The 18-hole Lakes course is situated about 45 minutes to the south of Hamburg and it’s the central attraction at the 40-hole Schloss Lüdersburg Golf Resort, which is well known even beyond the borders of Germany. The resort also boasts an historic 70-room hotel that dates from the 17th Century and the “Old Course”, a typical parkland layout designed by the German golf architect Dr. Siegmann in 1985, is supplemented by a short 4-hole course.
The Lakes course opened in 1999 and it’s fashioned in an American “inland links style” with vast expanses of water, challenging greens and tight fairways. For a number of years, the Lakes course was rated among the ten longest courses in Germany, measuring around 6,800 yards from the tips. It's plenty long from the members' tees as well, since they are identical to the back tees on all but five holes.
It’s hard to score well around here in the summer months due to the rough. The knee-high reed grass punishes inaccurate shots and a bunch of water hazards play their part in losing additional balls. The 8th and 12th are considered the “signature holes” of the Lakes course. No. 8 (par four, 412 yards Hcp. 3) is where it’s possible to play a shortcut over the huge pond, but the carry is at least 190 yards. Players with less length can bypass the pond, however, it’s then significantly harder to make par. No. 12 (par five 560 yards Hcp. 4) is one of the most challenging and spectacular holes on the course. It’s necessary to hit a long blind drive over a small hilltop into a dogleg, followed by two long and precise shots to avoid a large water hazard and to reach the safety of the green in regulation.
The course maintenance at Schloss Lüdersburg is usually top notch all year round. It does suffer during wet periods though, due to the local clay soil, which takes time to drain.
I have been a club member for a year now and I am very satisfied. The course starts with a challenging second shot into the green having to master a large bunker and water to the right. In my mind it gives you a great impression of what to expect within the next 17 holes right away. Usually tee shots are fairly easy with large landing zones and forgiving roughs, but the second shots are very often extremely challenging but also offer a great risk & reward.
4 is very challenging with a blind tee shot for longer hitters and quite a long second shot into a narrow green.
10 is an absolute scoring hole for decent golfers as it gives a very reasonable chance to reach the dance floor in two, but will also quickly punish you with a ball into the water if you come up short or pull it.
Besides 8 and 12, hole 15 is another real signature hole in my eyes. The green is settled right behind an enormous bunker and a big pond to the left. With what looks to me very much like marsh everywhere this hole sometimes make me feel playing in Georgia or South Carolina along the coast.
17 is also a real tester. Fairly long tee shot requiring at least a 5 iron even for better players to carry hazards.
What makes this course so special too me though is the setting. You won´t hear anything around since there are no big streets or city's around. A few "ponds" are really that big I have no trouble calling them lakes. And while it carries some identity of a links course it still combines elements from other different sort of golf courses. Either way water is the characterizing element of this golf course.
On the downsize the course does have the tendency to become soaking wet if it rains and playing extremely soft which plays the course a lot longer. That has to do with the soil up there being very loamy due to the proximity to the big Elbe river. Only thing that really annoys me at times is that the tee boxes are not really flat through out the course forcing me to find a good spot every time I tee up. Also some might say that the rough could be a little higher here and there to make the course more challenging. Sometimes you feel like you have a better lie in the "rough" having the ball teed up slightly especially if you have a 3 or 4 iron or a hybrid in you hands.
All in all a good and well maintained golf course in a fabulous setting. I think it´s very unique and unusual golf course for Germany (in a good way).
Also just to mention: club house is fabulous (very British style) and large training facilities. The other course (old course) is also great, but with a very different setting as it plays much more like a parkland course.
Jack Nicklaus Design have created a nice to play and visually challenging course. Many water hazards are in play and the rough is punishing too. The course is very untypical for Germany and can not hide its American influences. The entire resort is well maintained and professionally run. Also the second course, the Oldcourse is highly recommended.