By Neville Leck Last updated: 19th June 2012
Gut Larchenhof, host of this week's BMW International Open for the first time, is the only Jack Nicklaus course in Germany.
It has also been ranked among the top 100 in the World.
Nicklaus may have put his name to more than 300 courses worldwide, but very few of them have been located in Europe.
And then, of the total number of European courses created by the Nicklaus Design company, at least half are in Great Britain and Ireland with most of the other half in Spain.
It is no big surprise, then, to learn that there is only one Nicklaus layout in all of Germany; and that's at Gut Larchenhof Golf Club.
It is also not surprising that it is ranked as one of the top 100 clubs in the world for along with its outstanding course and excellent driving range and practice facility that includes both practice bunkers and pitching and putting greens, its five-star clubhouse includes a wellness centre, three restaurants, up-market change rooms and a first class pro-shop.
Its 7,289-yard, par-72 course, championship course is so highly rated that only a year after it opened in 1997, the prestigious German Masters; one of the leading events on the European Tour; moved to Gut Larchenhof from its former home at the Motzener See course near Berlin.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE:
Jack Nicklaus designed Gut Larchenhof to conform to his philosophy that "Every golf course must be unique and must not punish a good golf stroke."
From its championship tees its 18-hole, par-72 layout is 6,356 metres (just on 7,000 yards) long and has a slope of 138.
The signature hole, the 241-yard 8th, is one of the longest par three holes in Europe.
The tee shot is played over a couple of intimidating ponds to a relatively small green with a horseshoe-shaped bunker in front that catches any under-clubbed shots.
There are some members of the old school of golf who have described the layout at Gut Larchenhof as artificial, unnatural and less than subtle, but those critics probably live in a utopian world where earth moving and shaping does not have to be undertaken when fashioning a new, modern golf course.
HOLE BY HOLE TOUR
For a hole-by-hole tour of the Gut Larchenhof golf course as presented on the club's official website, you should click here, then click on 'golf course', then click on 'go to courses'.
The club is located at Pulheim-Stommeln at the gates of the economic powerhouses of Cologne and Dusseldorf and is on the western edge of the forest of Chorbusches in a quiet oasis with excellent transport
Gut Larchenhof offers in its world class clubhouse:
- A first-class wellness centre with up-to-the-minute sauna and massage facilities
- Excellent wining and dining, either in its intimate gourmet restaurant, its lively
bistro with club bar or at the dining area on its expansive terrace.
- Stylish rooms for club and business-meetings.
- A Pro shop offering the best in internationally-branded equipment and apparel and the hire of golf clubs, pull trolleys and golf cars.
The club requests on its official website that all members, prospective members and guests should be in possession of the so called "Green Card" which the German Golf Association gives to applicants who successfully undergo practical and theoretical examinations based on the way golfers should take care of the courses they play on and the importance of golfing etiquette.
CONTACT THE CLUB
Gut Larchenhof e.V.
02238 - 9 23 90-0.
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