Ice cold putting
Lake Baikal isn’t like your typical water hazard
Siberia is not known for its golfing pedigree, but it is home to Lake Baikal – the world’s deepest freshwater lake. Throw in some snow, sub-zero temperatures and you’ve actually got the perfect conditions for an ice golf tournament.
Forty-five golf enthusiasts from Russia, China and South Korea thought so, and ended up risking life and limb by competing in the annual Baikal Prize Open Ice Golf Tournament last month. Sound crazy? It is, but that’s merely the tip of the iceberg.
The nine-hole strokeplay event is played over two days on ice some 60cm thick. The temperatures get so low, graphite shafts are discouraged because they can shatter in the severe cold.
Amazingly, though, the usual Rules of Golf apply and players are even expected to comply with the anti-doping policy and typical golf etiquette. So next time you complain about playing in the wind and rain, just consider yourself lucky you’re not playing on a course made of ice...
Ice King Om Ki-yon, a South Korean diplomat, won the men’s competition to qualify for the 2020 World Eco Ice Golf Cup at Lake Baikal.