The Most Remote Golf Course in the World
I had the good fortune to visit the wonderful island of St Helena in February 2018. Aside from the amazing experiences including Whale Shark dives, 600 strong school of Dolphins, the unique Post Box walks around the island, the Napoleonic history, forts, cannons, Jacob’s Ladder and so much more, I also got to play a round of golf on the “most remote golf course in the world”! It turned out to be a real highlight, too.
I was warmly (and proudly) welcomed by the Club Manager and by chance paired up with the current Men’s and Ladies Captains who were playing that afternoon. The golf course is 9 holes repeated twice from different tee boxes, the membership is probably about 50 active and 50 passive. Apparently every Saturday morning the members bring mowers, spades and various tools to maintain the greens, bunkers and fairways and there-after they all have tea and sandwiches together and play a Saturday afternoon club tournament (of the day). I loved this camaraderie and team spirit, the way everybody rolls up their sleeves to help. The golf course itself is located inland with lovely views; it has some interesting holes (as all courses do), hard volcanic sand bunkers which are usually baked dry and need a firm putt over the lip to escape, and a delightful little clubhouse. They have several old “mix and match” sets of clubs to hire for such a nominal fee that I felt the need to buy some club stock: a striking red Club Tie and a green golf shirt both embroidered with the famous (and rare)“St Helena Wire-bird”.
There is no need to bring your own clubs. All in all, easy to fit into my schedule and a memorable experience. I recommend it for any avid golfer for a “different “ round of golf; although the course is a bit scratchy (relative to modern courses at home) and obviously not exactly crowded, it is the “experience and pilgrimage” that counts and you can play at your own pace. The Saints are SO friendly and helpful and the ambiance will dwell in your memory!
Just bring some golf balls, and any reasonable dress code is acceptable although bear in mind the need to respect the course and its players.
Martin “Tiger” Brossy