The remote Arctic Island of Spitsbergen will be the new location for the 5th Drambuie World Ice Golf Championship between 2nd and 4th April 2004. Part of the magnificent group of islands that make up the area of Svalbard, in the Norway’s northern most territory, this Arctic expanse is filled with fjords, wide river valleys and stunning glaciers.
Following the disappointing cancellation of the 2003 event in Greenland, due to freak weather conditions, Drambuie, committed to delivering the yearly international championship, set about finding the ultimate location for 2004 and took the opportunity to challenge leading global explorer Pen Hadow to search for the perfect venue based on three key criteria:
- guaranteed on-ice playing field
- visually stunning surroundings
- remote location but still able to deliver a first class golfing and hospitality experience
After months of research into the most far-flung corners of the world, including Alaska, Siberia, northern Canada, Iceland, Norway and Greenland, Hadow revealed the island of Spitsbergen in the archipelago of Svalbard as his choice – and Drambuie agreed.
The 18 hole golf course will be created and played on the stunning ice fjord, as the dramatic Arctic sea freezes over creating an expanse of ice field, near the town of Longyearbyen.
Although Svalbard houses some of the most geographically dramatic and remote islands in the world, Longyearbyen itself, where competitors will stay, is not unlike a small ski resort.
The tournament itself is a 36-hole stroke-play competition played over two days. The course is constantly altering as movements in the pack ice allow new outcrops of ice to emerge on to the course.
The Drambuie World Ice Golf Championship www.drambuie.com