Summer Replay: The Magic of Midnight Golf in Finland

Midnight Golf replay

Matias explains the requirements to be able to play golf in Finland, the fun of midnight golf, and his marathon 24-hour, sponsored fund-raiser in 2014.

Guest: Matias Lampinen, Executive Director, Kuortane Golf Club

Listen to the show  on your choice of podcatcher; iTunes or Stitcher radio or Feedburner

Download an MP3 file of Summer Replay: The Magic of Midnight Golf in Finland

Show Notes

* Summer 2016: here is the link to my blog post about receiving the Regional Developer or the Year Award for 2015 http://wp.me/p51MGe-aFq

Kuortane Golf Club is a 9-hole course with a picturesque lakeside location. It was established in 2002, only a few KMs from the Olympic Training Centre that I visited in episode 10.

Matias first talks me  through the basics of playing golf in Finland:

  1. You must have a Green card – similar to a driver’s licence: This ensures that a club has taught you etiquette, basic proficiency of playing golf, speed of play etc. This takes approx. 10 hours and has a cost of 100–200€, depending how much coaching you need.
  2. There are not too many member-only clubs. By joining one club, you can then play in all other Finnish golf clubs. Becoming a member at Kuortane costs 80€ per year, with no large no joining fee up-front.  At Kuortane you can pay 25€ for nine holes, or 40€ for a day ticket. At other clubs in Finland, fees may be 40€–80€ per round.
  3. Dress code is generally more relaxed, although a collared shirt is appropriate and no jeans and no swimwear(!)

If you are visiting Finland from overseas and want to play golf, there are a few considerations:

  1. You need to be a member of a club in home country. A letter from your club confirming your membership and official handicap is sufficient.
  2. You do not need to pay the annual membership. Simply the fee for the round or daily fee.
  3. For insurance reasons, if you are not a member of a club, it is not possible to play anything other than 3-par practice holes, or driving range.

I then asked Matias to explain how one can play Midnight Golf. He explained that, in Etelä-Pohjanmaa, it is light enough in June & July to play golf pretty much 24 hours a day. At this time, Kuortane Golf Club is open as long as there are players on the course; if you want to play, the course is open! Matias explained about the annual midnight competition, with a ‘more relaxed’ atmosphere, and a tee-off time of 18:00.  More than six hours of golf, rounded off in the most Finnish way, with a sauna and a few drinks in the bar.

You can also hear Matias explain about his marathon, midnight golf session in 2014; 24 hours, 7 rounds of 18 holes,  raising 2,000€ for the Club’s junior team!

Gallery:

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Finnish Words in this Episode

  • Perkele! – F***! (As exclaimed on every golf course around the world)

Links

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