Snow Golf? In Switzerland, Where the Greens Are White


For years, golf has been associated with lush greens, bluebird skies and a Whitman’s sampler of riotous plaids and checks. But few know the sport has also quietly embraced winter whites, particularly in ski-crazy Switzerland.

In 2021, the Engadin Snow Golf Cup will enter its 42nd year in Switzerland’s Engadine Valley, home to St. Moritz, and its famed diamond dust skies and scenic alpine golf courses dating to 1889. What started as a lark in one of Switzerland’s sunniest winter sports destinations, has become a bona fide sport that’s not only drawn golf enthusiasts but has begun to lure second home buyers seeking winter recreational activities adjacent to the snowy piste.

Winter golfing might sound odd, but the alps of southern Switzerland are especially sunny and offer a refuge for golfers from northern European countries who may not feel like hauling their nine irons on a plane for a few rounds farther afield. What’s more, snow golf offers an active but less-risky alternative to skiing. This has all led to a surge in popularity in predictable places like Germany, Austria, Canada and the United States (including popular golf destinations like Colorado, California, Wisconsin and North Carolina) but also off-the-golf-radar spots like Argentina, Greenland and Finland.

It has also drawn enthusiasts to buy nearby property. “Winter golf is just one of many offerings that make Switzerland’s Engadine Valley attractive for second home buyers, and a few have even bought here solely because of that,” said Ramun Ratti, the managing director at Engadine Golf Course, home to two 18-hole courses; it will host the Snow Golf Cup in January. “But snow golf is and will probably always be niche.”



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