Hi. I’m Erik, and this is
Adventures in Golf. For this episode, we
traveled to the 68th parallel to play the northern most
links course on planet Earth. Pretty good spot for it, huh? [MUSIC PLAYING] Adventures in Golf has
given me the opportunity to travel around the world,
meet some great people, and, of course, check
out amazing golf courses. Sometimes a trip is as
easy as jumping on a plane and grabbing a
cab to the course. But the adventures that
I’ve come to love the most are the ones that take
us off the beaten path and reveal that the adventure
is, in fact, the journey. This latest episode
is a prime example as I’m traveling to the
most remote place Adventures in Golf has ever been to. Located off the Lofoten Islands,
off the coast of Norway, in the small town of
Hov, is Lofoten Links, a course unlike any I’ve
ever been to before. For starters, the course lies
at 68 degrees north latitude, planting it firmly
inside the Arctic Circle, making it the most northern
links golf course in the world. Next, you have the midnight sun. For two months of the
year, the sun literally does not set, giving golf
lovers the opportunity to play all day and all night. Add to that the phenomenon
of the northern lights, which can be seen from the
course from late August through mid-October
when the course closes. And you can see why it’s
been on my bucket list since the 18-hole
course opened in 2015. I can’t wait to
see it in person, but getting there
is no easy task. After three separate flights,
I land in Evenes, Norway, where I get a car to
drive the final 125 miles. I don’t mind. I love road trips. And to be honest, this is one
of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever taken in my life. And as T.S. Eliot so
eloquently pointed out, the journey, not the
arrival, matters. The road to the course is
windy with an impressive series of bridges and long,
stretching tunnels that burrow through the hills. I’ll find out later that most of
these roads are under 15 years old and were built to eliminate
multiple ferry crossings. So as a result, I arrive
in just under three hours. And while you can’t tell with
24 hours of daylight, it’s late, and we’re exhausted. The course will have to
wait until the morning. After a good day’s rest,
I head to the course, where I get a chance to speak
with Frode Hov, the managing director of Lofoten Links. He’s a seventh
generation Norwegian, and it’s his family’s farm
that most of the golf course resides on today. Talk about the genesis
of Lofoten Links. When I was 15, a friend of my
father who has been in Scotland and seen those
courses in Scotland, he saw the landscape
fitted to all look the same as the landscape here. And he presented this
idea to my father. And it took a while. There wasn’t any funds. It was the first golf
course in northern Norway. But then I started off the
project again in ’97, ’98. We got a little bit of funding. So we did a very
small six-hole course to prove that it was possible. And then six years
ago, we got the money to build an 18-hole course–
a proper one, we think. Lofoten Links has always
kind of been about one thing. Can you talk about that? The idea has always been to
use this beautiful place– the lights, the midnight
sun, the landscape– to create a nice experience,
something unique, something really special. Historically, this
region was known not for golf for really
any recreational activity. What did they do here to
make this place famous? This region of Norway
is all about cod. We’ve been exporting from this
area since the Vikings almost. The dry cod from Lofoten
is protected as a brand, like the champagne. So it’s a very
long history on it. So you can’t just come up
here and make some dried cod and call it Lofoten cod? You can’t, no. Oh, business idea
number 17,000– scratch that. Can you describe the
experience of playing here? I want to hear what you say
after you’ve played here because it’s always fun to hear. We look at it every day. But I think that when you get
out on hole number 13 green, and if you still haven’t got
it then, you will never get it. You have to experience the
beauty of the landscape. So I think one person said
it was like being in church, communing with nature. If you know me, you
know that I also believe that golf can
be very spiritual, and I have for years. So with that in mind,
it’s time for me now to worship at the altar
of Lofoten Links, Norway. When you tee off
on hole one, you understand what is going to
be the rest of this round because you have one option. Are you going to try
to reach to the green, or are you going to lay-up? And that’s more or
less how the whole golf round is going to be. It’s trying to tempt
you to do something. So if you’re a medium golfer,
