Vestmannaeya Golf Club is located on the Westmann Islands, which are situated to the south of the Icelandic coast and the largest of the islands is Heimaey, which is the only one inhabited. The island is well known for the sporting pursuits of cliff hanging, deep-sea fishing and golf, with the Vestmannaeya golf course located inside an old volcanic crater under steep cliffs.
Golf was first played on a 9-hole course here at Vestmannaeya Golf Club in 1938 and was later extended by Icelandic architect Hannes Thorsteinsson, who designed the back nine, except for hole 17 which was added by the members. Today’s 18-hole layout is a short but spectacular par 70, which measures 5,820 yards. The par four 13th hole is not overly long but it plays very tough indeed with out of bounds to the left. The landing area for the tee shot is a small, 30-yard wide ledge 220 yards away then the approach requires an uphill shot, normally played into the wind. The one-shot 17th is the signature hole which requires a 133-metre forced carry across rocks to a green that is protected by bunkers left and water at the rear. It's an absolute cracker.
The Icelandic Championship was held here in 1996 but the Volcano Open is held here annually as a reminder of the incredible force of Mother Nature. In 1973 the Heimaey volcano erupted and everyone was evacuated to the mainland. Five months later, when the volcano eventually calmed down, the island had increased in size by 20% and a new mountain had materialised. Now that’s what we call a volcanic eruption!