Golf is growing in popularity in Switzerland and there are some great golf courses in the region. There are about 90 golf courses in the country and all of these are in relatively close proximity to each other. Golf enthusiasts will especially love playing amidst the picturesque natural scenery that is such a significant part of Switzerland. If you’re an expat in Switzerland, you must explore these 5 great golf courses.
Domaine Imperial is one of the few Pete Dye courses in Europe. It was built in the late 1980s and is considered to be Switzerland’s best golf course.Perched on the Lake Geneva shoreline, the impressive clubhouse was actually constructed for a Bonaparte prince. The course design includes one lake view from the 18th green and the contrasting nines make for absorbing play. The front nine is played through a scenic woodland of tall trees and is believed to be the most challenging. Big hitters are likely to prefer the par-4 9th where the design opens up to a modern parkland style. Dye’s characteristic design of having many varied bunkers, often hidden behind by grassy bunker walls is very evident on the course. There are no threatening water hazards, except for a large pond that poses a challenge towards the last stages of the par-5 16th.
One of the most scenic golf courses in the world, Crans-Sur-Sierre is situated on a mountain plateau high up in the snow-capped Alps. In Crans-Montana in the Swiss Alps, golf was played for the first time in 1905. With the start of the First World War, the course remained abandoned. It was only in 1924 that golf became a part of the region again with the creation of the Crans-Sur-Sierre golf club. It began with a nine-hole course, which was extended to 18 holes in 1928 by Harry Nicholson. Crans-Sur-Sierre steadily rose in popularity and even played host to the European Masters in 1939. The outbreak of the Second World War interrupted things again, but the competition returned to Alps in 1948 and continued to be played there till date. Playing at Crans-Sur-Sierre is a thrilling experience considering the high altitude and crisp mountain air. The golf club remains closed and snowed in for half of the year and re-opens in summer when the weather is ideal for play.
Golf & Country Club Schönenberg
Established in 1929 and designed by the Harradine design company, the Golf & Country Club Schönenberg is an 18-hole course adapted to players of all abilities. . Fairways were built in the mid 1960s over a narrow area of land, allowing water to come into play at many of the holes. When the course was built, not much of the ground was moved and therefore much of the course is the natural land. The course remains closed from mid-November to the end of February.
Golf Club de Lausanne
Golf Club de Lausanne was established in 1921 and is located just outside of Lausanne on the northern Lake Geneva shore, at an altitude of 850m above the town. The course is designed as a hilly parkland and most of the holes lead you through woodlands of century-old trees. There are views of the Lake and also of the Alps that lay beyond, which greatly enhance the experience of playing at what is considered to be a classic golf course. The course was renovated in 1966, when British architect Jeremy Pern created new raised greens, thereby making the Golf Club de Lausanne one of the finest courses in the country.
Golf Club de Genève
This attractive parkland course is located in the southwest corner of Switzerland. Founded in 1921, the Golf Club de Genève was designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior. The city of Geneva, the Lake Geneva and the famous landmark of the water fountain, Jet d’Eau, are all visible from the first hole. The south side offers glimpses of the Mont Blanc and the Swiss Alps. This golf club has played host to events like the European Junior Championship, the World Ladies Amateurs Championship and the International Championship of Switzerland. Especially noteworthy is the 176-yard par three 17th, where the water hazard makes for challenging play.