It’s a lager-drinking, golf-mad guy’s daydream to play on an exciting golf course just outside the city famous for bringing pilsener to the world back in 1842. Imagine sitting in the 19th after completing a round and having your thirst quenched by an unlimited supply of that light, hoppy, golden yellow nectar from the nearby brewery!
Well, dream no more, as the Greensgate course, formerly known as Golf Park Plzen, located on the outskirts of the western Bohemian city brings the golfing half of that wish to reality! The challenging, par 72, Christoph Städler-designed course was opened in 2004 and it has already established a reputation as one of the toughest tracks in the Czech Republic.
Laid out in a wooded valley either side of the Klabava River, with a few holes routed on the floodplain of the river and one (the signature hole 11th) sited beside the beautiful Lake Ejpovice, Pilsen is one of the best additions to the country’s portfolio of modern golf courses.
The round begins on higher ground with a couple of gentle par fours before the next three are played lower down beside the river on the opposite bank. The elevation rises again on that side of the valley from the 6th hole until back-to-back par fives are tackled around the turn at holes 9 and 10.
Now, at the furthest point from the clubhouse, the 118-yard signature hole – the 11th - is played from a slightly elevated tee to an island green on the lake. It’s a stunning location for a golf hole and is recognized as one of the best in the country.
Turning for home, there are another two very good par threes to be negotiated (at 13 and 15) but the pick of the homeward holes is the downhill, 361-yard par four 16th played back alongside the river before crossing to finish with the last two holes on the clubhouse side.
An excellent golf course, which was in fantastic condition when I played. I don't think there is one weak hole, and this course is one of my favourites in Europe. The fairways and greens are just in such good condition, the layout is excellent and the views are superb.