If alligators on the fairway (at Kiawah Island, South Carolina) aren't unusual enough for you, here are five other less-than-normal golfing experiences. The courses may not all be very long, or of championship standard, but they are all immensely charming —
you'll definitely be assured of
a memorable round and some
very surprising views.
Royal Thimpu golf club, Bhutan
There may be higher courses in the world, but we haven't heard of any unless there's a pitch-and-putt on Mount Everest. This nine-hole course is 2,250m above sea level. At this altitude balls fly quite a lot faster through the air — and down the mountain. In which case, forget it. tourism.gov.bt
Nefyn & District Golf Club, North Wales
This friendly club and mad clifftop course lie somewhere between Mount Snowdon and Ireland. In that 'between' there's an awful lot of hillside, cliff and sea for your ball to land in. Helpfully, there is a pub near the 15th in case you're so buffeted by the gales you can't make it to the end. nefyn-golf-club.co.uk
Isle of Eriska, Scotland
You're hardly short of incredible golf courses in the place that invented the game. This one won't appear in many of your guides, however. You cross over an ornate Victorian bridge and reach this magical private island with a fine hotel and a deserted nine-hole course overlooking the island of Mull. eriska-hotel.co.uk
Predator Ridge, British Columbia, Canada
Someone said a monkey could design a golf course from lakes, mountains, pine forests, dunes and prairie grass. If so, it was a peculiarly sadistic monkey that designed this place. It's a steep, punishing, very North American course. What's unusual? It's set in Canada's wine country. What's very unusual? The quality of that wine and the heat of the summers. Where's a very unusual place to stay? Sparkling Hill, the mountain-top resort built by the crystal makers Swarovski. It'll remind you of the F Scott Fitzgerald story The Diamond as Big as the Ritz. sparklinghill.com, predatorridge.com
The St Moritz Golf Club, Switzerland
Golf was unknown when the Victorians started to visit the Swiss Alps at the end of the 19th century (mind, so was skiing and hurling head first down an icy slope at 100mph). So they got busy with their lawnmowers and this intriguing, idyllic nine-hole course was born. The course tends to be closed over winter, however. kulmhotel-stmoritz.ch
BA flies to Glasgow, Vancouver and Zurich, and to Delhi and then onto Bhutan with local connecting flights. Visit ba.com.