Ball Showcase: Golf Eichenheim


One of the best courses in Austria as I was told and truly a nice course in the middle of the Tyrolean mountains in Kitzbühel. Golf Eichenheim is a recommendation should you visit the area, be it a golfing or a hiking trip.

The course itself has quite a steep and undulated design and asks for fitness, at least for those who don’t ride carts.

I bought the ball during my one-week stay in Kitzbühel earlier this month during which I managed to play one round at Eichenheim and at least stayed dry for most of the holes – the week had been a total disaster weather-wise. Rain on 7 out of 7 days. Nothing you would hope for but the golf compensated for all the dark clouds.

Finest golf in Austria: Golf Eichenheim in Kitzbühel


Just yesterday I arrived back home after a one-week trip to the Austrian Alps for a combined hiking and golfing trip. We chose Kitzbühel as one of the best spots in the area to encounter a great time with beautiful golf courses, hundreds of kilometers of picturesque hiking trails, a lovely village with all amenities and tons of possibilities for wining and dining.

Kitzbühel offers all this and especially for golfers it is a Mecca-like experience as “Kitz” (as residents call it) features not less than four golf courses on its own, with multiple more if you are willing to drive a bit. As one of these four is a rather boring course for what I’ve seen online, I figured it’s a good idea to test the remaining three.

And so I started with a big highlight, a member of “The Leading Golf Courses“! We’ve been a bit unlucky with the weather but as the first sun rays came out after a couple of rainy days I hit the first course on my list: Golf Eichenheim. It’s a fairly new course just three minutes south of Kitzbühel, was founded in 1999 and designed by Kyle Phillips (who also designed courses like Yas Links in Abu Dhabi, Kingsbarns in Scotland, The Grove in England and the PGA of Sweden National Golf Resort). Eichenheim is quite an exclusive place and is attached to the 5-star Grand Tirolia Golf & Ski Resort.

The course seems to be teamed up in whatever shape or form to Mercedes-Benz as they promoted the new GLE class on the course on the day of the world premiere of this car. As a former Daimler employee I was a bit impressed I have to say. And all pin flags featured Mercedes-Benz logos instead of the one from Eichenheim itself, but I don’t even know if that’s always the case.

After a quick visit to the front desk for a spontaneous round of golf I was welcomed very friendly and provided with an immediate tee time. I paid a very reasonable sundowner rate (at 14:30h) and off I went.

Hole 1 is dogleg right through a narrow rock and tree formation that you can’t see the pin from the tee. As I had no warm-up at all I pretty much screwed the first shot and ended on the 10th fairway to the left. After an embarrassing recovery shot back to the 1 I could see the flag and made my way to the green.

_19162_5_e28e9f052a8dbeea3b09c622d7776659One thing I learned very early during the round: Alps golf means steep elevation changes and that walking the course up and down for 4 hours after a 15km mountain hike in the morning can be a very strenuous encounter. Also I have to say that the routing of the course seems a bit sub-optimal as sometimes you find yourself sort of hiking for minutes till you find the next tee box, totally out of breath, with burning legs… and I’m quite in shape, no idea how elderly people tackle all that by foot.

Another highlight of the course, the number 3, a par-5 with a tee box from high above the fairway. A gutsy drive smashes the ball way forward but the hole is uphill itself and leaves some effort to make par. It’s an impressive view from here and you forget all leg pain and breathlessness once you take a second (or minute) and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Kitzbühel mountains.

The 4 is a nice par-3 followed by a downhill par-4 with a wide fairway and easy to reach the green in two. Then another long walk to the next tee for the third par-3, the 137m uphill hole 6. The 7 is a very picturesque par-4 dogleg right around an old barn (which is still in use I guess). There are cows to the left and sheep to the right, other than that there is nothing out there to disturb a great, but exhausting round of golf.