as I am, it’s smart to lay-up, but it’s not so fun. It’s more fun to try. I was relieved to have a
good shot off the first tee. Sometimes it’s the hardest shot
because it sets your mind up for what’s to come. And as I walk the hole,
I realized what’s coming. It’s perhaps one of the
most beautiful golf courses I’ve ever stepped foot on. A lot of credit for
the course’s beauty is this stunning location. The rest of the credit can go
to this man, Jerry Mulvihill. He’s the superintendent
for the course and has been an integral part
of the course’s expansion to 18 holes. It’s designed by Jeremy Turner. We’re following his plans. But I suppose day-to-day
things are changing, and you’re seeing opportunities
to stick a tee in here and a bunker in there. So it’s kind of very
organic, but it’s something very different. Look, this place is going to
be changing for the next how many hundreds of years? They’re still working
on St. Andrews. They’re still working
on Ballybunion. It’s constantly evolving. That’s golf. The second hole is
the signature hole, which usually comes
on the back nine but I’m quickly discovering
that the term usual does not apply here. Golf has this element of nature. It’s always a part of the game. And I think what
we’ve done in Lofoten is that we’ve done
it to the extreme. We have pushed that side of
golf to an extreme that maybe hasn’t been done anywhere else. It’s just amazing. Everything is golf. It’s wildlife. It’s flowers. It’s the ocean. It’s the mountains. It’s just crazy. There’s nothing like
this in the world. So let’s talk about the seasons. The golf season
starts around 1st of May and then mid-October. You know, our seasons
are very different. You’re kind of on-site
for eight months, and you’re
disappearing for four. Winters here can be brutal. The first couple years, it was
scary because you leave here, and everything’s looking sweet. You’re happy going away. And then you come back,
and it’s just dormant. And the first
couple of years, it was like you were
starting all over again. But I suppose we’re
very lucky in that we’re right on the Gulf Stream. If you follow the same latitude
as us to Canada, Alaska, you would only find permafrost. So you wouldn’t grow would. It would be impossible
to grow anything. But because of the
Gulf Stream, it heats up this part of the world. That’s why it’s so green here. Since 2015, it’s getting
better and better every year. It’s maturing. So I think we are
just on the limit where it’s possible to create
a really high standard golf course. And we tried, to
be honest, to make it a proper gold course with
a design in how we built it. So we really gave it an effort
to make it a nice experience. Your first ranking was? In 2016, we ranked
number 51 in Norway. And a year later, we
moved up to number 20. And then last year
we were number 1. And I can see why because
there’s no bad hole. Usually there’s
at least one hole that feels like a puzzle piece
jammed into the wrong spot but not here. Here, all the
holes flow together like they were meant to
be exactly where they are. You know, I can remember the
first time coming up here, and you just knew, Jesus,
this is something special. I reckon golf was
founded in St. Andrews. It could have been founded here. We’ve had people up
from Bjorne, and they’ve said the same thing. It’s a special place. What are we looking at, Jerry? We’ve got two
Viking graves here– one here, one over. What year are we talking? Oh, I suppose it’s about
9th, 10th, 11th century. Wow. Finishing up my
round I can’t imagine there’s anything else that
could make this course any better than it is. Or can I? You talked about September
being a special time to come. Yes, September is
beautiful because then it’s dark enough at night. So you can see the
northern lights. So you can play golf
in daytime, and you can see the northern
lights in the evening. At the golf course
is the best place to see the northern lights– one of the best in
the world actually. It is amazing being down on hole
13 and meeting people of 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning. Everybody, it’s heaven. It’s heaven. It is nirvana. It’s paradise. And it’s just a feeling. That’s what it is. There are very few
episodes of Adventures in Golf that I
wish to return to, mostly because of the sheer
difficulty in getting there in the first place. But as I make the journey
home from this one, I already ponder the
idea of coming back– back for the beauty, back for
the solitude, but mostly back to see the other side
of this course, the side under the northern lights. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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Dennis Veasley

