Ice cold put­ting

Lake Baikal isn’t like your typ­i­cal wa­ter haz­ard

Today's Golfer (UK) - - First Tee - EDITED BY MICHAEL CATLING

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.

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