I love this 27 hole complex, which sits on some good and some non-descript land, but you wouldn't know it, as it's extensively shaped. The Red Course leads out over what would typically be a tree-lined shute, but it is broken up by rugged bunkering and solitary trees to lead the player into a completely different landscape for the second shot. The approach to the green is hellish and if you're not careful you have wrecked your card after the first hole. The course then gradually becomes more and more linksy, the 4th and 5th are proper links holes and the 6th and 7th likely the picks from a visual point of view. The 8th and 9th are old, tree-lined holes and nowhere can you see the difference between old and new holes better than here.
The Yellow loop leads out exactly like the red - never change a winning formula! Only this time it's not the approach to the green that excites, but the huge double green with the 7th. It's followed by probably the best par 5 on the course with a great-looking tee shot and some cracking ground game options towards the green. While the overall character is still linksy, a few ponds do appear here and there, such as on the 4th with its alternate fairways. So it's tough to classify the course as a links, but I haven't played many links courses that are more fun than this one. There's also a great transition into tree-lined country at the 8th and again, the final hole is forgettable.
Now for the Blue course. It starts with another disappointing old hole, but the 2nd is already transitioning into better stuff and the 3rd is one of the quirkiest designs overall: a wicked, short par 4 with alternate fairways. Again we are now getting more and more linksy as we leave the trees behind and enter an area of real dunes, which are (sensibly) made the most of. This corner of the property may have the best terrain and it's sprinkled with old-school gimmicks like chocolate drop mounds and cross bunkers - but also some scattered trees, as we turn back towards the house. Again, ignore the final hole or rather look forward to the club replacing it - apparently Christian Althaus is already on it.
Five balls means worth flying in for a game, but you can't fly to the fantastic island of Föhr, unless your plane can land on grass. That alone is almost worth another half-ball and once they replace the remaining tired holes, I can't see how not to award it. Worth a week away to play? Already now, if you ask me. (UM)
Date: January 01, 2020