100 thoughts on “Is this the Most Beautiful Golf Course in the World? | Adventures In Golf Season 4”

  1. Its an amazing course! I've played there several times, it can be so incredibly unforgiving if you miss the fairway, the heather just swallows your ball. As he said: it is tempting you to try, but the smart thing is to lay up. Next time you visit Lofoten should also try the course in Bodø, just to the south of Lofoten, where you can also watch the midnight sun while playing. Love your videos!

  2. Fantastic episode. Practically grew up on the old 6-hole course. The sea bass at 4:13 has nothing to do with Lofoten though. Still, 10/10 episode 🙂

  3. Maaaaate. This is such a magnificent episode. Next season please elongate, surely no need to cut them to 10 minutes, you must have acres of footage in the camera to delivery to your achingly hungry fanbase. Yet another trip I somehow need to wedge in before death! Stunner…

  4. no perma frost the man says. well theres a bonus but surely they have the odd frost delay now and then lol. i would love to play it for a few reason. never mind the layout and scenery but it would also be fun too tell people you've played 18 holes at 1am in the morning.

  5. Thank you for putting this beautiful piece together for us. I had the good fortune to be there a few weeks ago – just after mid Sep – and walked a few holes, including the amazing first – what a starter! Unfortunately our schedule didn't allow for a hit but it was a lifetime experience just to be there. Sadly the wind didn't allow me to send up my drone. As you say, it is a place you would want to return to. I can tell you that from Australia, it's quite the journey but that drive around Lofoten (Loo-forten with the emphasis on "Loo"!) is like nowhere else. You have a new sub from Sydney! Cheers – Dave

  6. These episodes are not long enough… And have way too much Hollywood shit… I'm just here to see golf in crazy places… IF THAT'S WHAT IT WAS FOR 20+MINUTES THIS WOULD BE THE TOP GOLF CHANNEL… Really don't care about you boarding the airplane, what you had for dinner, or B roll footage….. JUST GIVE ME GOLF

  7. Beautiful golf course. You have the best job ever, I appriciate your love and promotion of the game. I hope you get more than one round in when you visit these far off courses and I'm always curious how they maintain these remote courses.

  8. This is an actual beauty of an episode, instead of the usual weird ones in some desert, not that we don't appreciate that, but this IS beautiful

  9. Amazing place. Thank you for showing it to me. You managed to capture the solitude and what must be an almost overpowering venue for introspection. Talk about leaving the city on the first tee. One of the few places where I would prefer to play alone, just so I could hear what it sounds like interrupted only by my own noises.

  10. Wowed…….. true beauty what a gem 💎⛳️
    Please return I would definitely like a 2nd view with the northern lights

  11. Finally! I thought you blew of Lofoten when you played in Iceland. Seems like it was worth the trip 🙂 Btw: your production is reaching Top Gear-level…

  12. This is the most amazing YouTube video I have ever scene. Thank you so much. And thank you for talking about it being spiritual. I have used that many times and people unfortunately look at me like I have three heads.

  13. Gosh, he is SO bundled up. What is it, like 40 F in the middle of the summer ? If there was a harsh wind I'm not so sure how much fun this course would be even though the scenery is amazing

  14. I was able to play Keilir I Iceland when I was there, thought I was pretty North, this trumps that, amazing experience nonetheless to play golf until Midnight….. love

  15. There are strange things done
    In the midnight sun
    By men who moil for gold.
    The arctic trails have seen their tales

    That would make your blood run cold.
    The northern lights have seen queer sights,
    But the queerest they ever did see,
    Was that night on the marge

    Of Lake Lebarge
    I cremated Sam McGee

  16. Its a shame you showed more images of people yapping than the actual course.  Thanks for that.   It felt like the Masters.  I love golf.  I love golf courses.  But it isn't some theological event.

  17. Discovered this course through No Laying UP earlier this year. They did a great video too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1QHrZPK__w

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