In 1979 Bernhard von Limburger designed his last course near Wiesbaden for the Golf Club Main-Taunus. At this point he had worked on more than a third of all German courses in existence. This certainly makes him the most productive German golf architect ever, but he also kept his quality level consistent and never delivered a poor product. At Main-Taunus he was at the height of his powers, crafting a very respectable course out of practically nothing. The site would be dull anywhere in the world, but here it sits in an especially depressing area of industrialised agriculture. Not only did “Limmy” conceal the ugliness, he also did it without simply tree-lining every fairway and still managed to bring about an atmosphere of intimacy and elegance. This is one course that does not mesh well with its surroundings and is the better for it.
Despite the absence of either natural features or a big budget, the German master architect succeeded in creating a challenging and interesting track with hardly any repetitive holes. While it would not be confused with an English parkland sensation a la Colt’s Thorndon Park, it is very much in that tradition and style. Working under the general constraints that von Limburger faced it is probably the best course that could have been built here.
The planting of trees is not universally popular among golfers, but often the only economical and effective measure to structure a routing. Consequently, trees do play a large role here, but never in a confining way. They are used to create strategic playing angles and to frame transition zones between the holes.
Some nicely grown in water hazards and a few undulations make for a diversified long game, whereas the distinctive green complexes with their classically shaped approaches and bunkers test the short game. Compared to the greenside bunkers, the fairway traps are weak and look like an afterthought. It may be an improvement to either fill them in or turn them into grass bunkers.
After modest beginnings this club has become a quality venue and is a testament to how skills can compensate for limited resources.
November 25, 2013