Killer Course – Engstligenalp Paradise Switzerland

Switzerland is not known for its famous golf courses.  It is known for the Alps and skiing.  In the autumn there is a “form” of golf available at one particular area in the alps known as the Engstligenalp paradise.  This mountain paradise is a valley which sits at about 6,500 feet above sea level and is accessible only by cable car.  High above the valley is the fantastically beautiful 600 meter-high Engstligenfälle, a large mountain waterfall. The peak of the mountain above rises to 10,640 feet above sea level.

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In the summertime the area is home to about 500 cows and when the cows leave their summering area, golf is played.

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In order to preserve the pristine paradise, the golf is a little different. Tees and greens are made from artificial turf and have a very small footprint.  Some tees are built out of wooden pallets with turf on top (below).

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Below is a public relations description, converted from swiss to english.

Golfing in thin mountain air, on a natural basis, with constantly changing wind and weather conditions – here is the new golfing experience.

The 14 km2 large, flat plateau of the Engstligenalp in Adelboden belongs to Sennen in the summer. About 500 animals live during this time on the plane and enjoy the juicy herbal and fresh mountain air. Once the cows leave their summering, fly on Engstligenalp again the golf balls. Played by classical rules of golf, the game is designed in a nature reserve, of course, a little different than on accurate groomed golf course. Although golf mountain is not a links course in the traditional sense, but it has with such a natural golf course lot in common. To protect the landscape, is aufgeteed at each stroke as in winter golf. Moreover tee and the green are generously equipped with high-quality artificial turf. The natural stone sectors, the headwaters and quickly changing winds are an additional challenge for any golfer. , the golfer and the golfer spend all day in a breathtaking mountain panorama. The backdrop provides the perfect ambience to be completely involved in the game and forget the stresses of everyday life. To complete the infrastructure is a driving range is built. New offers this – in addition to the discount options on artificial turf and natural grass – three practice holes, which can be played even by inexperienced golfers without handicap. Thus, the golf course golf mountain also offers a perfect setting for corporate events.

Below: Berg (local) hotel in summer and winter

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Killer Hole Worth $1 Million

There’s a cool article in the Daily Mail about a golf course in China which is offering a $1,000,000 prize to any golfer who can make an ace on one of the course’s par-3 holes.  The only problem is that the hole is 656 feet long and drops off a cliff 263 feet.  That’s about 220 yards in length and an 88 yard drop in elevation.

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One thing which should be mentioned as well is that the green is floating on the Chinese lake Baofeng by the use of pontoons.

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Killer Course – Gleneagles

Ah it has been two years in waiting…  It is RYDER CUP WEEK!  What a great time this is for the golf world.  The Ryder Cup is arguably the most exciting, and most patriotic of golf events.  Team USA or Team Europe?

At the last Ryder Cup, on USA soil, Team USA blew a large lead on the last day.  This year the cup is on Team Europe’s soil, in front of Team Europe’s home crowd.  Let us take a look at the home of the 2014 Ryder Cup, Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course.

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Gleneagles is located near Auchterarder, Perth and Kinross, Scotland (see map to right). This is the lower 3rd of Scotland, approximately 1-1.5 hours southwest of St. Andrews. The course is located inland, and is therefore not a “links” style course. Links courses “link” the land and the sea technically.

Design

Jack Nicklaus took on the task of designing the course in 1988 and the course was completed in 1993. The course winds through and over hilly terrain with classic scottish mountain backdrops.

Five sets of tees challenge players of all levels. The Ryder Cup tees will be at roughly 7,300 yards. Course rating from the longest tees is a tough 77 with a slope of 145. Tough indeed.

Bunkering takes on more of a flatter and wider american style and less of the round and deep pot-bunkers found on traditional scottish links courses.

Ryder Cup

As the course architecture is slightly more american than scottish, there’s not necessarily a distinct advantage for Team Europe. The primary advantage the european team will have is playing in front of their boisterous home crowd.

17th

17th

The stretch holes of 16-17-18 should provide some great drama. 16 is a 518 yard par-5 which is reachable in two by most players at the Ryder Cup level. Expect to see many birdies and even some eagles on this hole. Hole 17 is a long par-3 which stretches to 194 yards, slightly downhill. The green is guarded by plenty of bunkering, rewarding accuracy. Hole 18 (below) is another par-5 which is even more reachable than hole 16. This finishing hole is perfectly designed to reward aggressive play and should be the location of many dramatic moments in the 2014 Ryder Cup.

18th

18th

Contact

Auchterarder
Perthshire
Scotland PH3 1NF
www.gleneagles.com

Killer Course – Gunsan Country Club, Korea

To qualify as a Frogger Killer Course, a course needs to be… well, killer.  What makes a course killer?  There are many qualities or features we consider like the design, location, history, aesthetics, or perhaps having a 1004 meter (1098 yard) par-7 hole will do the trick.

