German Culture: Golf & Golf Courses in Germany
With more than 500 courses and 300,000 players Germany is certainly
a place where you can enjoy good golf.
It's crucial that you plan your trip properly in advance as you
won't be able to just hire clubs and walk onto a course, but don't
let that put you off, there are many great courses worth every Euro
of the green fee.
The number of German golf courses has rocketed in the last fifteen
years, in part due to the popularity brought to the sport by the
greatest German golfer of all time, Bernhard 'The Ice Man' Langer.
One of Europe's top golfers, Langer has a slightly undeserved reputation
for not showing emotion, but he certainly showed it after his two
US Masters victories and after leading the European Team to victory
in golf's most bitterly fought battle, the 2004 Ryder Cup.
Langer was from a poor background, the son of a Russian POW, so
it was caddying which first brought him into contact with the game.
He won the first professional tournament he entered, but was later
hit by golf's most devastating affliction, 'the yips'.
Sufferers' hands disobey the brain on short putts, jerking and
twisting with a mind of their own. At one point Langer was 'yipping'
so badly that he four-putted from three feet and considered giving
up the game.
Now he constantly experiments with different putters and grips
and has finally overcome his putting problems. Langer is a devout
Catholic and plays most of his golf in the US, but still retains
a massive following in Germany.
Among Germany's very top clubs perhaps the most renowned are Gut
Kaden near Hamburg
(green fees around 70 Euro) or the former home of the German Open,
the wooded Club Zur Vahr near Bremen (green fee around 60
Also very popular are the Hohen Wieschendorf, (40 Euro)
a course by the Baltic Sea which may make Scottish golfers feel
at home, and the Motzsener See Club in Brandenburg.
Bavaria has a very large number of clubs, and so would be a good
place for someone planning an extended trip, and of course a trip
to Augsburg Golf Club, the place where Bernhard Langer first
came into contact with the game, is a must for all die-hard Ice
The most important factor affecting your enjoyment of golf in Germany
may be the degree to which you plan ahead. Unfortunately in Germany
golf is still the preserve of an elite, there are no municipal (public)
courses, green fees are sometimes high, and Germany is the only
European country where you need a licence before you can play.
The licence is called the Platzriefe and getting one can cost several
hundreds of pounds and require attendance of a five-day training
The golfing associations claim that the regulations prevent unskilled
players from delaying play, but others might argue that even good
players who know the etiquette can hold up a game, and that the
rules are actually just there to preserve the game's exclusivity.
Getting the licence is expensive and difficult, so some German
players go to Switzerland
or Austria where it's much easier to pass. Fortunately, most
clubs will not require foreign players to obtain the licence as
long as they can prove their handicap.
For this reason it's vital to get a handicap certificate before
you leave for Germany, and it would also be a good idea to contact
the clubs in advance to check regulations and green fees. It's obligatory
to book ahead at many clubs. One last thing to remember - don't
let on if you have a secret past in the porn industry.
Axel Boeckem, a 56-year-old computer salesman and 15-handicap golfer,
was recently expelled from his golf club after being spotted in
a porn film having sex with 26-year old porn star Carmen, whilst
wearing nothing but his Hagen Golf Club tie. The club felt that
such activities damaged their image, but were later forced to reinstate
his membership after he took the matter to court.
65 189 Wiesbaden
Tel: (0611) 99 02 00
Fax: (0611) 99 02 040
Selected Golf Clubs in Germany
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Golf Club
Postfach 1345, 82453 Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Tel: (08824) 8344
Fax: (08824) 325
Freiburg Golf Club
Kruttweg 1, 79199 Kirchzarten
Tel: (07661) 98470
Fax: (07661) 984747
Regensburg Golf and Leisure Club
Tel: (09403) 505 Fax: (09403) 4391
Stuttgarter Solitude Golf Club
Tel: (07044) 5852
Fax: (07044) 5357