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Golfing in Alaska

Now for the golf. Maybe your arms are tired or you have some days between fishing trips. Check out the golf Alaska has to offer. Many courses boast a healthy wildlife populationmoose, fox and sandhill cranes have been known to cross the fairways area and have often been accused of "slow play." Long-time Alaska golfer Steve Hagedorn has seen his share of animals on the golf course. "I’ve seen bears along the fairways. We tried to hit away from it, but all three of us hit within 15 feet. What else could we do? We waited until the bear left and then hit our balls," he said.

North Star Golf Course in Fairbanks

Traditional golfers will find well-maintained courses in incredibly scenic surroundings across the state. The North Star Golf Course in Fairbanks meets that criteria. Located in the heart of Alaska’s Interior region, it is the northernmost USGA golf course in the country. The sun shines almost around the clock during the summer months with tee times running well past midnight.

Black Diamond Golf Course, Fairbanks

Just south of Fairbanks is a charming nine-hole course in the shadow of North America’s highest peak, Denali (former Mount McKinley). The Black Diamond Golf Course offers a sweeping view of the Alaska Range. This course offers midnight tee times so you can play as the sun sets and still be playing as the sun rises again. For the person who dreams of playing golf 24-hours a day, this is the place.

Anchorage Golf Course

For the more serious golfer, Anchorage is the ultimate destination. Hemmed in by the Chugach Mountain Range and Cook Inlet, the surrounding theatre almost takes the focus off of the game. Visitors are often surprised at the caliber of courses found in Anchorage. After all, where else can you score an eagle and see one, too? Eighteen-hole courses include the Anchorage Golf Course, a newly renovated course featuring significant challenges, including blind tee shots, water hazards and more.

Eagleglen Golf Course is a favorite among big hitters. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, it has plenty of par-5 holes with both open and narrow fairways. It also features lots of water, many trees and excellent greens. It is located on Elmendorf Air Force Base and civilians are welcome. Moose Run Golf Course was expanded in 2000 to include a second 18-hole golf course, a beautiful, new, challenging creek course designed by Nelson Hallworth. The course is located on Fort Richardson Army Base and civilians are welcome.

The Matanuska-Susitna Valley, an hour north of Anchorage, is another favorite among golfers looking for the ultimate in great golf and beautiful scenery. The Palmer Golf Course is a favorite among big hitters who love the many long, flat, straight fairways. Jeff Barnhart, Head Professional at Palmer Golf Course, says visitors are usually surprised by the quality of Alaska’s greens. "Guests come here expecting the beautiful scenery, but the quality of the course it what usually blows them away. They also can’t believe we stay open so late in the summertime, but when the sun is shining, we’re playing golf." Barnhart recommends that visitors to the state always bring their clubs along. "They regret it when they don’t," he adds. Settlers Bay Golf Course is located in the shadow of 6,000-foot Pioneer Peak, which looms over the expansive Mat-Su Valley. The course is as challenging as it is beautiful, and presents golfers with tight fairways, water and lots of trees.

Birch Ridge in Soldotna, Kenai-Halbinsel

Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula is home to two impressive courses. Birch Ridge Golf Course in Soldotna is a nine-hole, regulation-length course offering scenic views of Mt. Redoubt, one of Alaska’s active volcanos. The Peninsula is also home to the Kenai Golf Course. This 18-hole regulation course was built in the 1980s on marshy land, resulting in one of the highest slope ratings in North America. For that reason, Kenai has earned the distinction of being one of the most challenging courses in the state.

Muskeg Meadows, Wrangell

In Southeast Alaska, golfers know there’s really one game in town – Muskeg Meadows Golf Course in Wrangell. The nine-hole regulation course is situated on 36 acres in this picturesque seaside community. This course is also home to the famed "Raven Rule," in which players may start over if the mischievous black bird absconds with the ball. From fishing to the fairways, you can experience a double hit of Alaska adventure. Fish for a few days and experience Alaska’s wilderness, then golf under the midnight sun. They two of Alaska’s offerings you don’t want to miss.



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Source: Alaska TIA; magazineUSA.com & magazinUSA.com
Last modified: 20070909
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