Swedish snow golfing champs ‘hit the whites’

Swedish snow golfing champs 'hit the whites'
Golf enthusiasts in Kiruna, northern Sweden, took to the “whites” this weekend to compete for the unofficial title of Sweden’s best snow golfer.

While the whole world may never warm to the sport of snow golfing, Sweden’s Arctic Circle has embraced it, with the 2nd annual competition teeing off over the weekend.

The winners were Tomas Wågberg and Susanne Mellgren, who finished the nine-hole course (played twice each to make for an even 18) with the lowest scores of the day.

“Those who are golf-crazy find it really exciting to play golf in the winter,” said Mellgren, who placed second last year, to the local Norrländska Social Demokraten newspaper (NSD) newspaper.

For those who don’t know what snow golf is, imagine regular golf – but on snow.

Add the fact that in extremely cold climates, players are recommended not to use clubs with graphite shafts as they may shatter, and you have the sport in a nutshell.

For Wåberg, the difference between snow golf and regular golf is not so big.

“It’s quite special to play on the snow, but it’s just like normal golf anyway. You need to have a clean hit, the ball goes where you aim it,” he told the paper..

Mellgren claims, in fact, the opposite.

“You need to have more precision in the winter,” she said.

Snow golf, as a modern sport, is credited as being invented by British author Rudyard Kipling who took to whacking red-painted golf balls around in the winters of Vermont in the 1890s when penning “The Jungle Book”.

There are international championships on the whites of Greenland, as well as tournaments in Austria and Switzerland.

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