Differences in culture and golf across the world

- From one extreme to another: La Paz golf club in Bolivia lies at a record altitude of 3,342 m (that's almost 11,000 ft), and the fairways are up with the clouds. At Royal West Norfolk, an excellent course on the East coast of England, all 18 holes are totally cut off by the sea at each equinoctial tide. Even the access road to the club-house is under water.

-Incredible but true, Golf Digest reported a total of 967 bunkers on the Whistling Straits "Straits Course" in Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Michigan, giving the whole course a lunar landscape. But as seen during last year's PGA Championship, only about 120 or 130 are really in play.

-Only very few courses actually have a 19th hole used if players are all-square after 18 holes. That on the Legend Signature course in South Africa is particularly spectacular and original, a par 3 measuring 360 metres, the world's longest par 3 with a drop of 430 metres between tee and green. The tee-box on this weird and wonderful hole is at the top of a small mountain and the tee-shot has to hit a green shaped like the African continent. A prize of 1 million dollars awaits the first player to ace the hole!

-24 hours of non-stop golfing is possible in June in the far north of Sweden. The course at Björkliden is at its busiest in the midnight sun and the club hosts a very popular tournament where golfers play 72 holes all in the same day.

-Some traditions never die. The Old Course at St Andrews is closed to golfers on Sundays. However, walkers are allowed to stroll the fairways.

-Contrary to the Americans, the British love a foursome game, a regular feature in nearly every club. At Muirfield in Scotland, any other form of play is prohibited on certain days at certain times. The same goes for Royal St George's in Kent.

-For a foreign visitor, an invitation to play a top private golf course in Japan is a privilege that no-one would ever turn down. The day's agenda is usually as follows: tee-off at around 6:30 / 7 a.m. If the course is in the area around Tokyo, for example, you will need to allow 1 or 2 hours of travelling time. When you arrive, a very considerate and attentive lady caddie takes care of your bag, and after hitting a few balls to warm up, you are off. After the 9th hole comes the mandatory lunch break so that you finally walk off the 18th green after a round lasting some 7 hours. You are then invited to enjoy a hot bath, massage and relaxation session, followed by an invitation to drink often lots of alcohol. Finally, a respectful chauffeur will drive you back to your hotel around mid-evening. So be careful with your times and schedule.

-Everyone knows that the English love their dogs. This is why our four-legged friends are allowed on many golf courses, mainly during the week, like on the New and Old Courses at Sunningdale, near London.

- A few rare private golf clubs still impose tight restrictions when it comes to lady golfers. One such club was Augusta National in Georgia, where in 2012 they elected two lady members (Condoleezza Rice and Darla More). Other clubs, greater in number, like the Delhi Golf Club in India, admit ladies as a whole but there are two separate club-houses.

- In Japan, there are still a number of older courses with two greens on each hole so as to vary the choice of grass. Since the introduction of Bent grass, capable of supporting harsh climatic conditions, no new course has provided this choice.