbor, offering breathtaking views of Snaefellsjokull glacier and the Alftanes peninsula.
And don’t forget the role of this club in the Lava Challenge tournament, held in Iceland every year. Golfers from around the world come to play in the midnight sun, when the sun sets only for a short period of time, making for a truly unforgettable golfing experience.
6. Húsavík Golf Club
Nestled in a remote pocket of the stunning Húsavík landscape, the Húsavík Golf Club is a destination that any golfer traveling to Iceland should try to put on their itinerary. Located just 2km from Husavik on the north coast, this 9-hole course is a formidable challenge that will test your skills and abilities.
The course itself is a true test of your skills, with streams crossing the fairways and awkward slopes to navigate. But with excellent views across the bay and back towards Húsavík Mountain, it’s well respected as being one of the finest courses in Iceland.
In fact, this course is one of the most challenging 9-hole golf courses you can find in the world! At the same time, with its remote location and views that could be found on any Icelandic postcard, it’s also one of the most rewarding.
7. Akureyri Golf Club
If you’re looking for a world-class Iceland golf courses, then look no further than the Akureyri Golf Club. You’ll need to drive for about 4.5 hours from Reykjavík (or take a 45 minute flight from Reykjavík airport), but this 18-hole course is a true gem that any golfer would be lucky to play.
The Akureyri Golf Course embraces its natural setting and provides a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. It’s also claimed to be the world’s most northerly 18-hole golf course, just to add another reason to visit it!
Trees, shrubs, and other plants abound, giving this course a much more inland appearance than other significant courses in the country. You’ll probably be unsurprised to hear that this makes this course a true test of your golf skills and abilities, with challenging holes that will keep you on your toes from start to finish.
Since its inception, the Akureyri Golf Club has been one of the main Iceland golf courses and clubs in the country, hosting numerous Icelandic tournaments and major international golf tournaments, including the Arctic Open, which has been held since 1986.
In fact, if you can, signing up for the Arctic Open is a must-do. It’s open to both professionals and amateurs, with one feature of this tournament being that tee times are from 4:00pm until 12:50am – meaning there’s a possibility you could start playing after midnight!
8. Hveragerdi Golf Club
Hveragerði is a village in South Iceland just 35 minutes drive from Reykjavik, with the Hveragerdi Golf Club being a destination that any golfer will love. This 9-hole course is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, as well as its unique hazards – open hot springs on the course!
Despite the unusual hazards, the Hveragerdi Golf Course is widely regarded as one of the most enjoyable and popular Iceland golf courses. And with good reason – the course features spectacular scenery.
The course is also known for its meticulous care, with its condition being considered among the best of Iceland golf courses in recent years. You should also keep an eye out for expansions in future, given that the club owns the land for 18 holes. That said, there’s no news for when that step will be taken, with the current aim being to consistently offer one of the best 9 holes in the country first.
9. Oddur Golf Club
Oddur Golf Club is in the municipality of Garðabær, on the outskirts of Reykjavík. This means that it only takes 20 minutes to drive to the course from Reykjavik city center, making it perfect if you’re short on time but need your golf fix.
Officially opened in 1997, Oddur Golf Club quickly established itself as one of the best Iceland golf courses and is a regular venue on the Icelandic Tour. The course is located in beautiful surroundings in the immediate vicinity of the greater area of Urridavatnsdalir.
Flanked by lava from the dormant volcano Búrfell, the golf course is a heathland course that provides an exhilarating experience to play golf in the midst of the songs of nesting moor birds.
The 18-hole course was actually the venue for the European Ladies Team Championship in 2016. But if you don’t have time for that, it’s worth mentioning that Oddur Golf Club also has a par three course called Ljúflingur.
Of course, though, if you’re visiting Iceland and can manage the extra time needed for doing it, it’s the longer course that should be on your to-do list!
10. Siglufjörður Golf Club
Operated by the Sigló Hotel in Siglufjörður, this 9-hole course opened for play in just 2019. It’s set against the sweeping backdrop of the Sigló mountains and nestled partially in a gravel quarry at the confluence of the Hólsá and Leyningsá rivers.
The par 35 layout offers nine holes that are perfect for golfers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, you’ll find plenty of challenges and entertainment on this great course.
And as part of its commitment to sustainability, Siglufjörður Golf Club has implemented a range of environmentally-friendly initiatives. This includes that the club repurposed an abandoned water pipe for pond overflows, and used old dryers from the town’s herring plant as culverts to cross streams and rivers.
Additionally, all gravel used for construction was sourced from the site itself, while wooden signs were created using timber from the plantation. The project has also helped restore and enhance the habitat of sea-run arctic charr, a fish native to the area, by partially rerouting one of the rivers that runs through the course to provide breeding and growth habitats for this animal.
So if you want to play some golf while feeling great about the planet, this course is for you!
This article was produced by Planner at Heart.