Le Kempferhof is set close to Strasbourg in a delightful 85-hecatre wooded estate. A nineteenth century hunting lodge doubles up as the clubhouse and a charming small hotel which is themed around the cinema, specifically movie legends.
The Kempferhof is one of the toughest challenges in the Alsace region. Robert von Hagge designed the course and it opened for play in 1989. Le Kempferhof is the realisation of a dream of three Alsatian entrepreneurs who felt that the Strasbourg region needed a quality course.
This is not a course for the high handicapper with plenty of water and bold, almost haphazard bunkering. The gently rolling fairways provide for easy walking but you will need a reasonable degree of accuracy from the tee along these tree-lined fairways. If you are seeking an exciting and supremely challenging round of golf then Le Kempferhof will certainly tick both boxes.
The following edited extract is from France’s Most Beautiful Courses by Jean-François Lefevre:
“Arriving via the Plobsheim road to the Kempferhof golf course one has an immediate presentiment of the fate awaiting the golf balls. From the brackish water of the water hazards guarding the shared green of the 9th and 18th holes, it is clear that the architect has stayed true to form and not skimped on the traps for the golfers.
It is a game of cat and mouse, with which the aficionados of the Seignosse, Les Bordes and Courson courses, von Hagge’s other creations, will be familiar. He has a predilection for undulating fairways, huge bunkers and island greens. They are his signature. One is never likely to get bored on his courses. The player must have technique and not a little luck to pull off a good scorecard.”
Kemperhof is a Robert von Haggedesign located near Strasbourg. Not a long course but it is fairly tight with water coming into play on 10-12 holes. Interesting layout with 5 par 5s and 5 par 3s.
The first hole is welcoming. Favor the right as there is a large fairway bunker running down the left side from about 150 yards almost to the green. The 2nd is a tight par 5, but two good shots can get you home to this well protected green. Not sure how it earned the number one handicap designation. Three is a birdie oppty. If your natural ball flight is right to left, you need to be left of center as there are some large mature trees protecting the right side. The 4th, a short par 5, is also a birdie oppty. You will have to earn it as there is a water hazard protecting the green. A great drive can lead to a conundrum. Should I stay or should I go? The 7th is a good par 3, with water front and right. The 8th is another good risk reward par 5 tight with a water hazard short and right of the green. The front closes out with a Florida par 3.
The back starts off with a short par 4 dogleg right bunkers on the outside elbow, yet it is the number two handicap hole. Big hitters can cut the corner, but I do not see much upside with that approach. Better to lay up to you preferred scoring wedge distance. The 11th is another reachable par 5 with water keeping you honest on the right side. The 12th is a dogleg right with water right on the approach. You can drive through the fairway, so either cut some of the corner or lay up a wee bit. The 13th is not that memorable, other than the BAB on your approach that runs down the right side. The 14th is probably the strongest par three, long and ALL carry over the water hazard. The 15th, while not quite the longest par five is certainly the most open. Not real strong finishing holes, 16 is a short straight par 4 and 17 mid-length par 3. The 18th is a decent finishing hole. It parallels the 9th and on the tee, and even a little bit on your approach, the 9th green may look like the principal target. Trust me, the green is left.
A pleasant surprise that I would play again.
I played Kempferhof many years ago and did not particularly enjoy it. I do not like courses where woods are bounded by red posts and become lateral water hazards.
Having just played it again, I enjoyed it more this time although it is still a course with a lot of water hazards and due to its situation tends to be wet and players take huge escalopes of divots.
It is a good layout with lots of variety. I particularly liked the par 5s which are goood holes demading discipline and good course management. The par 3’s are varied and one straight over water will not be appreciated by high handicappers.
The greens were not in great shape with many patches and bumps. The clubhouse has been renovted and seemed to have some atmosphere which it did not ion my last visit.
Apparently there is a new owenr who intends to invest in the course and bring it up to scratch so wait and see.
Played this course twice during a short Alsace stay. First of all, there can't be any discussion here, this is a wonderful place in the middle of a lush green park with birds all around commenting your shots with all kinds of whistles.
The course architecture is great with almost every hole on the front nine and a lot of holes on the back nine being little gems that you will remember. My personal favorite is the short par four no. 10. A dogleg right with bunkers luring left. An apparent birdie chance on the card that can turn into a wild number if played carelessly. Also of utter beauty is the short par three no. 7 played out of the forest toward the estate with plenty of water all around. It has the advantage over the par three no. 9 that you will not be observed by the loungers on the terrace of the clubhouse. But then again, no one will clap if you hit a good shot...
The course played very soft due to recent rainfall which was all right for the fairways but a bit a pity for the greens. I am sure they will dry up during summer, though. The sand in the bunkers is very nice and fluffy, it's a shame a lot of players neglect caretaking after theirs visits. Also, there are so many bunkers on this von Hagge design (and they are partly immense) that the green keeping team seems to have a hard time keeping up with maintenance. But that is just a small blemish on an otherwise fantastic course. Go and play it!
Things are moving fast at the Kempferhof Golf Resort ! New Owner (Leading International Company - private owned). Course : partially reniewed (lacs & riverbanks ... whaou fantastic design) - Cleaned Forests - Sprinklersystems to improve faiways & greens - Gourmet Restaurant - just a perfect Team to dynimize this demanding Golf Course ! Pro-Team and Trackman Gof Academy (Laurent Cabanne) & more projects to come (Hotel - Driving Range - Chipping area) Must play 2-3 days !