Golf Club Varmert is a unique course that places high demands on club and shot selection and will hit back hard, if approached carelessly. But it also rewards good golf with spectacular results.
The property is very undulating and downright mountainous in places, so even the world's worst designer would be hard-pressed to keep excitement and quirk out of the picture. There is no shortage of drama and no hole that isn't loads of fun to figure out.
The short par four 2nd is a good example with its drive that couldn't be made any blinder short of building a wall in front of the tee box. Or how about the 12th, which will accept a gentle left-to-right slider of decent length, but what else in case you don't have that shot? Of course, there are also a number of "one solution problems", such as the appropriately named "Gate of Truth" at the 18th.
Despite the very robust and rough appearance, the playing surfaces are presented in a jaw-dropping condition. It all starts with the surprisingly good soil. While it may not be entirely sandy, it is absolutely ground-game worthy and can handle a severe battering of rain. And the immaculate and blazingly fast greens are an ingenious counterpoint to the in-your-face type of challenges of the long game. Not that there isn't any subtlety to the design: the fairway bunkers are a masterclass of restraint and yet so strategically placed that they punch well above their weight.
Unfortunately there are also a couple of exasperating walks to be stomached. The site is severe and holes 1 and 16-18 are disconnected from the rest. Luckily the architects haven't fallen into the trap of forcing returning nines onto the land, so the stretch between 2 and 15 is walkable with a little spike of clambering around the turn. Ultimately, the routing could keep Varmert off most bucket lists, but the fantastic greens and thrilling shot values can hold their own in some pretty lofty company.