Golf at Kitzbűhel got under way in 1955 on a 9-hole layout designed by Harry Colt’s associate John Morrison. American actor and comedian Bob Hope is said to have taken part in the opening ceremony amongst a gallery of similarly golf-minded celebrities.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of suitable equipment (for instance, the mowing machine that had been ordered was nowhere to be seen) the fairways were not in good shape for the inauguration so, with balls disappearing into knee-high grass, Hope and the other invited guests quickly beat a retreat to the clubhouse.
The club’s first head pro was Englishman James Baker (thought to have been the same person who taught the Romanians to play golf at Bucharest Country Club between the wars) and the first club competition was held on 14th July 1956 with Prince Habib Sursock of Cairo pipping a couple of New Yorkers to the first prize.
To mark Kitzbűhel’s 50th anniversary, Count Max Lamberg redesigned the layout in 2005.
Today, the layout measures 2,80 5metres from the back tees, playing to a par of 35. The star of the show is the 461-metre 8th which doglegs left to an island green next to the clubhouse. Don’t relax too much if you manage to keep your ball dry at this hole as the par three 9th which follows plays over the same body of water to a peninsula home green.