Two stunning golf courses in Berchtesgadener Land and Chiemgau go to prove: when it comes to Bavarian golf courses, the idyllic view is perfect! Between mountains, onion towers and cackling spectators, experts get their money’s worth when teeing off, and beginners will be sure to get a real taste for it
Tea-time in Bavaria
SPONSORED STORY On the way to the first course this morning, Stefan Wieninger takes the shortcut past the historic farms of Weng. The clubhouse of the Berchtesgadener Land Golf Club, which is integrated into the “Wenger Hof” hotel, is located smack bang in the middle of the fantastically situated hamlet of Ainring.
Surrounded by a gentle sloping meadow, a place where cows munch contentedly on their breakfast and where the white church towers peek out over forests and pastures; of course, the Alpine peaks to the south are no longer part of the golf course. But who knows where such an idea could lead. After all, the greens here blend naturally into the Upper Bavarian picture-book landscape, which looks like a carefully tended course in XXL format.
When teeing off, you can choose to set your sights on the green’s flag or the striking Untersberg mountain near Salzburg. The border to Austria is just a few kilometres away!
Wieninger has no time to enjoy the landscape this morning. As head of the brewery by the same name in nearby Teisendorf, the schedule is often unyielding. But it’s enough for a quick round, even if you should plan at least four hours for this extensive 18-hole course.
"The view stretches all the way to Hohensalzburg Fortress"
The enthusiastic golfer always enjoys coming to Weng and raves: “The course is very well maintained, it’s playable almost all year round and each green has a very special layout!” Indeed, a lush tree population, small forests, fairways with streams, ponds – with beautiful island greens – and almost forty well-kept bunkers make the course a truly exciting experience to behold. And the view stretches all the way to Hohensalzburg Fortress.
“An evening round in good weather is ideal for winding down. Above all, the panoramic view always has that winning charm about it.” Wieninger comes from a golf-loving family. That quickly spilled over. “I had my first handicap when I was eight years old. At that time, however, there was only the 9-hole course in Berchtesgaden and in Prien am Chiemsee in our region.”
Golfing in Bavaria – 200 courses
In contrast, the choice today is huge. 200 golf courses are spread all over Bavaria. With one difference: at the end of the round of golf, you can enjoy Upper Bavarian beer or Franconian wine. The character and sporting challenges that make up the courses are highly diverse.
Weng’s, for example, is not without its issues. As a novice golfer, you sometimes have to endure disappointment. At hole 1, the course goes immediately downhill and straight ahead. The next hole on the course is a good opener at 504 metres and, provided you hit the centre of the fairway with a long shot, is easy to master.
Hole 7 is hugely exciting, a difficult hole, with a narrow wooded bend and waterfall behind the green. And number 11 is simply ingenious at 135 metres and a magical view down to the island green.
The path to a license to play golf
Anyone who wants to try golf can do so at a taster or beginners’ course at a nearby golf club, explains Tobias Hennecke from the Bavarian Golf Association. “The other courses offered by the German Golf Association to get people’s golfing skills up to scratch range from inexpensive crash courses to intensive group or individual courses.”
“All you need to get started are sport shoes and comfortable clothes“
This is akin to a kind of driving licence for the golf course that certifies a minimum level of golfing skills, as well as instilling a basic knowledge of the rules and etiquette. The costs are kept within manageable limits at the beginning, however, because: “All you need to get started are sport shoes and comfortable clothes”, says Hennecke. The rest can be rented at most golf facilities.
The golf courses also offer various membership models. The cost range extends from low-cost youth memberships (approx. EUR 150 per year) to student and young professional memberships (between EUR 50 and EUR 100 per month) to full memberships, where the annual fees can vary greatly. The best thing to do is to find out about the membership offers at a golf club near you.
Golfclub Ruhpolding – Chickens at tee-off
If you’re looking to quickly become addicted to the sport: the chance to do so is also immense at Ruhpolding Golf Club! The site is surrounded by mountains, forest, farms and the parish church. When teeing off, the chickens sometimes come on over for a look. Active (and former) top athletes are also among the club’s members. Just like the president himself: Herbert Fritzenwenger is an ex-biathlete and Olympic participant.
The boss, who has been at the helm since 2003, has shown that he loves sporting challenges by expanding the course over time. The 9-hole course became an 18-hole course spanning 100 hectares four years into his tenure. The club’s own apple trees provide the ingredients for its self-pressed juice, and there are also numerous bee colonies on the grounds. Apple juice and honey are sold in the pro shop.
The courses feature ponds, streams, water hazards and challenging slopes that are not easy to play. Hole 4 is the most difficult hole on the course: after a long drive, the threat of fairway bunkers awaits on the left and right. If you don’t play with absolute precision, you have to take a shortcut over a stream and a high rough section.
Another small golf world has just been created on the edge of the course. Fritzenwenger wants to avoid the term mini-golf because the courses are much larger. And more beautiful to boot: on the imaginative artificial grass greens, which are up to 30 metres long, cows and milk churns have to be played around, or the balls have to be manoeuvred through beer barrels.
Every course is dedicated to an Alpine theme world. It’s so much fun that, afterwards, you’ll want to continue playing on real grass with the course’s slightly larger neighbour. The Ruhpolding Golf Club will hardly have to worry about new members in the future!
More information: golf-in-bayern.en
Video about playing golf in Bavaria
A visit to the Berchtesgadener Land Golf Club and the Ruhpolding Golf Club
Panoramic view on the green of the Berchtesgadener Land Golf Club