Snow golf

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Snow golf is a sport based on golf but played over snow (or ice) instead of grass. The "greens" are called "whites" and have an ice surface.


Aert van der Neer, IJsvermaak buiten de stadswal (ca. 1655)
Hendrick Avercamp, A Scene on the Ice (ca. 1615)

Snow Golf and classical golf seem to share a common ancestor in the Dutch game of "Kolf", played since the Middle Ages. Evidence for Kolf as a popular winter pastime can be seen in numerous 17th-century paintings by renowned artists Aert van der Neer[1] and Hendrick Avercamp.[2]

Modern snow golf[edit]

The first player of modern snow golf was Rudyard Kipling, an avid golfer. While writing The Jungle Book in Vermont, Kipling allegedly relaxed by playing snow golf during the winters of the early 1890s.[3] Kipling painted his golf balls red and placed red cups in the snow.

Modern day Snow Golf was invented by a Canadian-Tina Blomme. She incorporated Snow Golf Inc. in 1998. Since then Ms. Blomme has been promoting the sport. She designed and operated the first official Snow Golf 9-hole course in Québec, Canada (the course was located next to the celebrated Ice Hotel). Although Ms. Blomme is now in Law school, she consults on all aspects of the sport. The Official Snow Golf Blog is located at:

In Finland, snow golf is played actively in several locations. A high quality course is constructed each winter in Jämijärvi. The 9-hole course is located in an undulating area in the middle of forests. The longest par-5 hole is 480 meters long. The conditions enable playing golf in a manner that resembles the summer game to a high degree. An example is the Aalto University competition organized in 2011[4]

A view on a high quality snow golf course.

The annual World Ice Golf Championship has been held on the world's northernmost golf course on the shelf ice near Uummannaq, Greenland since 1997. The course is reformed by the moving ice every year and play is highly dependent on weather conditions [5] Competitors are allowed a maximum handicap of 36. Clubs with graphite shafts are not recommended, as they can shatter in the extreme temperatures.[6]

An annual Snow Golf Championship in Argentina has been held in Cerro Castor, Ushuaia since 2008, by José M. García Daroca.[7]

The first Snowgolf World Championship for amateurs was carried out in January 2007 in Abtenau, Austria. With Adi Hengstberger from Germany, the first Snowgolf World Champion was founded. The event is hosted as a major Austrian celebrity event and sponsored by the state of Salzburg as part of the touristic scheme. The second Snowgolf World Championship took place in Obertauern, Austria. Thanks to the "Million Dollar Putt" contest, the official Championship on playing golf on snow title was the biggest prize for an amateur golf event in the world up to now. Alongside amateur competitors, many big names from sport and showbiz were trying to sink their "Million Dollar Putt" for important causes - "Wings for Life" (Spinal Cord Research Foundation) and "Eagles Charity Golf Club". In the end nobody could pull off the big putt, and the prize remains unclaimed until the next championship. Adi Hengstberger (D) retained his 2007 title. The runners-up were Tristan David (Philippines) and Peter Dobrowolsky (Austria). The new woman's World Champion was Sarah Hölzl (Austria).[8]

The first European Championship in Snow Golf will be held in Switzerland from Jan 13th - 16th 2011. 72 qualifiers’ are entitled to play the 2-day tournament. first-golf-on-snow-euroean championship

World Championship Results[edit]

Year Event Date Place Champion
1999 Ice golf 27.3. – 28.3. Uummannaq, Greenland Peter Masters, England
2000 Ice golf Uummannaq, Greenland Annika Østberg, Denmark
2001 Ice golf 7.4. – 8.4. Uummannaq, Greenland Annika Østberg, Denmark
2002 Ice golf Uummannaq, Greenland Roger Beames, Scotland
2003 Ice golf 21.3. – 23.3. Uummannaq, Greenland cancelled due to bad weather
2006 Ice golf 23.2. – 27.3. Uummannaq, Greenland Jason Cunningham, Australia
2007[9] Snow golf 2.2. – 4.2. Abtenau (Austria) Men: Adi Hengstberger, Germany / Women: Kathi Hämpel, Austria
2007 Ice golf Uummannaq, Greenland cancelled due to thin ice
2008 Ice golf 20.3. - 25.3. Uummannaq, Greenland cancelled by new management
2009 Snow golf 29.1. – 31.1. Obertauern (Austria) Men: Adi Hengstberger, Germany / Women: Sarah Holzl, Austria
2009 Ice golf 19.3. – 24.3. Uummannaq, Greenland

See also[edit]



  • Extreme Golf: The World's Most Unusual, Fantastic, and Bizarre Courses. Duncan Lennard, Sourcebooks, 2004 (ISBN 1402203144)
  • The Caddie was a Reindeer: And Other Tales of Extreme Recreation. Steve Rushin, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2004 (ISBN 0871138786)
  • World Ice Gold Championship. Brilliant Results, März 2006, S. 50–53 (PDF)


  1. ^ Aert van der Neer: A Village in Winter with Skaters on a Frozen Canal (Oil on canvas, ca. 1660)
  2. ^ Hendrick Avercamp: A Winter Scene with Two Gentlemen Playing Kolf (Oil on canvas, between 1615 to 1620), Getty Museum
  3. ^ Snow Golf: Tee Times Info
  4. ^ A description of a snow golf competition organized in Jämi
  5. ^ Melting golf-courses and polar bears. BBC Sport Online, February 22nd, 2001
  6. ^ World Ice Golf Championship at Golfinfo
  7. ^ Snowgolf Argentina
  8. ^ Million Dollar Putt in Obertauern. Salzburg24, February 2nd 2009 (german)
  9. ^ Report of the Schneegolf WC 2007

Snow Golf European Championship 2011