One day after my experiences at Eichenheim I wanted to see the other courses of Kitzbühel as well. I brought all my gear to Austria and was ready to play some great courses in the region. Today was on the agenda: The Golf Club Schwarzsee Kitzbühel, merely 5 minutes outside of the Kitzbühel village center. It is actually situated near the Schwarzsee (engl. black lake), at the foot of the famous Hahnenkamm mountain with views of the equally famous Kitzbühler Horn, the other big mountain to the east side of Kitzbühel.
Like the day before I showed up with no scheduled tee time and asked if it was possible to play a round. The ladies have been very friendly and apparently it wasn’t much traffic on the course, so I got my immediate tee time and played on my own.
The weather forecast for the whole week had been horrendous, there hasn’t been significant sunshine over the last days and of course it drizzled when I teed off. Obviously a reason for so few people out on the course.
In the beginning the course presented itself as a fairly flat piece of land, offered very wide fairways and seemed not at all as interesting as the course I played the day before. Especially because I very quickly realized that the routing, i.e. the paths from the green to the next tee, was very odd. Sometimes the tee boxes were pretty much in the driving area of other holes, sometimes you had to walk back half the hole to get to the next tee. In addition the first 7 holes are either exposed to a decent high traffic road or the railway on the other side. So it wasn’t a remote, calm and detached golf experience in the beginning.
This all changes on the back nine. Holes 1 to 5 are flat like a pancake, number 6 has a small ditch but nothing really noteworthy, 7 and 8 very flat again. Don’t get me wrong, flat is not the same as boring, but compared to Eichenheim where I almost couldn’t stand anymore after 12 holes due to the severe elevation changes, this course in contrast presented itself as something more like the usual suspects in Central Europe. And this is no critique either, the holes haven’t been overly exciting but I had much fun to play. Especially because my driver was really hot and I had fun with my GPS watch to measure my distances.
In other terms I played very well and enjoyed the day. Hole 9 was when I reached the group in front of me, a couple who apparently just picked up the game a little time ago. I didn’t mind as I realized that in front of them they had 2 equally slow foursomes of pensioners with their carts. So thereafter I had to wait for almost every long shot to make. Usually I compensate this by playing 2 balls, especially when nobody is behind me who could be bothered. But in this case it was a bit unfortunate that it started to rain again, heavy rain that is.
Hole 9 is an interesting par-3 from almost the clubhouse terrace over water to a lower green at 170 meters from yellow. The 10 is a nice par-4 with water left and in front of the green. 11 and 12 are quite straight forward but with the 13 the terrain became more undulating and hilly. It plays like a pretty long par-5 with a hill to climb for the second and a subsequent slope for the third shot. The tee box for the 14th is high up for a par-3 which plays to a downhill green secured by water. And what do you do when you haven’t played the course yet and have no idea what club to take? Exactly, you take the whole trolley with you everywhere you go—just in case. Especially because it was raining cats and dogs by then and thankfully I had an umbrella attached to the trolley. In other words I got out of breath, got wet like a fish and started to feel my poor legs again (after another strenuous Streif-downhill-hike in the morning). I went off with a par, walked to the next tee box just when I understood that the next 2 or 3 holes went nowhere else than uphill…
The 15 killed me, uphill, huge fairway and dogleg left. No need to tell you that I hit my shot more to the right that I could enjoy the steep undulation a bit longer… I managed to score a bogey, got rid of my rain jacket, braved the elements in my t-shirt from now on and made my way to the 16th tee box, uphill, severely uphill.
Hole no 16 is a downhill par-3 with a forced carry ravine and no-go zones to the left and to the right of the green. My first ball went left, the provisional went right. I eventually found the second and carded down a 6.
The next hole, the 17th featured an interesting blind tee shot over a very skewed and split fairway and opens to a green secured by a number of bunkers. Almost done with this course I reached one of the weirdest holes I’ve ever played (probably only topped by the 18th at G&LC Kronberg). It’s a par-5 from an elevated tee down to a fairly wide fairway. Once you stand by the ball ready for the second shot, you realize there is no green at the end of the fairway, only a big red sign with “18 green” and an arrow to the left, pointing to a fence. So I hit a hybrid towards the sign to lay-up for the third, only to see that the green is actually behind a fence separating the golf course from pedestrians and bicyclists, the path for those, a river(!) and some additional meters of rough. I managed to land my third shot safely on the green but 3-putted to card down a 6 for the 18.
As it was still pouring down and as I was cold like an ice block I went home and immediately took a long hot bath, happy that I at least managed to get the Schwarzsee course under my belt as well, no matter what weather circumstances.
Comparing it to Eichenheim is difficult. The course is more flat and more open to all sides. It has its steep sections but nothing compared to what you find at Eichenheim. Plus Eichenheim is more the typical parkland course whereas at Schwarzsee you definitely have more visibility around the course, i.e. to other holes.
It’s not a difficult course, that’s mainly because I felt that the fairways have been super wide and there was no real bunkering in the driving area. Bunkering in general was very sparsely. That’s not bad but there have been only few holes where you stand on the tee and say “uh, that’s tricky, no idea how to play this hole”.
All in all a nice round of golf and one last thing to mention: Schwarzsee Kitzbühel has the most professional club and trolley washing station I’ve ever seen. I know that’s probably not overly important for everybody but especially after such a wet round I was happy to thoroughly clean my stuff. All that high-tech was much appreciated.
See my other Kitzbühel course reviews as well if you want:
For more information on Golf Club Schwarzsee Kitzbühel check this out: