Royal Marianske Lazne - Czech Republic

Royal Marianske Lázne Golf Club,
353 01 Marianske Lázne,
Czech Republic


  • +420 354 624 300

  • Tereza Klečková

  • Robert Doig, Ivan Rais

  • Oldřich Nechanický

Marianske Lázne is the second largest spa town in the Czech Republic with some forty mineral springs within the town itself. The town literally sprung up in the late 19th century and attracted those seeking wellbeing from the healing waters. By the beginning of the 20th century, Marianske Lázne was one of the most important spa centres in Europe and naturally, the town required a golf course to complement the physical therapy.

His Majesty King Edward VII conducted the opening of the original nine-hole Marianske Lazne golf course in 1905 and a memorial plaque remains near the 1st tee. According to news reports of bygone times, an English professional then at Karlovy Vary originally designed the golf course but we’ve also read that a Scottish professional called Robert Doig from Musselburgh built the original nine-holer.

A second nine holes were added in 1923 on land to the north – holes 7 to 15 – then two very short par three holes at the old 2nd and 10th were replaced by Ivan Rais in 1978, these new holes becoming the current 2nd and 3rd. If you know the definitive history, we’d love to hear from you. One thing we do know for sure is that Marianske Lázne is the second oldest club in the Czech Republic, Karlovy Vary being the eldest.

Golf in the former Czechoslovakia almost died a death during the socialist era but the course was brought back to life in the late 1980s and Marianske Lazne has never looked back having played host to numerous important championships.

The layout is routed across an upland plain, which is perched at more than 700 metres above sea level. The turf was once reported to have “healthful radioactive emanations and ground as soft as Persian carpets”. Pine trees surround the Marianske Lazne property and this majestic parkland course will test your driving skills and flatter your distances in this altitude. You’ll also need accurate iron play to find the sanctuary of the small and well-protected greens.

In 1994, the inaugural Czech Open was hosted at Mariánské Láznì. This was the first European Tour sanctioned golf event to be played on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain which was lifted when the Cold War ended after the 1991 Soviet collapse. The Czech Open remained at Mariánské Láznì for three years and was won by Per-Ulrik Johansson (1994), Peter Teravainen (1995) and Jonathan Lomas (1996). The event moved to the Karlštejn Golf Resort near Prague in 1997.

2003 heralded perhaps the proudest moment in Marianske Lazne’s long history when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II granted the golf club royal patronage. Royal Marianske Lazne Golf Club – hip hip hooray!

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Description: Pine trees surround the Royal Marianske Lazne property and this majestic parkland golf course will test your driving skills and flatter your distances... Rating: 7.5 out of 10 Reviews: 4
TaylorMade
Jim McCann

Originally founded as Marienbad Golf Club in 1905, Marianske Lazne received its royal prefix in 2003, becoming only the second club in Europe (after Royal Malta) to have this honour bestowed on it. Of course, Royal Homburger has since gained its royal title in 2013 but it’s still a rather exclusive little regal family of European clubs which is endorsed by the British monarchy.

In the book Golf’s Royal Clubs by Scott Macpherson, the author tells how the course managed to survive after World War II:

“Around 1953, a communist campaign Royal Marianske Lazne Golf Course - Photo courtesy Brian Ward began against ‘bourgeoisie decadence’ and golf came under direct attack. Many courses around the country were put to the plough… Marianske Lazne’s distance from Prague meant it was not in the first wave of courses destroyed and ultimately it was saved due to the tenacity of its members.

In the Czechoslovak Republic all things Russian were considered sacred by official state propaganda. With this in mind, a tournament of ‘Czechoslovak-Russian friendship’ was organized. The clubhouse and course were quickly decorated with red banners and as many Russians as possible were invited to the event.

When the squad of communist workers turned up with heavy machinery to destroy the nest of capitalism, locals exclaimed: ‘How dare you disrupt a festivity that honors our beloved Russian Communist brothers?’ Given that at that time an anti-Soviet remark could be treated as treason and result in the offender being jailed for 20 years the farm workers retreated.”

In more recent times, the St Andrews Trophy and Jacques Léglise Trophy were contested at the club in 2006, with both the GB&I teams overcoming their continental opponents. There’s certainly a wonderful feel to playing here, starting with the clubhouse, which is a very atmospheric old building adorned with many photos and other artefacts Royal Marianske Lazne Golf Course - Photo courtesy of Brian Ward relating to the club’s royal heritage.

