Golf in my home country of Austria
No matter where my travels take me, people always ask me about golf in my home country. I always answer (as honest and as unbiased as I can) that Austria has fine golf courses but if you visit the country just to play golf, then you missed the point. Austria offers natural beauty, hospitality, culture, history, outstanding skiing, the famous waltz, great food, the ever-popular movie “The Sound of Music” and some of the best wines in the world. In addition to that, you can also play good, diverse golf courses. For the “die hard golfers” who are only interested in playing golf, I’d recommend them to travel somewhere else.
Golf in Austria is currently comprised of about 100 18-hole courses and 50 9-holers. The majority of facilities are around the capital city Vienna and in the Western tourist regions Salzburg, Tyrol and Carinthia. Vorarlberg, the Westernmost of Austria’s nine states, is home to only six golf clubs. In 2005, Austria was honored as “Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year” by the IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators).
The Leading Golf Courses Austria is an association of twelve of the country’s finest clubs: Golfclub Fontana, a Florida-esque course with numerous bunkers, waste areas and water hazards and the Colony Club Gutenhof, a superb 36-hole facility, are located close to Vienna.
The spectacular Golfclub Adamstal is an hour’s drive from Vienna and boasts the 19-hole Championship Course and the 9-hole Wallerbach Course. The Golfresort Haugschlag offers two 18-hole courses and a small hotel in the clubhouse. You can drive a golf-cart over the Czech boarder (drive time approx. 15 minutes, even though it might not be exactly legal) and play another 27 holes in the Golfresort Monachus. How’s that for an experience? Golfclub Gut Altentann outside Salzburg was the first Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in Continental Europe and the “Golden Bear” really delivered a fun layout.
Golfclub Zell am See is home to two 18-hole courses on the base of the mountains. It’s possible to play golf and go skiing on the glacier on the same day. Golf Club Dellach and Golf Club Velden Köstenberg are both somewhat hilly layouts in Carinthia, close to the popular Wörthersee (a beautiful lake). Golf & Country Club Dachstein-Tauern in Schladming (host of the World Ski Championships 2013) is a Bernhard Langer design that has been dubbed the “Pebble Beach of the Alps”.
GC Gut Murstätten is located in Southern Austria, close to the Slowenien border. The “Championship Course” with numerous fairways around a big lake is the star of this 36-hole facility. Golfclub Seefeld-Wildmoos in Tyrol is an “Austrian classic” (it was opened in 1969) that stuns with breathtaking mountain scenery. Golfclub Linz-Tillysburg is a parkland course that is also famous for the historic castle that is nearby.
The Diamond Country Club, located within an hour’s drive of Vienna, has been hosting the Lyoness Open (a European Tour event) since 2010 and has gathered international attention. It’s not part of the Leading Courses but is generally considered to be among the country’s best tracks.
History, culture, food and scenery in combination with fine and diverse golf make Austria a great destination to visit in my book!
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