Keilir Golf Club is located near Reykjavik in Iceland and was established in 1967.
It was originally developed as a nine-hole course designed by Magnus Gudmundsson. The course was extended to 12 holes with design work by Nils Skjold in 1971, and then to 18 holes with the help of Hannes Thorsteinsson
The finished course comprises two completely different nines, which is not surprising given the respective nines are on completely different terrain and were designed by different parties.
The back nine is routed over a small peninsula abutting Hafnarfjordur harbour (this was the original nine), while the front nine traverses a field of black lava- a 'lava links course' if you like!
I particularly liked that opening nine with it's ocean views and 'linksy' feel- you can see players and flags on other holes, but not the playing surfaces- much like a links course
And the strategic nature of the course demanded good course management.
This is a thinking golfer's course...
However, one certainly did not want to hit into the lava!
We asked the locals if their was a local rule for the lava? The answer?
They all carry a 'lava club', and play the ball as it lies- the lava club being an old scratched club that can take the damage the lava inflicts...
The back nine is a different course with some special holes along the ocean combined with some unusual blind holes.
It was interesting but for me did not hold the same charm as the lava links
Notable holes in the front nine include:
- hole 2- a winding par 4 with lava to carry and framing the hole. The approach is also protected by lava
- hole 3- a short drivable par 4 with a green of course protected by lava and set at an angle making it possible for only the most daring of tee shots to find the target
- hole 8- a mid length par 4 with water and lava in play
The back nine is different terrain- higher ground with a number of dramatic clifftop holes
Notable holes in the back nine include:
- hole 10- a challenging par 3 by the sea
- hole 11- a short dogleg par 4 that is extremely tight off the tee with ocean/cliffs threatening along the left
- hole 14- a long par 4 with decisions to be made on the tee as to the line and length of the tee shot- over water and around the harbour sheds!
- hole 15- a very long par 3 with with ocean/cliffs to the right
- hole 16- a par 5 along the cliffs with ocean in play all the way
Keilir GC is regarded by many as the best course in Iceland.
Located near both Reykjavik and the airport, golfers should pencil Keilir in as the first course they play in Iceland
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to Iceland to suit your group. For itinerary suggestions see Destinations: Iceland
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