Nuwara Eliya Golf Club

Nuwara Eliya is a city in the tea country hills of central Sri Lanka. At over 6000 feet above sea level the air is fresh and the temperature very agreeable for golf all day and every day

club map


The Nuwara Eliya Golf Club – founded 125 years ago – is the focal point of the city. The course meanders its way between city buildings, over common ground, through old forest and streams all the time framed by mountains. If ever there was an antique piece then this would be it. Very little has changed over the years including the clubhouse which is remarkably beautiful and intimate (and all that). I am fortunate to be staying in one of the rooms overlooking the practice green and I feel like I have been transported back in time. This clubhouse is a blast from the past  – with dinning and billiard rooms coupled with a library and fire place etc etc. This is a proper clubhouse in every way and really anyone wanting to design or build a clubhouse should make the journey to Nuwara Eliya just to study this structure.

In an era where most of our golf courses are guideline and rule driven Nuwara Eliya hits back and shows that golf can be as good – even better – when it does not conform to any formula and where holes are not laid out in an orderly fashion or so to meet some desired end number…..Nuwara Eliya GC measures in at a little over 6000 yards / Par 71. The golf is laid out on only 92 acres  / 37 ha so you can imagine how creative the layout is. This is adventure golf at its best and its enthralling. I could play this course everyday and still be entertained and have a blast. If more people knew and visited places like this then maybe attitudes would change regarding how a golf course should look and play like.

See video of my day travel to Nuwara Eliya via the tea plantations and time at the club here:



The 1st Hole. Tee a few yards from the clubhouse veranda

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The 1st hole

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Hole 2 played back to clubhouse. Hole 17 green complex to the left of the tee so you need to cross Hole 2 and then Hole 1 to get too the tee complex on Hole 18

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This is Hole 17 (Hole 2 down on the left)

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Note at Newara Eliya the distance you need to walk from greens to tees is minimal (very minimal). Wish we saw more of this today

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Hole 3 (Par 3). Cross Hole 16 and walk up the hill to the tee. Hit your tee shot and then cross back over Hole 16 ato the green up on the rise


The entire golf course is bounded by the city. This is the back of 3 tees


Hole 4. Tee shot played over the road onto common area. Hole doglegs right

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Road crossing Hole 4


Since this hole is laid out over common land golfers need to be wary of the other hazards including people

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Hole 4 green

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Hole 5. Tee shot played over 4 green. Housing cuts the dogleg so beware. Land is still common ground so watch out for people

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People out enjoying the day….picnic and game of badminton. Multi Use facility if ever there was one. I like to see this

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Housing encroaching the golfer…beautiful time of year for colors

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Green on 5…sharp back to front slope. It is remarkable how good the greens are given the equipment and amount of labor they have to work with….goes to show

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Cross road to get to Hole 6. Long Par 5 played toward mountain and tea plantations

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3rd landing area approach…what a backdrop….what a special place

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Natural stream system through the course

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Hole  7 Tee shot over green 8 back onto fairway 6 and then sharp dogleg left

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Green 7 on the left and looking back toward 6 tees on the right

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Cross Hole 10 to get too Hole 8. Short 4 with two green system (who would have thought)

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You can alternate the play on Hole 8…short or long

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Hole 9 tee. Shot played to a raised green and steep front face

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Miss the green at your peril on Hole 9

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Nice pic if I dont say so myself.

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Hole 10 straight over tees for Hole 8. City in the background

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Green complex for 10 with road just behind


Hole 11 Green played over waterway and pedestrian path

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Hole 12 tee shot blind over the hill with 14 green on the left. Green in the distance. Beautiful setting

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beautiful natural rolls.


Monkeys everywhere. this is left side of Hole 12

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Hole 13 is played from one ridge to the next over native vegetation. What contrast

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As with all the greens they are in tip top shape…and they only have 2 x walk behinds and 10 staff. No irrigation to speak of

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Hole 14 tee shot played over green 13 towards shared fairway with 12

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One with nature….what a place

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Hole 15. Short 3 played between tight chute of trees. Prime Minister residence on the right

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Hole 16 green…and like all the holes here you simply walk off the green onto the next tee. Seamless and not time consuming

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Hole 17 tee

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