The latter would be Korea’s Gunsan Country Club, home of a 1098 yard par-7 hole.  For perspective, that’s well over half a mile long.  Gunsan Country Club is an 81 hole facility which covers a 1,060 acre area which was once a salt field.  18 holes on the course are private for club members and the remaining 63 are public.

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Signature a.k.a. Killer Holes

As mentioned, the par-7 third hole of 1098 yards is one of the longest golf holes in the world.  Imagine the play: driver, fairway metal, fairway metal, hybrid, wedge!

Right.  But not to be outdone, the course also offers a par-6 hole which measures 661 meters (723 yards).  What a combination.  In fact, that combination is 200 feet longer than one mile!

Lakes

Aside from the killer long holes, 380 acres of the course is water.  That’s more water acreage than the entire 360 acres which makes up Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament.

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There are so many lakes in fact, that it takes 26 bridges to connect all of the landing areas.  You might want to bring a few extra balls.

Amenities

After a long day of navigating 380 acres of lakes and literally miles of golf holes, one can enjoy the restaurant, clubhouse, and pick up a logo ball in the pro shop to commemorate the golf conquest.

Contact

Gunsan Country Club
1685, Namgunsan-ro, Okseo-myeon, Gunsan-si, Jeollabuk-do
South Korea

Killer Course – Zotter

German chocolate, edible zoo animals, kids activities, and a “golf” course…  These make Germany’s Zotter the latest Frogger Killer Course.

Zotter makes chocolate, but also has a whole facility including many fun activities for kids of all ages.  Some activities include:

  • Choco-Shop
  • Choco-Shop Theater
  • Zoo Animals
  • Oraganic Restaraunt where all foods are prepared from their own farm
  • Edible Animals

Last but not least they offer a form of mysterious golf on what appears to be a golf course which is more “Volkswagen Golf” than real golf:

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The Zotter website is German so the translation of their golf course description is even more intriguing:

Farmer’s golf – the slightly different type of golf, with rubber boots as projectiles

Attempts to research more information about the course, par, slope, rating, or number of holes have failed.  That said, it looks like a fun round.

Killer Course – Dinaland

There’s a small town in the northeast corner of Utah called Vernal. Vernal is the home of Dinosaur National Monument. Dinosaur National Monument features one of the worlds biggest and best collections of dinosaur fossils and bones. In the Carnegie Quarry over 1,500 fossils and bones from dinosaurs large and small are on display, party excavated.

Not far from Dinosaur National Park is a killer and fun course called Dinaland. Not many, if any other courses in the USA or the world have a dinosaur theme or name. The course itself is not killer in the sense of difficulty level, but should a Tyrannosaurs Rex try to eat your group on the 5th hole it would certainly qualify.dino-g

Dinaland is not a high end resort course or even a high end municipal course. It is a down-home course, easy on the game with wide fairways and short yardages. It is easy on the pocketbook too. No $200 rounds here, with $15 buckets of range balls. In fact, for the cost of a bucket of balls at one of those high end resort courses one could play 18 holes at Dinaland.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis public course opened in 1950 as a nine hole offering. In 1993 the second nine was built. Total yardage for this par-72 course is 6,773 with the shortest tees coming in at just over 5,000 yards. Course rating is 71.5 with a slope of 129. Challenging for golfers of all levels when playing from the appropriate tee.

The course architect is Jim Macphilmomy.

Contact

Dinaland Golf Course
675 S 2000 E
Vernal, Utah
84078
Phone: 435-781-1428

Killer Course – Troon North Pinnacle Course

Arizona is well known for having many terrific golf courses, some which are rated very high by entities like Golf Digest and Golf Magazine.  One such highly rated course in Scottsdale qualifies as a Frogger Killer Course, Troon North’s Pinnacle Course.

Location

Troon North’s facility is home to 36 holes of golf, the Pinnacle course and the Monument Course.

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The facility is located in Scottsdale, Arizona, a short drive from the Phoenix metro area depending on traffic.

Design

The Pinnacle was designed by Tom Weiskopf, who fabulously winds the course and routes the holes through, over, and around desert hills and arroyos.

The Pinnacle course would classify as a “desert target” course.  This style of golf is a minimalistic style where areas not on or near the primary areas are typically the native desert landscape.  In the case of Troon’s courses, that landscape features sandy areas, rugged rocks, huge saguaro cacti, desert arroyos, and rolling topography.

Tee

Tee shots at the Pinnacle can look more intimidating than they are in reality.  Forced carries and the undulations of the landing areas can make them look small, but they’re plenty big.

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Fairway

The fairways at the Pinnacle roll greatly and provide many tee shot placement challenges.  Many odd lies due to the rolling nature of the terrain can produce stances which will require full concentration and execution on approach.

