Ball Showcase: Golf Club Schwarzsee Kitzbühel


The picturesque Austrian village of Kitzbühel offers a variety of different golf courses to chose from. In June we’ve travelled there and decided not only to hike a lot but also play golf a couple of times – as might have read if you follow this blog. In case you don’t, please read this: Kitzbühel

The most outstanding course in Kitzbühel is without a doubt Eichenheim, but definitely next on the list is Golf Club Schwarzsee Kitzbühel, with quite some interesting holes. The day was rainy and miserable but the course was fun and due to the weather there wasn’t much traffic on the course, at least on the front nine.

So in case you are in the area or even having a family holiday in the Kitzbühel area (which I can really recommend) then you should probably spend a day at Schwarzsee as well. You won’t regret it.

9-hole quickie at Golfclub Kitzbühel

It had rained a lot in Kitzbühel when we had our hiking/golfing week and after playing Eichenheim and Schwarzsee I figured I can’t leave without playing the 9-hole beauty right in the city center, Golfclub Kitzbühel. Even if it rained. And it did. A lot.

It was Friday, one day before we planned to leave Austria when we hiked 12km in the morning, got fully soaked and pretty much longed for a hot shower and a bed, or at least a couch. But I felt I had some other stuff to do, there was one golf course on my list I still haven’t set my foot on. And so I made my way to the Golfclub Kitzbühel, which is for a couple of years now connected to the A-ROSA resort at Schloss Kaps (engl. Kaps Castle).

The entree is pretty unique, you enter the property, drive through a big gate, past the resort lobby in a sort of tunnel and end up in the underground parking lot for the hotel guests. First I thought that’s wrong but it actually is the right way to enter the site.

Anyway, I was again able to get an immediate tee time in order to start right away. No wonder, it had rained like crazy earlier the day, only weirdos would play golf today—and me.

It’s a 9-hole course, fairly central in Kitzbühel, right behind the tennis stadium, founded in 1955 and truly is a small golf heaven. During my round I’ve only seen two other persons, being as crazy as me, playing golf in such weather. And the course presented itself in good shape. It ranks amongst the oldest courses in the whole of Austria and is often rated as the most beautiful 9-hole course in the Alps. It actually has quite an interesting architecture to it, it’s a parkland style course but unfortunately got pretty soaked over the days before. The turf condition definitely could have been a bit better. But from just looking at it, it was a pleasure, apart from the dark clouds over it.

golfclub-kitzbuehelThe hole 1 is a par-5 with water to the left. I smashed my driver and landed my ball in the middle of the fairway, at roughly 250m. Nice start I thought, no warm-up. The 2 is equally nice with a split fairway and a green protected by water. The 3 is a par-3 three again guarded by water followed by an interesting number 4 which is straight to a narrower part of the fairway guided by trees. Behind it the fairway slopes downhill and offers a green which could easily get reached in two (if I hadn’t screwed two tee shots before).

But never mind, the 5 is a dogleg left uphill which I didn’t reach in two. Don’t ask me why, I don’t really know, more my inconsistency paired with absolute exhaustion after all this hiking and golfing. It was definitely not a problem with the course as the fairways are comfortably wide in the landing areas, that even part-time hackers like me could easily land one or two.

As I mentioned the 5 went uphill, the way from 5 to 6 was again very steep and at the tee box of the 6th you reached pretty much the highest point of the course, out of breath. I remain silent on the score I shot here but went to the 7th with good will as this is an easy downhill par-4 straight like an arrow.

Once I had that under my belt, I reached the best part of the course, the 8 and 9. The 8 is a par-5 dogleg left. I shot a good 3-wood more to the right and laid up in front of the water. The green sits on an island accessible only by bridge. So I had another short wedge into the green, needed another a small chip, two putts and carded a bogey.


At that time I realized I had some spectators staring at me. There has been a wedding party on the club house restaurant terrace. Party seemed quite boring that some had time to watch me play. Or they felt sorry for the poor chap who played golf in the most horrible weather. Or they just thought “what a freak”…

I left the green and made my way to the 9th tee, under the eyes of the wedding party crowd. The 9th tee box basically sits on top of the tunnel through which I came to park my car earlier on. The shot goes again over water to a green next to the club house terrace on the other side of the pond, 130m away. I hit a gentle 7-iron and landed the ball pin-high probably 5m left of the flag. Two putts later I left the green and was happy that I managed to play all courses I wanted to have played. Mission accomplished!

Some parts of my golf days in Kitzbühel have been super cool, great courses, good shots, something like that. Then I had my downs with unnecessary bad shots and really bad weather conditions. In the end I felt absolutely knackered and looked forward to a bath once back home that evening.

Golfclub Kitzbühel is definitely a very nice course, absolutely a recommendation if you are in the region. It’s difficult to rank it against the other two courses I played, but I think it would be second behind Eichenheim. It just lacks the other nine holes. But beautiful, yes it is!

For more information check the following websites:

Another gem in the Alps: Golf Club Schwarzsee Kitzbühel


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:

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.