Some call the Beckenbauer course at the massive Hartl resort the “Kaiser’s playground” and with good reason as German footballing legend Franz Beckenbauer is a frequent visitor, returning at least once a year to compete in the “Kaisercup” charity golf tournament.
Designed by Bernhard Langer with Kurt Rossknecht and opened for play in 2002, the course is set on the flood plain of the River Rott with water featuring at several holes. Aquatic hazards are not the only obstacles to be overcome, however, as there are plenty of bunkers to be negotiated, many of which lurk invisibly from sight on the tee.
The right doglegged par four 2nd hole is a tough proposition to face so early in the round and only the bravest will try to carry the big pond in front of the green with their approach shot – far safer to bail out to the left then attempt a short chip and putt for par.
Length off the tee really matters at the two par threes on the front nine as both measure over 180 metres from the regular tees. Holes 14 and 17 on the inward half are a lot shorter but just as difficult to hit and hold – especially on the latter, where the elevated green sits behind a sizeable pond.
The Beckenbauer course plays long from the back markers – 6,500 metres long, in fact – and, of the six 18-hole layouts at the resort, it’s rated the second toughest. Don’t let that put you off from playing here, though, because it’s a course that rewards golfers who can keep the ball in play, avoiding the many wetland areas which lie on either side of the fairways.