The Nuwara Eliya golf club is one of the oldest in Sri Lanka. It was established in 1889 by British tea planters.
As a keen golf player herself, Gudrun, one of our travel consultants, explains why Sri Lanka is a fantastic destination for the sport...
"Playing on the island's three golf courses is like playing in totally different countries because the elevation and the climate conditions are different in each."
Which golf course is most suitable for advanced players?
The Victoria Golf Club voted as one of the 100 most beautiful golf courses in the world because of its unique design. There are coconut trees in the middle of the fairway, many elevated tees which make judging yardages more difficult, fast greens, many hazards, bunkers and very unforgiving rough which requires golfers' accuracy.
What has been your most memorable day of golf in Sri Lanka?
My first round of golf with a coach on the Colombo course.
Why choose to do a golfing holiday in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is relatively unknown as an international golfing destination but the country has three of the finest 18 hole courses in Asia. By combining golfing with visiting cultural sites and national parks you will realise what a well-kept secret the country is.
High factor sun protection, mosquito protection and drinking as much water as possible to prevent dehydration.
One of the unique features of golfing in Sri Lanka is that all clubs provide a caddie per player. This adds to your game as he/she will assist you in ways such as giving you the correct line on your tee shot or curial put. The clubs also provide ball spotters who find your balls quickly, and therefore save you time.
In Kandy, on the banks of the Victoria Lake, lies the Victoria Golf Club (6190m, 18 holes, par 73), a championship golf course designed by the well-known Donald Steel. Impressive natural outcrops of rocks are a distinctive feature, as are the old trees that dot the course, and the coconut hill that forms a backdrop. The accommodation here is impressive and includes luxury hotels such as Clingendael. For those not so keen on playing golf in Sri Lanka but who have a partner that is, there is no need to fear because there are a handful of other activities to choose from such as walking, mountain biking, horse-riding and taking day trips to the city of Kandy, home to the famous Buddhist Temple of the Tooth.
For a contrast to the large and rolling Victoria course, golf enthusiasts will enjoy the challenge of the more contained and hilly Nuwara Eliya course (5520m, 18 holes, par 71), which lies in the middle of the former British hill station. The town is famous for its market gardening, strawberries and April horse and motor races. After a morning of golf, guests can take a walk through the tea plantations or in Horton Plains, which is now a World Heritage Site because of its wildlife diversity. It is also fun to have high tea on the lawns of one of the old British establishments such as the Hill Club or St Andrews Hotel.
For those who fancy combining a city break with a golfing holiday in Sri Lanka, you can base yourself in Colombo, the up and coming capital. Guests can divide their time between golfing at the Royal Colombo Golf Club (5770m, 18 holes, par 71) with its scenic fairways that span over 96 acres, with shopping in fine boutiques, eating in gourmet restaurants and staying in luxury boutique hotels as the course is only 20 minutes from the centre of town.
Adding to these fine courses is the tremendous news that Sri Lanka’s fourth golf course has just been declared open, and is located near to the marble beach at China Bay in Trincomalee.
A golfing holiday in Sri Lanka can be done as a two week option and cover all four courses, or as a long weekend. It can also form an extension of a round trip, so as well as spending time on the green, the rest of the island can be explored, including the ancient cities and coastal areas. Playing golf in Sri Lanka will not disappoint.