The golf season at Brautarholt is very short – lasting only five months from 1 May to 30th September – but Iceland’s northerly location allows the game to be played 24 hours a day during June and early July so that extends the time available to play by a good bit.
The club was formed on 16th March 2011 and the first tee shot on the new 9-hole course was struck only four months later. The layout is situated half an hour’s drive north of the capital, where the holes occupy a dramatic clifftop and waterfront location.
Designed by Edwin Roald and shaped by Michael Kelly, the course fits the landscape beautifully, with fairways and greensites following the natural contours of the coastline and it’s said that the architect set out the holes with no pre-conceived thoughts of overall par or yardage.
There are now eleven courses in the Greater Reykyavik area; six 18-hole layouts, four 9-hole tracks and Brautarholt, which had another three holes added in 2017 to form a 12-hole course.
Brautarholt GC was founded in 2011 and opened for play with a nine hole course designed by Edwin Roald. The club is located around 30 minutes by road from Reykjavik
Roald has made a name for himself internationally for his forward thinking on golf design- in particular he questions the need for 18 holes as a template when the terrain may offer a different number of quality holes (remember St Andrews was originally 22 holes!)
Roald sets out the holes without a preconceived notion of par or length- at Brautarholt many of the holes occupy sites along clifftops or by the ocean, and they do fit the land hand in glove... Cape Wickham comes to mind as the best comparison course I have come across
Right from the start the course turns to the ocean with the short par 5 first hole boasting a green high on a clifftop ledge…
The drama continues along the cliffs with wonderfully visual holes at 2, 3 & 4 and then a long par 3 over an inlet at no 5.. This is high octane golf.
Hole 6 turns inland, and while it is a nice hole tension levels settle a little. The nine finishes with 3 high quality holes through heaving terrain, but without the intensity of those opening holes…
Brautarholt now has 3 more holes- nos. 10-12 and while they are quality inland holes they travel through quieter territory.. However the club hopes to add 6 more clifftop holes at some stage to complete an eighteen hole routing.
One can only speculate that if the closing 6 holes match the opening holes then Brautarholt will be known world wide Let's hope that happens because those early holes are absolutely world class
Brautarholt is a world class golfing facility, with spectacular views and dramatic golf. No trip to Iceland should even be contemplated without a game at Brautarholt. And if the next 6 holes get built to the standard of the first nine- expect Brautarholt to feature in world top 100 lists
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.
This course was a very pleasant surprise I had one day in Reykjavik and was pulling to play one of the other courses that are more highly rated on this website however I was convinced by my playing partner of the day that Brautarholt was the right choice this proved to be a good decision.
This is a twelve hole course it is made up of 6 par fours, 4 par threes and 2 par fives while many of the par fours are short they tend to have wildly undulating greens to help defend par.
The first hole may well be the best opening hole on the planet from an elevated tee you play down to a fairway that snakes it way along the cost before an uphill approach shot to wildly undulating green almost hanging over the edge of a cliff this par 5 can provide a birdie opportunity if played cleverly or an absolute disaster if you get too greedy we played it twice and I had both.
The views from the course are spectacular the whole way around while the cliff side holes are the show stopper the sight of perfectly maintained fairways draped across the Icelandic topography is visually pleasing.
This course is far from perfect it lacks long holes to truly challenge the long hitter and there is a long uphill slog between holes one and two and eight and nine however for great day of fun golf where thinking your way around is rewarded I can highly recommend Brautarholt.
we had a 24 hr stopover in Iceland and since I collect golf courses off we went. 3 degrees we are the only car in parking lot other than the manager
course was in average condition but truly a fun layout with some spectacular holes
the 3 new holes were sort of open so why not try
as a 12 hole golf course its a ton of fun
when we left the only car in the lot was the manager
would i recommend
highly if you are a golf idiot like me