Bad Neuenahr - South West Germany - Germany

Golf- und Landclub Bad Neuenahr,
Großer Weg 100,
D-53474 Bad Neuenahr Ahrweiler,
Germany


  • +49 (0) 2641 950 950

  • Dieter Strunk

  • Joan Frederik Dudok van Heel, Rainer Preißmann and Karl F. Grohs

  • Marc Nickel, Mario Isbert and Christian Eggermann

According to the Rheingolf Awards (a slightly self-serving operation with "yearly changing categories" and blatantly captive laureates) the prettiest golf course in the Rhine region in 2005 was Bad Neuenahr. In 2006 the category was split into "left of the Rhine" (which Bad Neuenahr won again) and "right of the Rhine", which was awarded to Golf und Land-Club Köln. The latter move being somewhat sarcastic, as the Cologne folks are the proverbial "left Rhiners", but had to build their course on the less fashionable side of the river. In any event, the "pretty" category was abolished after that, so Bad Neuenahr to this day can (and does) call itself the prettiest course in the Rhine region. Hooray for yearly changing categories, but in all fairness it is a handsome course.

The first thing you'll notice is that time seems to move slower at this club, which is nice in some ways, but less so if you're a visitor with temporal, financial or social constraints. But if you do get a game here, you'll enjoy a nice, old-fashioned atmosphere and a very pleasurable course. It's quirky, undulated and well-groomed with a good mixture of scorable and impossible holes: the unofficial "mid-am's birdie book" says that at the long par 4 9th you need three mighty blows just to get to the fringe, while at the short 4th men are expected to drive the green with a mid iron and tap in for Eagle. If you can get this pamphlet, it is highly recommended as it also solves one of golf's long standing mysteries, which is why historically the average handicap never seems to improve. Apparently this is because equal advances in abdominal girth amongst the membership cancel out any advances in club and ball technology.

Be that as it may, reasonable players should get around without major problems, although there are some fairly tight spots, which would profit from selective tree management. The best part of the course is the routing, which flows effortlessly over the quite elusive site. It's definitely a boon for the walking golfer; progress is organic and natural, there is hardly any unproductive scampering about. The hole designs are interesting where the terrain allows it and more conventional in other places, but tee to green there is always a way to play golf. However, once the flat stick comes out, things can get difficult. The greens are positively quick and undulated: "play right of the green for a chance to three putt" is the recommendation for the superb 10th.

All things considered, Bad Neuenahr is a good all-around test of golf on a beautiful site, perhaps lacking a few percent here or there to really threaten the world class, but certainly very worthwhile.
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