If you're a franchise player of football giant FC Bayern, you're likely to live in Bad Wiessee next to your boss Uli Hoeneß, who has held every position in the club from striker to chairman of the board. And if you're in with Uli, you might just play your golf at the Tegernseer club, which presides over the like-named lake in the Bavarian Prealps. It's one of the more stunning (and expensive!) locations on this planet, but the golf club makes surprisingly little of its exclusivity. The stated motto is "live and let live", so even if you're no one in particular, you can play for a reasonable greenfee. Just follow three simple rules: keep a low profile, avoid peek times and don't get caught for tax evasion (although reports indicate that jail couldn't keep Uli Hoeneß from roaming the fairways at Bad Wiessee).
While first beginnings date back to 1958, the site is not overgrown with trees, so there are some great views, even a few of the otherwise elusive lake. But that's not all the place has to offer; the first 8 holes are a master class in routing and represent some of the very best golf to be had in Southern Germany. The property is certainly difficult enough to warrant excess walking between holes, but Donald Harradine managed to tie everything together admirably. Unfortunately, after eight holes he ran out of land and slapped a tiny par 3 onto a ledge to at least complete the front nine.
The back nine is a patchy mixture of connector holes, quirky gems, panoramic pleasers and claustrophobic craziness. It's worth playing, but occasionally over the top and certainly not flowing as organically as the front. The common denominator of both loops is that they are quite difficult and a little over watered. Tegernseer could be a completely different beast, if it played firm and fast. The terrain is perfectly suited to inject some ground game spice into the round, although the 13th hole might be rendered unplayable.It's hard to do this design justice, because the first eight holes are clearly from the top drawer. Whereas others like #13 and #18 are bordering on the absurd and copious amounts of creativity were saved at #10, #12 and #15. The well behind green 13 should certainly be used to replenish water supplies before tackling the climb up to the spectacular 14th tee. At the very least it can be said that, in contrast to some of the more "well-rounded" courses in the region, no one has ever fallen asleep here!
This course is vastly over-rated. It is a mountain course, so inevitably there are lots of uphill approach shots. The problem is that there is no yardage/birdie book, no plan of the hole on the tee box and the carts don’t have GPS. Holes 1,2,4,7,8 and 13 are uphill approaches. You have no idea of what dangers there are around the green. Basically it is just hit and hope. The sole saving grace is that the pin location is colour coded by the flag.
Similar problem on 10, as the green is hidden by a large bunker short of the green.
On 1, 11 and 18 you just have to guess where to aim. The lady in the proshop warned me which flag to go for on 1. On 11 I aimed for the wrong fairway. I couldn’t visualise the dogleg on 18 at all. A hidden lake was waiting if you went a little long through the corner.
As it is a mountain course, you expect some compromises. 13 is a case in point. The fact that it is a 433m par 5 from the back tees and index 2 to boot, says it all. One of the narrowest fairways I can remember. A hill on the left. OB on the right. I now realise you have to play it short iron, long iron, short iron. Not everybody’s cup of tea. 3 lost balls for me.
The lack of guidance meant I splashed my approach shot on 15 and my tee shot on 17 into lakes that weren’t visible.
The course condition was only average.
Slowest greens I have played in years. Can’t have been more than 6.
A frustrating day all around.
You would really need to play with a member or have your own GPS device. My laser didn’t cut it.