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Location: Siggerud, Norway just outside of Oslo
Number of Holes: 18
Rank in World's Best Disc Golf Courses 2021: #3
Rank in World's Best Disc Golf Courses 2020: #9
Year Opened: 2018
Designer: Lars Somby
Cost: Free but with donation encouraged to help with course maintenance and improvement. Suggested minimum donation of 30 Norwegian Krone ($3.50 USD/€3).
Current Course Conditions, Photos, & More: Krokhol on UDisc Courses
The rankings for World's Best Disc Golf Courses are based on the over two million ratings of more than 11,000 disc golf courses all over the planet by disc golfers using UDisc. However, we have done work to account for how regions and cultures tend to rate courses differently, helping to assure the courses that made and missed this list did not do so as a result of regional hype or hypercriticism. That said, the courses on this list earned their spots purely from their stats and not due to the opinions of UDisc's staff. Honestly, we were just as surprised and interested in the results as our readers.
The course grades are relative to how close each course was to a perfect five-star rating. No course on the list achieved a 100.
In Oslo, there are various disc golf clubs all based around particular courses. Muselunden DiscGolfPark has, naturally, Muselunden Frisbeeklubb. Krokhol owes its existence to a problem that club faced in the late 2010s when its 18-hole course was forced to drop six holes.
The reduction occurred because the Muselunden course is in a busy park, and the 18-hole layout often called for throws over or near paved paths used by a steady stream of bicyclists, pedestrians, and people on roller blade-like contraptions that mimic cross-country skis (it is Norway, after all). Additionally, more and more people were using the open areas that made up the course's fairways for sports like soccer.
When it lost the holes, the club began talking with the city about where it could build a new 18-hole course.
"We looked at a couple of places, but none of them were good or we couldn't get permission to use them," said Lars Somby, Muselunden Frisbeeklubb member and Krokhol's eventual head designer. "Finally, the city told us they had a place we could use in one of the city's forests, and for almost a year we tried to figure out how to build 18 quality holes there before we realized it was impossible. We were really bummed out."
But new hope arose fairly quickly.
One day, a club member was scanning Google Maps near the area the club had given up on for another possible location. He got curious when he scrolled across land that looked like it might be an abandoned ball golf course and told the club about it. Shortly thereafter, Somby and another Muselundener, Morten Falk, drove to the spot to scope it out.
"When we got to it, we were blown away; it was amazing," Somby recalled. "A couple of days later we took some more people up there, and they were blown away too."
The land the club had discovered was, indeed, the former back nine of a ball golf course that the owner had removed to reduce maintenance costs as ball golf's popularity continued to slip. Along with the benefit of having many potential fairways already cleared, the area offered up thickly forested areas, drastic elevation changes, bodies of water, and protruding rock walls that created both extraordinarily picturesque scenery and all the elements needed for world class disc golf.
To the Frisbeeklubb's delight, neither the course owner nor the local municipality that owned part of the land the group wanted to use had a problem with them molding the area into a disc golf course. In fact, the course owner saw plenty of benefits to it: the land would continue to be maintained and get used, and the course's cafe would have more potential traffic. He even gave the group permission to use some of his equipment for building and maintaining the course.
Given the quality of the property, the Muselunden club knew they had no choice but to create something magnificent. To make sure they had the manpower to do it right, they teamed up with another Oslo club, Ekeberg, to create Krokhol. Beyond that, the story of Krokhol is a simple one: a disc golf community putting in long hours to design and build a course with some help from a successful campaign to crowdfund the cost of baskets. The the thing that makes the story truly special is that the product of their labors happens to be one of the best disc golf courses in the world, with no bicyclists or soccer players in sight.
Recent & Planned Developments
When Norway first started shutting down in late March 2020 in response to the pandemic, Krokhol was also closed for play for a few weeks. The dedicated group of volunteers who maintain Krokhol used that time without players to take on course improvement projects, like moving rocks and spreading wood chips to make paths more disc golf cart friendly.
Another big job was building natural wood frames for the course's tee pads.
