Situated close to Poprad in the southern foothills of the High Tatra Mountains, the 27-hole golf facility at the Black Stork golf resort at Vel’ká Lomnica first opened in 2000 with nine holes available for play.
Six years later, the course was expanded to an 18-hole layout before a further nine was subsequently added. The Taylor and Braid nines now form the principal 18-hole layout here, and the newer Vardon nine ably supports this championship course.
Lomnicky Golf Club members play out of Black Stork and it was they who named the course after the rare bird species that can sometimes be seen flying over the course or nesting in the wetland areas that are dotted around the property.
The golf resort lies within 120 hectares of the Tatra National Park, where an unspoilt countryside environment with fantastic mountain views and clean, fresh air are all included in the green fee – and there’s even an on request train halt for guests outside the front gate.
The PGA branded golf facility is a big player when it comes to promoting the game in Slovakia and it’s a popular destination for golf academy groups and corporate golfers. The onsite hotel also boasts heated indoor and outdoor pools and a wellness centre.
A 27 hole parkland course which may have some members but appears to be more visitor focussed. It's not a resort course and not an alpine course but has little elements of both. The Taylor/Braid combo of holes 1-18 opens with flat land dominated by water hazards, moves into more forested areas and closes back in parallel treed style holes. The Tatra Mountains dominate the view and it's quite impressive watching tee shots on some of the holes as the ball appears to 'climb' the mountain behind, but it's the wonderful course that stills holds attention in the end.
Thoroughly enjoyable golf.
I was looking forward to my visit to the host venue for the 2015 Slovak Amateur Open last week, especially as the views of the surrounding mountains are said to be absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, low cloud and driving rain put paid to any thoughts of sight-seeing whilst out on the course.
The two par threes on the front nine are excellent holes. The 178-metre 4th requires a formidable carry over reeds to the green whilst the long, uphill 6th plays through a chute of trees to a putting surface that’s benched into the hillside. On the inward half, I liked the long, thin offset green of the par five 16th and the location of the home green on the downhill 18th, which sits behind the fast flowing Skalnatý stream.
It’s not that easy to get here from Bratislava by road but there are direct flight from Luton to nearby Poprad for UK golfers who might fancy some mountain-style golf in a different country. And if you play here then you really have to go the extra mile and also visit Gray Bear, which is only just over an hour’s drive from here.