Golfing in Sri Lanka

The Land of Many Attractions and Activities: Sri Lanka is known first for its tropical splendour, for its towering mountain ranges and verdant tea plantations, but amongst its treasures are Things to Do that are lesser known yet undeniably delightful, one of which is Golfing. The game is thrived in on rich, luxuriant Golf courses spanning across the island, three of which are the finest 18 hole championship Golf courses in Asia.

Best Known For

The Golf Courses, broken down by site:

  • Royal Colombo Golf Club - 96 acres of smooth, luxuriant green giving away the feeling of a sanctuary in the heart of the commercial precinct, the Royal Colombo Golf Club is a golfer’s haven with its picturesque grounds and in-built game challenges. Marked as one of the oldest Golf Clubs in the world, the Royal Colombo Golf Club received its Royal Charter from the British Crown in 1928 and replaces what once was a model farm. Lined with varied water hazards and bunkers, the 5,770 metre (par 71) Golf course lays out game challengers, designed to place the most skilled and experienced players to the test.
  • Victoria Golf & Country Resort - a 517 acre property set in the mist-capped mountainous region of the Knuckles Mountain Range. Overall, a resort with recreational facilities, the property is famed for its Golf Course; miles of green stretching over peaks and slopes flanked by the cooling breeze of the Victoria Reservoir. Its topographical features and natural beauty has earned itself the award of ‘Best in Asia 2005’ by ‘Asian Golf Monthly’ and is named as one of the most pristine, immaculately-maintained Golf Courses in the Indian subcontinent; a title which it has kept for several years, having optimised the breathtaking features of its terrain. The Golf Course additionally made its way to the ranks of the top ‘100 Most Beautiful Courses in the World’ by Jak Golfers Digest.
  • Nuwara Eliya Golf Club - Sprawled amongst tea estates and misty hills, the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club traces its roots back a century to 1889, to when it was first founded by British servicemen and tea planters. To play Golf here, is to be transported back to colonial times and this, coupled with glorious fir-lined fairways, bunkers and scenic scapes has marked itself as the go-to Golfing destination for Golf veterans and amateurs who make their way to the “little English country village of Nuwara Eliya”. The 18-hole Golf Course boasts one of the finest Golf experiences in Sri Lanka, with the game being open to an exclusive members’ club and visitors as well. Making for a full-service Golfing space, the property additionally offers accommodation and dining options. Visitors and members are expected to maintain golfing traditions, a few of which are the maintenance of Golfing standards on and off course, smart casual wear to enter the Bar or Lounge and a jacket and tie to enter the dining room after 7:00pm. Those wearing Golf shoes and water-proof clothing may not enter the Clubhouse (can enter the locker room) and those wearing jeans, track suits, polo t-shirts, training shoes and sneakers may not enter the Clubhouse or the course. Tailored long or short pants and Golf shoes are allowed on the course.
  • Eagle Golf Links - Located at China Bay, Trincomalee, this 18 hole par-72 Golf Course boasts fairways that extend from par 3 to par 5. Roughly 7 kilometres of challenging yet exhilarating rounds of Golf, played through Bermuda grass fairways and Tifdwarf greens. Built-in obstacles are designed to elevate your golfing experience, such as water hazards, sand bunkers and doglegs positioned in varied directions. Immerse in sweeping views of the tropics and the China Bay Airfield en route to the course as well as Clappenberg Bay and Malay Cove. Eagle Golf links serves as a golfing destination that’s roughly 6 hours away from the hustle and bustle of Colombo. An impressive mandate of the Golf Course is to help servicemen ease back into civilian life and donates a partial amount from their proceeds to the Sri Lanka Air Force personnel and their families.
  • Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa’ - The only resort Golf course in Sri Lanka, located along the Southern Coast and the ancient Spice Route. Step onto an 18 hole course divided into 3 zones that afford sweeping vistas of the surrounding lakes, the rippling ocean and the tropical grandeur of island life. The ‘Shangri-La’ Golf Course was designed by Rodney Wright in keeping with environmentally sustainable methods. Take up a round of the exhilarating game and kick back at the resort’s many luxuriant spaces after.

Interesting Facts

  • Golf is fondly dubbed ‘The Gentleman’s Game’: all players should engage in good manners and behavior in keeping with Golf tradition, which in turn helps shape their own character and social reform.
  • The roots of Golf still remain a mystery; confirmation of its recent roots have been traced back to Scotland, however its more ancient roots are debated to be either in England, Persia, Rome and Ancient China.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • A local caddy would be handy not only to haul around the golf bag but also to handle bargaining with ball spotters and pond boys.
  • In-house Golf shops and centres are available at the Golfing sites where game essentials, from golf apparel and footwear to accessories and equipment can be purchased or rented out. Participants can change into Golf apparel at the on-site changing rooms.
  • Best read through the course map before venturing onto the grounds so that you have a better idea of the Golfing route.
  • Should you be a frequent visitor or a member of a particular Golfing category, you may be able to rent a locker for yourself for your frequent usage. Rental rates depend on whether you’re a member or non-member and on locker size.
  • Online membership payments may be conducted through the websites of the Golfing centre Royal Colombo Golf Club.
  • All players should exhibit proper Golfing etiquette and abide by traditional game rules.
  • Should you become a member of a Golfing centre, a line-up of exclusive perks may be afforded to you such as reduced rates on Golf facilities and constant updates on monthly golfing events and news.
  • Potential players can either approach the listed Golfing centres directly to play a round of Golf on their course or opt for Golfing tours/holidays via tour operators where rounds of Golf on varied Golf courses in Sri Lanka can be played. This may come with added tour excursions and treks to local attractions that fall on the route.

Looking to take up a recreational activity on the island or touch base with a game you’ve once mastered? Miles of evenly mowed green, challenge grounds riddled with obstacles and tropical open air backgrounds invite you to take your best shot and play the hole - maybe even shoot the winning shot! The island is home to 5 Golf courses, each different in structure, setting and experience; opt for the hill region hub of Golf or venture onto a more coastal take. Play the game.

Note: Listed are some of the Golfing tour operators.

Location info

Victoria Golf & Country Resort - Digana

Nuwara Eliya Golf Club - Nuwara Eliya

Eagles' Golf Links - Trincomalee

Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa - Ambalantota


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