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The lowest golf course in the world

Furnace Creek Golf Course, in California's Death Valley, lies 214 feet below sea level, 6,236 yards off the back tees and a par 70.

Death Valley is famous for being one of the driest and hottest places on earth, and summer temperatures can exceed 130°F, but in winter the climate is ideal, with cool breezes and temperatures in the 60's.

Furnace Creek Golf Course, Death Valley, California - the world's lowest golf course

What began in 1927 as a 3-hole course, created by date palm caretaker Murray Miller, was officially opened with nine holes in 1931, and it holds the distinction of being the first grass golf course built in the California desert. In 1968, a second nine was designed by William F. Bell, but the current course came into being in 1977, when Perry Dye redesigned it and a full irrigation system was installed, creating a true desert oasis.

The elevation of the course (or rather the lack of it), brings with it a slightly greater force of gravity and higher barometric pressure, which is said to change the way in which the ball responds and the distance it travels, compared to golf at or above sea level.

Furnace Creek Golf Course was recently voted by Golf Digest magazine as one of "America's 50 Toughest Courses".

December 2009






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