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​Top 100 Golf Courses revises its Alpine rankings 2020

14 February, 2020
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Top 100 Golf Courses revises its Alpine rankings 2020

We re-ranked our Top 100 Golf Courses in Continental Europe a month ago and since then we’ve been updating the various national listings and issuing news releases to coincide with these chart revisions. This Alpine edition for Austria and Switzerland is the ninth and final publication in a sequence that has taken us all the way from the Mediterranean Sea in the south to the Atlantic Ocean in the north.


Austria

There are only two non-movers in our newly extended Top 40 for Austria and one of them is the Championship course at Adamstal, which remains our national #1 layout. Located in a gorgeous mountain setting near the small town of Ramau, an hour’s drive southwest of Vienna, the course is a mid-1990s production developed by former rally driver Franz Wittmann, with architect Jeff Howes extending the original 9-hole set-up to form the 18-hole Championship course then adding another 9-hole track called the Wallerbach.

Adamstal - Championship course

Reviewers last year were fulsome in their praise for Adamstal: “the sites for both courses are quite dramatic. The mountainous terrain has been heavily massaged to produce golf holes threaded through dense forest and across, up and down some severe slopes… it is a truly glorious course to see and to play… top scenic environment and the most challenging golf course.”

Moving higher up the Austrian Top 10 tier, the course at Golfclub Am Mondsee rises four places to No.6. Laid out on former farmland next to Lake Mondsee in the mid-1980s, this 18-hole Max Graf Lamberg design is configured as two returning nines, each of which concludes with a curving par five hole on either side of the imposing Drachensee Lake inlet.

Mondsee

The biggest climb in our Austrian chart is made by the course at Dachstein-Tauern Golf & Country Club near the Schladming ski resort in Styria (up nine to #10), reversing a fall of seven places when we last updated the European national listings two years ago. CEO Franz Wittmann Junior, son of the Adamstal owner, is working hard to raise the all-round standards at the club and the course has come on leaps and bounds in recent times.

Dachstein-Tauern

The East course at Colony Club Gutenhof lies in the shadow of the West course at this fabulous 36-hole golf facility on the southern outskirts of the capital but the gap between the two layouts has closed considerably with the East advancing seven spots to No.14 in our new Austrian standings. Co-designed by Kurt Rossknecht and Hans Erhardt, these parkland tracks opened for play in 1990 and both have challenged and entertained in equal measure during the last thirty years of operation.

The course at Golfclub Schloss Frauenthal is the highest of our ten new entries, debuting ahead of the other newcomers at #20. Our Alpine correspondent François Gacougnolle was here a few months ago and had this to say about the layout: “this course is definitely not trying to compete in the ‘monster’ category and it will probably never attract professionals… since length off the tee was never going to be the real issue here, the creators of Frauenthal used just about everything else you can find on a golf course to make your par a little more challenging to score.”

Schloss Frauenthal


Rank/


To view the complete detailed list of the Top 40 Golf Courses of Austria click the link.


Switzerland

The top three courses in Switzerland remain in the same position so that means the 18-hole layout at Golf-Club Domaine Imperial is still the national No. 1. It’s a rare Pete Dye European design, inaugurated by Seve Ballesteros in the summer of 1987, located close to Lake Geneva, less than ten kilometres from the French border. Mentioned last year in a review as a “delightfully comfortable” place to visit, the course was also described in the same post as “clearly where ‘the 1%’ play their golf”.

Domaine Imperial

Only four courses move forward in the newly expanded Swiss chart and the biggest jump is made by the new millennium design of Jeremy Pern at Golf Club Vuissens, which is now three places better off at No. 4. It’s a personal favourite of our man in the Alps, François Gacougnolle, who regards it as “not easy, physically and mentally tiring, but a lot of fun!” In his opinion, “its only weakness is that it is far from just about everywhere, and not easy to find.” Sometimes, going the extra kilometre or two can bring its own rewards.

Vuissens

The first of five chart debutants arrives at No. 15 and it’s the course at Golfclub Breitenloo, situated eight kilometres northeast of Zurich airport in a hilly area between Kloten and Wintherthur, with lovely views of the Glat Valley and the Alps. The club was founded in 1964 and both Donald Harradine and Frank Pennink are credited with involvement in the initial development of the club’s 18-hole course before Kurt Rossknecht carried out a major renovation early in the new millennium.

Breitenloo


Rank/ Course Move
1 Domaine Imperial No change
2 Geneva No change
3 Lausanne No change
4 Vuissens Up 3
5 Crans-sur-Sierre (Severiano Ballesteros) No change
6 Ascona Down 2
7 Gerre Losone Down 1
8 Bad Ragaz No change
9 Andermatt Swiss Alps Up 1
10 Sempachersee (Woodside) Down 1
11 Zürich No change
12 Schönenberg No change
13 Basel Up 1
14 Wylihof Down 1
15 Breitenloo New entry
16 Blumisberg Down 1
17 Bonmont G&CC Down 1
18 Lugano Down 1
19 Engadin (Zuoz-Madulain) Up 1
20 Montreux GC Down 2
21 Lucerne New entry
22 Les Bois Down 3
23 Lavaux New entry
24 Hittnau- Zürich New entry
25 Golfpark Zürichsee New entry


To view the complete detailed list of the Top 25 Golf Courses of Switzerland click the link.

Jim McCann
Editor
Top 100 Golf Courses

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