It’s 1 a.m. The sun is shining. And you’re teeing off – four degrees south of the Arctic Circle.
The Canadian city of Yellowknife – situated a mere 400 km (250 miles) from the Arctic Circle – hardly conjures images of grassy fairways and lush greens. But during the June-September summer, Yellowknife and cities throughout Canada’s remote Northwest Territories turn into a hub for duffers seeking an unusual thrill: midnight golf.
With up to 24 hours of daylight to work with, plus positively balmy temperatures as high as 30C (86F), local clubs set up tee times starting at midnight and extending into the wee morning hours.
This June 22-23, Yellowknife hosts the Canadian North Midnight Classic. Timed to correspond with the summer solstice – when the city gets 20 hours of daylight – the tournament attracts competitors from around the world. Balls fly round the clock as players navigate the 18-hole sand and rock course equipped with artificial greens.
Farther north, meandering muskox are one of the more unusual hazards at the Billy Joss Open Celebrity Golf Tournament, held the third weekend in July (July 21-22, 2012) in Ulukhaktok. A community of 400 hardy souls near the Arctic Ocean, Ulukhaktok is home to the most northerly golf course in North America, nine holes with shale fairways and specially woven mats for teeing off on permafrost.
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