Playing Golf Worldwide

Forget pitch and putt – this tee-off point on top of a 430m (about 1300’) mountain in South Africa is the hardest golf shot in the world, and more than US $1M awaits the player who can score a hole in one. Players must take a helicopter to the top to play the longest – and highest – par three on the planet.

Taking the shot also requires courage – a player needs to teeter terrifyingly close to the edge of the mammoth hillside. Indeed, the Extreme 19th Hole is so high the ball takes almost 30 seconds to reach the ground.

Channel Nine cricket commentator Mark Nicholas recently joined an elite list to have the shot in just three swings. “It was awesome, riveting and phenomenal,” he said. “It’s like the end of the world when you get up there and it’s an awful lot of fun. It’s such an adrenalin rush taking the helicopter up and then rushing back down.”

The hole is based at the Legends Golf and Safari Resort, within the Entabeni Safari Conservancy in South Africa’s north-eastern Limpopo Province. The other 18 holes were designed by world golfing legends Trevor Immelman, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington and Australia’s Robert Allenby.

A round of golf – including cart and lunch – costs a reasonable $7000.

The Extreme 19th hole itself costs $1,060 per foursome, $265 per player, which includes: helicopter ride, souvenir cap and glove, and a DVD of you playing the hole.

So far, no one has even come close pocketing the million-dollar prize, but Harrington became the first golfer to conquer the hole within par. Harrington said: “This is the type of innovation and excitement we need to get more people playing golf.” There aren’t many new innovative ways to play the game but this is certainly one of the best. “I think this hole is awesome – I love the whole experience, the helicopter, the views, the drama and having the green the shape of Africa. And now I’ve got bragging rights over all the other professionals who have played this and not managed to make a three. I love everything about it.”

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