One of only fourteen European courses listed in George Peper and Malcolm Campbell’s book True Links , the 9-hole layout at Golfclub Norderney dates back to the early 1920s, when it was first brought into play by local golfers.
The links is laid out on one of the East Frisian Islands which are located in the North Sea, separated from the coast of Lower Saxony by the Wadden Sea, so it requires a one-hour ferry journey to reach it from the port of Norddeich.
Three holes were established in 1922, five years before the club was founded, then the course was closed during World War II and was formed again by Christian Sibbersen in 1956. When the local airport was relocated in 1970, the club was able to add a practice area and driving range.
Currently configured as three par threes, three par fours and three par fives, with golfers never playing consecutive holes of the same par, the course extends to a modest 2,800 metres from the men’s tees and 2,503 metres from the women’s tees.
As holes are routed through big sand hills, players are expected to operate warning lights on the 2nd hole (which flash when golfers are in the dune valley and cannot be seen from the tee), and tee shots must not be played until the alarm is reset on exiting to the 3rd hole.
If authentic links golf on the continent of Europe is what you’re after then it will take a little bit of effort to get here but the endeavour will be worth it as Norderney is the real deal, playing firm and fast on a naturally sandy site in the best traditions of the game.