Top 100 Golf Courses doubles up in Germany
It has been a quiet year for German golf. Another Ryder Cup aspirant surfaced (little-heralded Gut Wissmanshof), which hardly qualifies as news, considering the fuddy-duddy campaigning of previous years. As always the German Golf Federation claims that the game is still growing and a handful of new courses have actually opened. Perhaps 2018 will be a bit more eventful? Certainly the pending rules changes have inflammatory potential. Plus, we're starting off the year with our own little routine of shaking up the status quo.
Even though our German Top 50 chart is showing no signs of losing steam, we've decided to take a brave leap into the unknown and created a second fifty. Data is hard to come by for those often relatively dark horses, but we've got to start somewhere and so here it is, our very first instalment of a German Top 100. Hopefully the added visibility will lead to an influx of reviews and rating data, not to speak of spirited discussions.
However, for the time being the focus should remain on the Top 50. The most spectacular move was that of the 27-hole complex on the island of Föhr, which leap-frogged a whopping twenty-two competitors to break into the Top 5. The long-term redesign effort at Golf Club Föhr led by Christian Althaus will soon enter its second decade and what has been produced so far is nothing short of stunning.
Equally impressive is the sometimes overlooked Winston Open, which rises by eighteen spots. While it probably won't topple its sister course, the #4 ranked Winston Links, it does sit at a well-deserved #13 now. Other big winners include Schloss Klingenburg (#38 to #18) and Hubbelrath East (#5 to #3), which enjoyed a favourable visit by Tom Doak recently.
Among the downward trending courses are a number of former leaders, who put too many eggs in the exclusivity basket and design-wise chose to tread in the footsteps of foreign archetypes. Stalwarts like Sporting Club Berlin, Gut Lärchenhof, Seddiner See, Frankfurter, St. Leon-Rot and Stuttgarter Solitude have been sliding down the table for a number of years. Köln at least is holding on to the Top Ten, first reports about their ongoing bunker renovation have been encouraging.
Entering the Top 50 for the first time are Tegernseer Bad Wiessee (#27) with its FC Bayern angle, the mountain course of Oberstaufen-Steibis (#29) and “the links in the woods” at Hofgut Georgenthal (#34). Debuting at #40 is Augsburg-Burgwalden, Bernhard Langer's home course, where he started his career as a caddie and at #43 you'll find the oddball track at Golf Club Varmert. The last, but most likely not the least of the new entries in the top half of the table is Hamburg Walddörfer at #46, fresh off a Christoph Städler renovation.
As always, if you don't agree with our rankings (and even if you do!), we would be most obliged if you contributed a review with your side of the story. You can also tell us off via email and expect a meaningful response, but none of our combined wisdom will then benefit the rest of our readers, so share your thoughts by clicking the "Respond to this article" link at the top and bottom of this page. As it stands, we do not want our rankings to end all discussions, but rather to facilitate them.
|1||Hamburger Falkenstein||No change|
|2||Budersand Sylt||No change|
|3||Hubbelrath (East)||Up 2|
|4||Winston (Links)||Down 1|
|5||Föhr (Rot & Gelb)||Up 22|
|6||Hardenberg (Niedersachsen)||Up 2|
|7||Wendelinus (A & C)||Up 6|
|11||Mittelrheinischer Bad Ems||Up 1|
|12||St Dionys||Down 6|
|13||Winston (Open)||Up 18|
|14||Sporting Club Berlin (Faldo)||Down 10|
|15||Sonnenalp (Oberallgäu)||Up 7|
|16||zur Vahr Bremen (Garlstedt)||Down 7|
|17||Bad Münstereifel||Up 6|
|18||Schloss Klingenburg||Up 20|
|19||Schloss Langenstein||Down 1|
|20||Gut Lärchenhof||Down 10|
|22||Sporting Club Berlin (Palmer)||Down 7|
|23||Seddiner See (Süd)||Down 9|
|25||Bad Neuenahr||Up 9|
|26||Berlin-Wannsee (Championship)||Down 6|
|27||Tegernseer Bad Wiessee||New entry|
|30||Hamburger Hittfeld||Down 6|
|31||St Leon-Rot (Rot)||Down 12|
|33||St Eurach||Down 3|
|34||Hofgut Georgenthal||New entry|
|35||St Leon-Rot (St Leon)||Down 10|
|36||Ostsee-Wittenbeck (Eikhof)||Down 7|
|37||Lübeck-Travemünder (Red & White)||Down 1|
|41||Schloss Wilkendorf (Sandy Lyle)||Down 9|
|45||Stuttgarter Solitude||Down 12|
|47||Dresden Elbflorenz||Down 3|
|49||Weimarer Land (Goethe)||No change|
|52||Bergisch Land||Down 4|
|54||GreenEagle (North)||Down 15|
|55||Bodensee Weissensberg||Down 10|
|57||Berliner - Motzener See||Down 17|
|59||Burg Zievel||New entry|
|60||Bad Orb||New entry|
|61||Schloss Maxlrain||New entry|
|63||Westfälischer Gütersloh||New entry|
|65||St Peter-Ording||New entry|
|71||Bad Waldsee (Old)||New entry|
|73||Münchener (B & C)||New entry|
|78||Bad Vilbel||New entry|
|79||Sonnenalp (Sonnenalp)||New entry|
|80||Bad Waldsee (New)||New entry|
|83||Garmisch Partenkirchen||New entry|
|85||Gut Häusern||New entry|
|89||Haxterpark (Haxterhöhe Links)||New entry|
|92||Hardenberg (Göttingen)||New entry|
|94||Maria Bildhausen||New entry|
|95||Balmer See (Blue)||New entry|
|96||Gut Kaden (B & C)||New entry|
|97||Bad Griesbach (Brunnwies)||New entry|
To view the complete detailed list of the Top 100 Golf Courses of Germany click the link.