Each weekday from January 30 to February 10, 2023, we will be counting down the new year's top 10 disc golf courses. The new top 100 will be revealed on Monday, February 13, 2023. One of 2022's top 10, Krokhol may or may not be there again. Check the master post for all things World's Best Disc Golf Courses 2023 each day of the countdown to find out.
The rest of this post has not been updated since the publication date.
Krokhol Disc Golf Course Basics
All of the World's Best Disc Golf Courses
Find the top 100 disc golf courses in the world as well as information on how the rankings worked in "World's Best Disc Golf Courses 2022: #1-#100."
History of Krokhol Disc Golf Course
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, 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.
What's It Like to Play at Krokhol Disc Golf Course?
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.
It's also important to note that in 2021, Krokhol got a second set of tee pads that are bit more forgiving than the original layout. You can learn more about this big addition to the course in the "Recent & Planned Developments" section later on.
The Signature Hole at Krokhol Disc Golf Course
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:
Recent & Planned Developments at Krokhol Disc Golf Course
The biggest addition to Krokhol in 2021 was a set of tee pads that offers intermediate and advanced-level players a more approachable layout than the course's original tees. Yes, the Blue Layout is shorter than the original Gold Layout, but the Blue tees were built with the intent to create an entirely new way to enjoy Krokhol, not just shorter holes.
"It gives another type of challenge, with more gap hitting and distance control," said Blue Layout designer Ola Kolle. "Both layouts play to the same baskets, but you really do feel like you're playing different holes. We used a lot of time on the new designs and construction so it wouldn't feel like the new layout was a poor man's version of Gold."
Kolle said that though the Blue Layout has been a great addition for developing players, top-level disc golfers have been enjoying it, too. It isn't as taxing on their bodies if they feel like playing two rounds at Krokhol and it also helps them practice different aspects of their game than the Gold Layout.
In 2022, the Krokhol team will tweak some holes on the Gold Layout in order to make sure they're separating good players from great players (they've analyzed data from last year's competitions to see where the changes need to happen). Additionally, they plan to keep making aesthetic upgrades to the course.
"We want a woodsy feeling to everything we do: tee pads, pathways, pin placements, fairways, benches, and even garbage cans," Kolle said.
The team has also been transplanting trees from the nearby woods into strategic locations on a few fairways to make hole more varied and challenging.
Amenities at Krokhol Disc Golf Course
Krokhol Disc Golf Course is partly on the property of Krokhol Golf Course, and here are some of the amenities players can enjoy:
- A fully-stocked disc golf shop on site with a wide variety of discs, places to relax, and disc golf coverage on television
- A cafe selling food and drinks to all guests that also has restrooms
- Opportunity to play rounds of ball golf or footgolf (golf with a soccer ball), both for additional fees
Events & Leagues at Krokhol Disc Golf Course
Events: Currently, the only tournament at Krokhol firmly on the schedule is a grand opening event for the Blue Layout on May 1. The course plans to have more events this year, however, and you're likely to find them by using the Events tab in the UDisc app and looking for events near Siggerud, Norway.
Leagues: There's a flex-start league on Sundays that starts at 8 a.m. and goes until dark (which in the Norwegian summer can be really, really late). This goes from around the beginning of April (or whenever the snow melts) to October or November depending on when the first heavy snows come.
Three Real Five-Star Reviews of Krokhol Disc Golf Course
Three real five star reviews of Krokhol from disc golfers on UDisc.
*translated into English