"It has always been a goal for us that the course should blend in with the forest and natural environment, and this was an important step in that direction," said Ola Kolle, one of the volunteers most involved with Krokhol's continued improvement.
Krokhol also got a dedicated disc golf pro shop last year: Krokhol Disc Golf Shop. The shop is run by the course designer, and you can read some of the story behind his journey to open it in one of our articles about disc golf shops from 2020.
Along with a wide range of discs and other equipment, you can get a birdie badge (500 Norwegian Krone or about $58 USD/€48) in the shop if you'd like to support the course and get a unique souvenir. Birdie badges are meant to be kept on your disc golf bag, and each time you birdie a hole at Krokhol, you break off a tab with the hole number on it. The badges help the course in a similar way that season memberships do at true pay-to-plays (Krokhol is donation-based).
Finally, Norway – like many places – has had a huge disc golf boom since the start of the pandemic. Due to the enormous influx of traffic, it could be that reservations will be required on weekends during peak disc golf season in 2021.
What Golf Can I Expect?
Somby said that he and the others who helped build and design the course had one very clear goal for their efforts.
"We want to build up the area's players to be able to compete on a higher level," he said.
And, really, though players need thousands of hours of practice to master them, the skills needed most for high-level play are easy to pinpoint: distance and accuracy. Thus, scoring well at Krokhol requires both power and control. For example, take a look at hole 2 as seen in a flyover from SM Disc Golf Productions' coverage of the 2019 Norwegian Championship (and, yes pro disc golf fans, that's Nate Sexton you hear in the commentary):
The hole is a true par 4, taking two excellent shots to set up even a chance at birdie. You're first asked for a strong, uphill, right-turning shot that most right-handed players would attack with an anhyzer. But with out-of-bounds (OB) all along the right side and forest all along the left, getting enough power while also landing in the fairway will be a huge challenge for most players. And even if you accomplish that, your second shot has to land safely on a dangerously sloped green with tight OB lines. Even one of the best players in the world, Eagle McMahon, didn't manage a birdie after a great first drive.
Holes like hole 2 are what to expect when you play Krokhol. Elevation, both downhill and uphill, are constants. Though there are some shorter holes featuring tight woods, distance is a must in most places. But distance without accuracy will rack up strokes via OB penalties or fighting through thick rough.
No matter how hard the course is, though, its beauty is always there to give your spirits a boost. When we featured Krokhol in our post naming Oslo the #2 international city for disc golf in the world, one of our local sources emphasized that aspect of the course, saying, "I'd say that 18 holes at Krokhol feels like an adventure where you explore and unlock more and more of the forest as you go, and you keep feeling amazed."
Essentially, when you go to Krokhol, expect every part of your game to be challenged, and if you start feeling overwhelmed by the numbers on your scorecard, take a minute to admire the scenery.
There was no hesitation from Somby when asked what Krokhol's signature hole is. To him, it's unquestionably the par 4 hole 12—all 267 meters/876 feet of it. From the tee, the fairway is straight ahead, leading up to a basket in the shadows of the forest tightly surrounding it. There is also OB that comes in on the right side, forcing shots over a pond that is a little over halfway down the fairway. At any point, it looks like a badly-thrown shot could send your disc into endless wilderness.
But why talk about it when you can see it for yourself? Again, here's footage from SM Disc Golf Productions:
Krokhol Disc Golf Course is on the property of Krokhol Golf Course, and here are some of the amenities players can enjoy:
- A cafe selling food and drinks to all guests that also has restrooms
- A dedicated disc golf pro shop with a wide variety of discs, places to relax, and disc golf coverage on television
- Opportunity to play rounds of ball golf or footgolf (golf with a soccer ball), both for additional fees
Events & Leagues
Events: The biggest event planned for 2021at Krokhol is the Norwegian National Doubles Championships in July.
Leagues: There's a flex-start league on Sundays that starts at 8am and goes until dark (which in the Norwegian summer can be really, really late). This goes from spring to October or November depending on when the first heavy snows come.