Set in the Kaiserwinkl Valley, close to the jagged massif of theKaiser Mountain range, the 18-hole course at Kaiserwinkl Golf Kössen is architect Donald Harradine’s “Jewel in the Alps”.
First unveiled in the late 1980s, this course is a fine example of how to fashion an 18-hole layout by adjusting the holes to fit the natural surroundings and optimize the use of natural features.
Where else might you find three successive short par fours on the front nine then three par fives in a row on the back nine? Or have the fairways cross a small river four times during a round?
This is Alpine golf at its finest, tucked away in the northeast corner of the Austrian Tyrol, less than four kilometres from the German border, where the game of golf is kept pretty simple.
There are only two sets of tees – Herren (5,645m) and Damen (4,884m) – and tree-lined fairways weave their way around a tight parcel of land on either side of the meandering river.
The par three holes average 141 metres in length (so sensible distances here) with the fourth and final par three played as the 18th hole, back across the river to the home green next to the clubhouse.