To be honest, the Old Course was far better than I’d expected as I thought in advance that it would be really tight but it never felt too restricted, even though most of the holes are tree-lined on both sides of the fairway. A lack of fairway irrigation is something that needs to be looked at, right enough, but overall conditioning was still really good.

A nice touch is a plaque placed next to the long coffin bunker beside the green of the old 2nd hole, which was in play from 1905 to 1978, until it was one of two holes replaced by the club. It’s important to give prominence to things like that, reminding visitors of a course’s historical provenance – if only more clubs would give some thought to informing golfers about course changes that have been made in the past.

Favourite holes here were the downhill 2nd (played to a green that sits behind a stream; the left doglegged 7th (where the approach shot is played uphill to the green); and back-to-back short par fours at the 14th and 15th (though there’s probably one bunker too many in front of the green on #15). There’s also a strong finish to the round with the par five penultimate hole rated stoke index 5 and the finishing hole rated stroke index 9.

Well worth a visit in conjunction with a game at one or more of the other clubs in the vicinity.

Jim McCann

September 06, 2019
6 / 10
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Jiri Huml
Located in the south of the Czech western Spa-/Golf-corner, it is the oldest golf course in the Czech Republic with rich tradition, opened in 1905 by HM King Edward VII. In 2003 it has been granted the “Royal” title by HM Queen Elisabeth II, as one of the few courses outside Great Brittan. One of the first winners of the Czechoslavak Open played over this course was also Henry Cotton (in 1937). It is old parkland design with rolling fairways, most of them lined by trees and with intensive bunkering, but it is still a challenging layout for modern golf. It served multiple times as European Tour venue. The season here is bit shorter due to high altitude and location on the plateau of Slavkovsky Forrest almost 800 meters above the sea. Highlights are the short par 4 6th, dogleg left with the second semi-blind shot played steep uphill, long par 4 10th with the tree-lined bottleneck shaped fairway and short par 5 11th, a classic risk/reward hole, where the decision has to be taken on the tee. This course is in particular a great golf experience on sunny day late in September or early October, when the trees turn into various colours, contrasting with the green fairways.
January 20, 2016
10 / 10
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Maciej Nachtlicht
I have played Marianske Lazne on 24 July 2015 and it definitely is not the best course in the Czech Republic. I could name Karlstejn, Konopiste, Benesov, Ypsilon, Ostravice and Celadna as the likely candidates. Marianske Lazne is not a challenging course - once you've played quality courses worldwide. There are maybe 2 or 3 interesting holes, the rest is just wide fairways, some bunkers, easy large greens. The greens were in an impeccable condition, while the fairways were not.
July 25, 2015
4 / 10
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Stuart GC Manager
July 29, 2015
RGCML is over 100 years old so you can not compare it with other golf courses with modern design.We are in the proces of modernising the course but do not want to loose the old course feel as that is what we are known for. I agree that from a good players point of view the course is not as challenging as some modern courses but it is a pleasent golfing experience and a beautiful golf course. As part of the course modernisation we will be installing fairway irrigation, something we currently dont have which is why fairways are very dry this year. Having the 2 of the hottest months on record also adds to the dry conditions. We have been voted best golf course in Czech Republic for the last 2 years, something that is voted for by Czech golfers and visiters to our club. Stuart - RGCML Course manager.
Tony
By far the best course we played in Czech Republic. Oldest course in CR and easily the prettiest and best conditioned we played. We were very dissapointed with other courses such as Casa Serena and Albertross but were pleasently surprised with this little gem. It had the feel of courses such as The Berkshire or Swinley Forest in the uk and was in great condition. Beautiful fairways and greens that were fast and true. A great day out with beautiful surroundings and great service. A must see.
February 24, 2015
10 / 10
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DAVID LAIRD
March 14, 2015
I have played many times and many courses in Czech Republic and Marianske Lazne is not the best. It is old fashioned and short and not always in the best of condition.Karlovy Vary is my favourite, it's in good nick and a very tight and interesting course. Pilsen is many people's favourite as it has real variation and a really good track. Albatross is good if rather american style. There is also a small club near Slany just north of Prague which used to be 9 holes but is now 18. Beautiful condition and has even a links feel to it. Well worth a visit.
tony
March 19, 2015
I dont think you have played in Marianske Lazne in the last few years David Laird. The condition has greatly improved and RGCML been voted best golf course in the Czech Republic for the last 2 years running. That is voted for by golfers throughout Czech Republic so they all cant be wrong can they. Many improvements are planned over the next few years to bring the golf course up to date. This includes lengthening of the course and installation of new irrigation and drainage systems. I agree that in the past the course has not been up to scratch but I think you should take another look before making negative comments.