Austria has about 140 registered golf courses and its golf clubs have a combined membership of more than 95,000 members. Golfing in Austria is a unique experience as the courses are surrounded by some of the most spectacular views of nature. These international quality courses are set amidst lakes, vineyards, hills and mountains and are created using innovative techniques. Here are some top quality golf courses that have helped boost Austria’s reputation as a leading golf destination.Golfclub Adamstal
The Adamstal golf course began as a 9-hole course in 1995 and golf course designer, Jeff Howes, extended it to 18 holes three years later. The course was created along the natural course of the land and is considered to be among the best golf courses in the country. The holes are uniquely named and are all surrounded by beautiful natural beauty. The 5th hole, called House Mountain Edge, sits at the highest location on the course and overlooks the panoramic mountains. The short par four 12th hole is named Bear Ravine after an actual bear left its paw prints all over the newly laid green when the course first opened for play. After a round of play, golfers can relax at the clubhouse, a late 19th century structure that was restored and which provides guest accommodation for those who want to stay back and enjoy some more golf in the crisp mountain air.
Golf- und Sportclub Fontana
Designed by Doug Carrick and Hans Erhardt, this golf course lies in a posh residential development. Located on the outskirts of the spa town of Baden in southern Vienna the Fontana golf course opened for play in 1966. It features a man-made lake that poses a challenge at the closing holes. Construction of the course involved the excavation of lakes and the soil that was left behind was used to create artificial shaping such as a sandy beach complete with palm trees. Since it is a target golf course, golfers need to keep their play crisp with long and high approach shots so as to avoid the sand and water challenges.
Golfclub Schloss Schönborn
This is a 27-hole course that covers an expanse of above 250 acres in the wine region of Austria. It lies on the northeastern border of Vienna and also features an attractive castle that houses the restaurant and clubhouse. Designed by architect, Kurt Rossknecht, the layout comprises three loops of nine holes, the Red, Green and Yellow. Two thirds of the course falls inside the castle grounds and the forest comes into play at all 18 holes, posing an interesting challenge. The 18th fairway also features an enormous oak tree.
Golf & Country Club Gut Altentann
The Gut Altentann golf course, designed by renowned architect Jack Nicklaus, is an Austrian Open venue and as such provides a stern challenge for golfers. Located approximately 20 minutes from the city of Salzburg, this course is considered to be among the most striking in Europe. It measures more than 6,700 yards in length and features a couple of lakes, contoured bunker complexes and vast greens. The par four 3rd is an especially tough hole with a stream strategically placed at the point where the fairway doglegs towards the right. Nearly eleven of the holes on the course have water hazards coming into play. The course has a landscape of rolling hills, streams and meadows and most of the countryside was left undisturbed during construction.
The Eichenheim, located in Tirol, was deigned by Kyle Phillips and opened for play in 2000. The layout of the course blends with the picturesque Austrian surroundings seamlessly and adheres to Phillips’ design philosophy, which is to give the course a unique personality that is inspired from the original natural features. Set against the Wilde Kaiser mountain range, canyons and lush forests, the course offers a breathtaking experience to golfers. The challenge here is that the distances are hard to make out since the landscape is so vast and many first timers are happy to enlist the aid of a course planner. The Austrian Masters was held at Eichenheim in 2001 and the course remains one of the most popular and best conditioned in the country.