Golfing in Sri Lanka

Golf Courses in Sri Lanka

Golfing in Nuwara Eliya

Palm-fringed beaches, primaeval rainforests such as Sinharaja rain forest, historical monuments, and beautiful countryside are likely to spring to mind when someone thinks of the island of Sri Lanka. But for those who know about Sri Lanka, it is more than that.

Time to time Sri Lankan golf clubs host world-class golf championships in the island with the assistance of Sri Lanka Tourism and Sri Lankan air. The island is not known to many people around the world as a holiday destination for golfing but Sri Lanka is a country with several world-class golf courses with varied climate, beautiful scenery, different terrains and altitudes.

The Nuwara Eliya Golf Course, 6190 feet above sea level and five hours from Colombo by car, is a picturesque 18-hole course situated in the heart of the Town with the green shrouded in mist-some of them on the edge of the thick jungle where leopards once roamed.

It has been recognized as one of the best 18 hole courses in the world, with fir trees lining the fairways and a gurgling trout stream running through it. It is the only course in the world where 15 of the 18 holes can be followed by car. The other three holes are carved from a mountain and are known as “Switzerland”, an apt description as a cold wind blows down the valley, an exhilarating experience for any golfer.

Origin of Golf in Nuwara Eliya

Origin of Golf, the establishment of the Golf club and Golf course in Nuwara Eliya is known to very few people on the island. Nuwara Eliya always referred to in early Ceylon journals as the Hill Station and as the “sanatorium” has been linked to that of Devonshire in the South of England. From about 1890, Nuwara Eliya and its Golf Course have come to be synonymous.

In an article to the Christmas Number of the Times of Ceylon 1907, it is said “nowhere else in the tropics is the golfer living in the plains able to pack up his bag in the morning and enjoy a round under home conditions the same afternoon. It can safely be said that while Nuwara Eliya captures the suffrage of all who visit the Sanatorium not one of the least factors in this result is the glorious links”

Nuwara Eliya Golf Club was established in the Easter Week of 1889. Even though it was founded in 1889, golf itself was not new to the island, for the “pastime” had early in the British rule been pursued with zest on Galle face Green in Colombo which was then the centre of all sports activities include horse racing. It appears that the game of golf was first introduced to the island by officers of the military regiment called the Gordon Highlanders who, by their descent and experience in Scotland considered Nuwara Eliya a place eminently suited for golf.


It had not taken long for golf to gain in popularity at the sanatorium as Nuwara Eliya was then called. Although golf had been played in Colombo for a dozen years previously, the Nuwara Eliya links were chosen as the venue for the first Ceylon Golf Championship which was played in the Easter Week of 1892.  But at that time the Nuwara Eliya golf course was only one of nine holes and the competitors had to play two rounds, the final being decided by 18 holes.

The Golf pavilion of Nuwara Eliya, consisting of five rooms overlooking the links were built-in 1892. In the year 1892, the golf link was extended in the direction of Ramboda gap. This extension allowed eight more holes to be added. In 1897 the golf link was further expanded with the grand hotel extension with the patronage of Governor, Sir West Ridgeway. Further improvement of the Golf link took place in 1908 and the few new holes were added on newly acquired marshy lands near the Gregory lake and railway line.

Then the Nuwara Eliya Captains Cup was instituted in 1897 and from 1905 onwards, the Golf Championship was played alternatively in Colombo and Nuwara Eliya. In 1906 the course was changed and the pavilion was enlarged.

Golf in 1891 was so different to what it is today, but yet the Nuwara Eliya Course had all the settings needed to make it one of the best in the East. From small beginning, the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club has turned its course into one of the best inland mountain courses in the East.

Golf Courses in Sri Lanka

The accommodation facilities are plenty for travellers, who wish to stay in a nearby location of the golf courses. All the golf courses are in close proximity to leading tourist attractions in the country. Therefore, golfing breaks in Sri Lanka can either be an individual Sri Lanka holiday or a family tour itinerary.

Another noteworthy feature of all Sri Lankan golf courses is the all-year-round excellent conditions to play golf. Golf academies are established at all major Sri Lankan golf courses and full-time teaching professionals are available to help amateurs. Serendipity Tours, a leading tour operates that works on golfing tours very often are always ready to help you with their expertise.  Whether it is only for golfing or a golfing holiday package with a combination of other sightseeing please write to us on

Nuwara Eliya Golf Course

Nuwara Eliya is the most popular mountain resort on the island and included in most Sri Lanka nature tours such as 5 days Sri Lanka nature trip. Nuwara Eliya is also a popular golfing destination in Sri Lanka thanks to the victoria golf course, established by British colonial rulers.

The Victorian-styled golf course was founded in 1889 and is one of the oldest golf courses in the world. Nuwara Eliya golf course is rated as one of the finest golf courses in Asia. Situated well above 2000 meters the above sea level overlooking Mt. Pidurutalagala has enriched with a tradition an ambience. Designed for top-performing level golfers Nuwara Eliya golf course is 6075 yards in length and equipped with prominently featured lakes and streams. This 18-hole manicured golf course swings to popularity within the golf arena when it hosts international golf championships.

Victoria Golf Club Kandy

The historical city of Kandy hosts the most sacred element for Sri Lankan Buddhist, namely the left eye tooth of Buddha. Today the tooth relic of Buddha is housed in Dalada Maligawa, which is another popular tourist as well as local attractions in the country. The temple is declared as a world heritage site due to its architectural and historical importance.

Kandy is the home for one of the finest golf courses in Sri Lanka and allows you to have the finest golfing experience in the world. With a view of the surrounding forests, mountains, rivers and Victoria dam, it is easy to convince your mind why it was ranked among the most beautiful golf courses in the world.

The golf course is about 20 km off the city allowing you to have peaceful surrounding and concentrate on your sporty activities. Nearby Victoria reservoir is a seaplane landing spot In Kandy. Therefore the visitors have the easy access to Victoria golf course with seaplanes and allow the golfers to enjoy a golf session at this world-renowned golf course even if they can dedicate a very short time to it.

Royal Colombo Golf Course

Royal Colombo Golf Course is one of the oldest golf courses in Asia and was founded at the present location in 1896 by the British administration, who occupied the country from 1796 to 1948. Colombo golf club is the only golf club in the island that is privileged to use “Royal” prefix, and it was bestowed upon the club by his majesty King George V. This prestigious golf course has peaceful and beautiful settings amidst the hustle and bustle of Colombo.

This 18-hole golf course is with convenient access for travellers, who arrive at the airport or Colombo harbour. It is just 30 minutes drive to the golf course from any access point to the island from outside. With easy access to Colombo Zoo, nightclubs, casinos, cafes, bars, sauna, tennis courts, museums, temples, indoor and outdoor pools, massage parlour, travellers, who are holidaying here, have plenty of opportunities for relaxation and fun-filled activities.

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