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Q+A: Northern Scotland

© Jeff Harris CLUBhouse

Photo: Jeff Harris

I’ve heard there are courses in Northern Scotland you can play at midnight in the summertime. True?

Actually, yes. During the summer solstice it never really gets dark in the Shetland and Orkney Islands, and a few clubs there allow golfers to play after midnight, conditions permitting. One is Shetland Golf Club (shetlandgolfclub.co.uk), located just outside of Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands (you can hop a flight from Aberdeen and get there in an hour). Shetland holds a midnight tournament every summer on its sporty, 5,562-yard layout. Stromness Golf Club (stromnessgc.co.uk) in the Orkneys (an eighty-minute flight from Glasgow) holds tournaments in which visitors can participate. Down on the Scottish mainland, the northernmost course open at night is Wick Golf Club (wickgolfclub.com), a ninety-minute drive up from Dornoch. The 1870 links design has beautiful views of Pentland Firth, except from midnight to about 2 a.m., when actual darkness encroaches. Stateside, Alaska’s Fairbanks Golf Course (907-479-6555) stays open twenty-four hours a day for seven weeks in the summer. The nine-hole course is a par thirty-six, 3,260 yards from the back tees, but it plays along a pair of lakes and keeps players honest with dense tree lines and lush rough. The green fee is a modest $20, or $30 for an eighteen-hole trip.

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