Holes 8, 9, 10, 11 are pretty straightforward but nice holes, the 12 is another par-3 from high-up down to a sort of valley. You walk all the way down to the green, execute the putts, and just walk up the same way you came to reach tee no 13. At this hole it is forbidden to use a wood from the tee as apparently there happened some incidents (i.e. accidents) with off-line balls towards the residential area below the right of the fairway. I took my 4-iron and was left with a wedge shot into the narrow green.

The 14, another downhill par-3 is followed by a blind par-4 dogleg right. The next holes, 16 through 18, are laid up pretty much in an open setting and unfortunately are a bit exposed to the street that runs through Kitzbühel with much traffic. Hence it’s a bit louder here, plus from here I had to wait for almost every shot as the groups in front of me were waiting too. No kidding, I counted 11 groups on these 3 last holes at a time. I guess these 3 holes alone took me another hour to finish a very interesting golf experience for which I waited for quite a while. It was a great kickoff for some great golf days coming up in the week. If you are in the area and fancy a great round of golf, Eichenheim should be definitely on your list! It’s not a global top-notch course but definitely ranks amongst the best of what Austria has to offer I’m sure.

Next courses on my list were:

Check out the Golficiency tag Kitzbühel for all the reports.

And if you wish to experience something similar as well, I recommend these websites:

Golf travel plans in 2015

The longer I think about travel plans with my wife in 2015, the more I keep golf in my mind. It’s not what she’d appreciate to hear, but for nearly every location we have on our list, I check whether there are sufficient possibilities to swing a club. If not, I’d find a better place to stay—which is not entirely true, but almost…

But it’s more the general travel bug combined with golf rather than pure golf trips I have on my list for 2015.


First thing on my list is a one-week trip to Dubai in February. We’re meeting up with friends, staying at their house, playing with their new baby girl and on three consecutive days I will excuse myself for 6 hours respectively to play 3 awesome courses according to current plans. I’m currently checking rates for green fees and boy, these are quite expensive!

  • The Els Club Dubai
  • The Address Montgomerie Dubai
  • Jumeirah Golf Estates Dubai

Next on the agenda so far would be a one-week hiking trip to Kitzbühel, Austria in June. Together with my parents we’ll stay in the Wilder Kaiser region to climb some mountains. As “Kitz” offers a variety of courses (which is not common in Austria) and beautiful country side alike, it was the perfect match for joint hiking and golfing endeavours. The courses I have on my list are these:

  • Golf Eichenheim, Kitzbühel
  • Golfclub Kitzbühel
  • Golfclub Schwarzsee, Kitzbühel-Reith

Some time in summer, when the weather is nice in Germany too, I’ll go and see my cousin who recently moved to a new place outside of Hamburg, Germany. I grew up in the north and I do have quite some friends living in Hamburg but I never managed to play a round of golf there. This is about to change this year. As my cousin lives south of Hamburg, I figured I’ll start with the “South of Hamburg Courses” first (and attempt the others such as Gut Kaden, Falkenstein, Wendlohe, etc. in 2016 maybe):

  • Hittfeld
  • St. Dionys
  • Green Eagle
  • Schloss Lüdersburg

After a short romantic break in Venice in September, during which I (guess what) won’t play any golf at all, we might end up in South Africa for a long Cape Town and safari vacation later this year. This has been on our list for quite a while but we did postpone it again and again as we decided to go to Mauritius for honeymoon instead. Now it’s back in our heads but yet not fully confirmed. Especially the golf is not set in stone at all but of course I think about Fancourt, Pinnacle Point, Leopard Creek and others. In case you have a great idea or even a travel itinerary which combines sight-seeing, safari and golf, I’d be really grateful to receive good advice. I’ve never been there but I’m sure it’s a beautiful country with loads to see, to do and many magnificent courses to play.

Sounds like a plan? The next 12 months will tell whether we managed to get all this golf scheduled into our other commitments. Fingers crossed we all stay healthy to execute everything as envisaged. We’re always very thankful that we are as blessed to have the opportunity to travel that much as this is not taken for granted at all.