Instigated in 1903, Lucerne Golf Club is the third oldest club in Switzerland. A 9-hole layout was brought into play to largely provide a recreational amenity for visiting British and American tourists but the course reverted to agricultural use during World War I. It re-emerged when hostilities ceased and was then expanded to eighteen holes in 1925.
The Second World War intervened during the early 1940s but the course made a remarkable recovery and has continued to thrive in the years since it re-opened after the war. Today, Lucerne stretches to just over 6,000 metres from the back tees on a property extending to just over 100 acres. Par is set at 72 and fairways are mainly laid out on a northeast-southwest axis.
Highlight holes include short par fours at the opening two holes to help ease you into your round; testing back-to-back par fives at the 4th and 5th; the tough, right doglegging par five 12th (rated stroke index 2); and the shortest of the par threes at the 124-metre 17th, where trees surround the rear portion of the raised green.
Lucerne is a beautifully maintained members course with a sense of history around the atmospheric old clubhouse.
The course itself is short with plenty of elevation changes. The imposing established trees perhaps make the course appear tighter than it actually is. The course‘s main defence are small greens, requiring precise approaches.
Highlights holes for our group were the par-3 7th, a longish water carry to a green tucked into a slope, and the 18th, which has a blind tee shot over an alp, whereby you crest the hill in the hope of seeing your ball on the fairway among the views of the clubhouse, lakes and mountains.
The 17th is rightly regarded as a card wrecker. It is an impossibly penal par-3, the semi-blind green some 20 metres above the tee surrounded by heavily wooded areas. It’s pretty much the green, the fringe or bust.
The clubhouse restaurant is well known for its quality. It would be downright rude to refuse a post-round drink and snack in the lovely old clubhouse.