The small market town of Kácov lies in the Kutná Hota District of the Central Bohemian Region and its famed Hubertus brewery annually produces millions of litres of beer, using water from the Sázava river which flows by a matter of metres from the premises.
On the other side of the river, less than a 5-minute drive away, you’ll find the Panorama Golf Resort and this modern golf facility opened for business in 2017 with three 9-hole layouts – Meadows, Forest and River – set out on a rather hilly property around a very modern clubhouse.
The project design was undertaken by local architect Libor Jirásek and Rainer Preissmann from Germany, both of whom are members of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, and the twenty-seven holes occupy a major part of a substantial 350-acre site.
Constructed by HB Golf Ltd, a company that has built courses in other countries such as Belgium, Poland, Egypt and Morocco, the three 9-hole loops return to a stylish clubhouse which incorporates ten double rooms and four suites, with future plans in place for a hotel, spa and congress centre.
Close to the clubhouse, members and visitors can make use of the chipping and putting green, training bunkers and a driving range that consists of ten covered and thirty-five open teeing grounds on grass, along with a bespoke fitting centre.
The Meadows and Forest nines comprise the premier 18-hole combination at Panorama, extending to 6,381 metres from the back tees, while the River nine offers golfers the opportunity to play a shorter, slightly more forgiving circuit.
The Meadow and Forest ensemble is certainly the most challenging 18-hole course at Panorama, though only the opening and closing holes on each nine are set close to the clubhouse, as holes #2 to #7 on the Meadows and holes #2 to #8 on the Forest stretch out across some seriously undulating, wooded terrain in separate compartments to the east of the property.
The best hole on the Meadows is the 220-metre 6th – an heroic downhill par three which plays across a deep gully to a back-to-front sloping putting surface where only an accurately struck tee shot will hit and hold the green – and it’s followed by a really tough par four (rated stroke index 2) that veers right and up to a heavily sand-protected green
The Forest nine, if anything, is even stronger. I loved the uphill 3rd, bending right and up to a two-tiered green via a split fairway that sits on two levels. The very narrow tree-lined playing corridor for the 6th plunges sharply downhill to the green and after this spectacular hole precedes the par three drop shot 7th, awarded “Hole of the Year” by one of the leading golf magazines in 2018.
Don’t dismiss the River nine out of hand as only four of the holes (#2 to #5) are laid out on less interesting ground along the floodplain of the river. The 1st and 9th are short par fours connecting these low lying fairways to the clubhouse area, whilst the par five 6th is probably the most interesting hole, doglegging slightly left and narrowing towards a raised green.
Panorama has only been in operation for three seasons now and the club is slowly building year on year as membership numbers increase and word of mouth brings more golfers to see what all the fuss is about. The course is great fun to play, complemented by a clubhouse restaurant offering terrific Czech cuisine and locally brewed Hubertus 12˚ unfiltered beer.