The history of golf in Sri Lanka dates back from the days of the British Empire. During the mid 1800’s, the Galle Face Green in Colombo was the cradle of all British sports in Ceylon. Golf together with horse racing, polo, rugby, football, hockey and tennis share the vastness of the Galle Face Green. The Sri Lanka Golf Championship, the oldest National Golf Championship outside Britain was institutionalized in 1891. In 1896, Ceylon’s Governor Joseph West Ridgeway opened a portion of the Modal Farm as a “Golf Link”.
Golfing in Sri Lanka provides a unique experience to the golfers; a perfect destination for a golf holiday with its world class golf courses, exotic landscapes and different climatic conditions. The island hosts three of the finest golf courses in Asia situated in Colombo, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya.
Royal Colombo Golf Club
The Royal Colombo Golf Club, founded in 1879 it is considered to be the oldest in the country. This 129 years course is an oasis in the midst of Colombo’s urban sprawl. The picturesque fairways, the luxuriant vegetation, the ponds in bloom with water lilies and the Kelani Valley Railway Line that runs across the course surely add exquisiteness to this course.
It is one of the finest 18-hole courses in the world with a length of 6560 yd and par 71, the fairways are flat and broad which gives the golfer a false security but amuses 13 well placed water traps and bunkers which swiftly change opinion.
The vitality of the club does not end to its course, for it does offer facilities that cater different moods and fancies. The club is a great place for serious golfers or for just someone who wants to laze and experience the tranquility of the surroundings.
The club was redesigned by world repute golf architects, Donald Steel and Martin Ebert; despite of this it was able to immaculately maintain its Colonial Ceylon style.
Waters Edge Golf and Country Club
Waters Edge Golf and Country Club is the newest golf field in Sri Lanka which creates a serene and relaxed environment. Completed in 2006 the 18-hole course with par 72 was built on 200 acre garden of oblique waterways. The architectural designed in an ultra modern vein in which five par 5’s, five par 3’s and eight par 4’s, being almost link, the wind will surely be a challenge while providing a pleasant playing condition.
The 300 m long drive range has 20 floodlit bays for night practice. Golfers have a choice of practicing off turf or on artificial mats. Other amenities in the area are swimming pool and jacuzzis, hair and beauty salon, spa, banquet hall, restaurants, gymnasium and members lounge. The lush green landscape is also an ideal place to listen to the soothing sounds of exotic birds in the country.
Situated at Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte with just 20 minutes drive from Colombo, the place is a great choice for holiday makers seeking to serenity and relaxing environment.
Nuwara Eliya Golf Club
Situated 6200 m above the sea level is the town of Nuwara Eliya. It is 160 km drive from Colombo and one of the most exquisite scenery of the island. On the heart of the town lies the 117 year old course, reputed to be the one of the Asia’s finest golf courses, the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club.
The 5520 m, par 71 18-hole course is situated about 1890 m above sea level. This marvelous course was built by a Scottish soldier of the Golan Highlander in 1889. With fir trees and thick bushes, the long narrow fairways endow with trilling experience for golfers. A challenging course in which each hole assesses the skills of the golfers, the 6th fairway is the longest hole in Sri Lanka in which the river and the gorse by the green discourages even the most ambitious golfer to go for the green in 2 while the 9th fairway, the shortest hole is guarded by a sheer wall in front and bunkers around the back and side, a missed tee would surely cost the player. There are also 6 holes where rivers come into play but the most crucial fairways in the course is a stretch from holes 12 to 14, dubbed as Switzerland, undulating fairways in a beautiful isolation.
Nuwara Eliya Golf Club is a Championship course in one of the Asia’s beautiful corners. The well kept stunning surrounding of Nuwara Eliya and the tremendous changes to the fairways and greens does not only provide tranquility and trill to the golfers but a truly remarkable experience.
Victoria International Golf and Country Club
Victoria International Golf and Country Club, popularly known as Victoria Golf Club is situated 25 km east of the ancient city of Kandy and 150 km from Colombo. Bounded by breath taking scenic beauty of Victoria Reservoir provides a naturally therapeutic golfing experience.
Designed by Donald Steel and Company this golf course was inaugurated in 1999. With its impressive undulating terrain and a scenic backdrop of hills and lakes that excite the senses, Victoria is included on the list of 100 most beautiful golf courses in the world by Golf Digest.
Rested within the grounds of a former mixed farm, this 6945 yard 18-hole par 73 Championship course offers tricky hazards that measure the ability of the golfers. The par 75 layout has four par 5 holes of which three are over 500 yards long, there are also very tricky short par 3 holes as well as very difficult 210 yards 13th hole. There is also a fairway that drops 40 m from the tee and commands an awe-inspiring panorama of the golf course, the lake and the Knuckles Range.
Victoria is a haven for the outdoor enthusiast offering an array of activities such as horse riding, mountain biking, bird watching trails, swimming, canoeing in the reservoir and other activities that provides opportunity to enjoy and utter peace and serenity of this gracious place.
The impressive natural outcrops of rocks, narrow fairways in hilly country side, the exotic faunas, the majestic trees and the fragrance of wild flowers and the holes which offer different challenge encompass the unique charm of this golf course.