Green

The large and undulating greens at the Pinnacle are challenging to hit and fun to putt.  The greens’ undulations are dramatic but fair.  Large bunkering guards many greens, forcing carries or strategic run-up shots.

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Facilities

The clubhouse and its facilities at Troon North are as nice as any golf club you will visit.  From the well stocked pro shop to the locker rooms to the food and beverage, the whole operation exudes class.

The practice facilities are spacious and full of great areas to hit balls, putt, and work on short game.

Contact

Troon North Golf
10320 E Dynamite Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
480.585.7700
www.troonnorthgolf.com

Photos by Tony Korologos at Hooked On Golf Blog – Used by permission

Killer Course – Cochiti Golf Club

Less than an hour’s drive from Albuquerque, New Mexico is an area with some great terrain, near the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The elevation of the area varies from 5,300 to 6,800 feet above sea level. Nestled near the preserve is the reservation of the Pueblo de Cochiti indian tribe, roughly 54,000 acres. On that acreage is the beautiful Cochiti Golf Club.

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Design

Cochiti was designed by famous golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the son of one of the greatest golf architects in history, Robert Trent Jones. The terrain is hilly, winding through the high New Mexico desert, lined with pines and desert flora.

Par for the course from the tips is 71, with a total yardage of 6,817. This medium length golf course can play a little shorter than the number, as the elevation allows the golf ball to fly farther than at sea level.

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Facilities

The pro shop offers great apparel and golf equipment, logoed with the unique Cochiti branding.

The practice areas include a very scenic driving range with private areas. There are also separate chipping practice areas and putting practice areas.

The Stone Kiva Bar & Grill provides great local food choices and a full bar.

Scorecard

Tee Box Yardage Rating / Slope
Red 5100 yards 68.3 / 113
White 5841 yards 66.1 / 119
Blue 6413 yards 68.6 / 128
Gold 6817 yards 71 / 132

Contact

5200 Cochiti Highway
Cochiti Lake, New Mexico 87083
505-465-2239

http://www.cochitigolfclub.com/

Killer Course – Cuba

About 50 years ago Cuba’s Fidel Castro ordered golf courses closed, citing them as elitist. One other reason is because during a visit from Castro, president Dwight Eisenhower avoided meeting with him by going to play golf.

There are currently only two golf courses in Cuba, but there are now plans for further golf course development.

varaderoVaradero Golf Club

The 18 hole Varadero Golf Club was built in 1927 by a French American millionaire. The course design is a mixture of several architectural styles including links golf, classic tree lined, and target golf. The target holes feature forced carries over natural land features. Salt water lakes come into play as natural water features.

From the longest tees Varadero plays to 6,229 meters or roughly 6,800 yards. Par for the course is 72.

Contact:
Varadero Golf Club
Varadero, Cuba
+53 45 668482
www.varaderogolfclub.com

habanagcHabana Golf Club

The nine hole Habana (Havana) Golf Club is the only golf course located in Havana, Cuba. The course opened in 1998. Habana Golf Club is conveniently located about a five minute drive from the Havana international airport and 10 minutes from downtown Havana.

This nine hole course plays to a par value of 35. Course design features tree lined fairways which feature “wavy” undulations as described by the course. Players wishing to play 18 full holes of golf take advantage of the two sets of tees that the course, playing one set for the front nine and the other for the back nine.

Contact:
Club de Golf de la Habana, Havana
Carretera de Vento Km 8, Capdevila, Havana 14200
+53 7 33 8820/+53 7 44 1836/+53 7 33 8918

Killer Course – Palmetto Hall Cupp Course

Hilton Head South Carolina is considered by many as the golf capital of the United States. I’m sure the folks in Monterey or Arizona or Bandon Dunes would argue the point.

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One of the less famous courses in Hilton Head was designed by Bob Cupp, Palmetto Hall’s “Cupp” course.

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Design

Cupp decided to throw out traditional course design and build a course which more geometric features and less smooth contours and shapes.

The Cupp Course at Palmetto Hall features some very interesting shaping of fairway, mounding, greens and bunkers. Whenever possible Cupp shaped bunkers and greens in squares, triangles and polynomials. He shaped mounding in the fairways in pyramid shapes and with squared lines.

In the photo above you can see a triangular sand trap and two photos above the triangular and pyramid shaped mounding.  Below some square bunkers surround a square green (right) while a triangle and polynomial bunker guard the green to the left.

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Stats

There are four sets of tees at the Cupp course, the longest just a little over 7,000 yards. The Gold tee is the longest set with a difficult rating of 75.2 with a slope of 149. Though it is not long by modern standards, it is a very tough course.

Contact

Palmetto Hall Plantation Club
108 Fort Howell Drive | Hilton Head Island, SC | 29926
(800) 2-FIND-18 | (843) 342-2582 | infoathh@heritagegolfgroup.com

http://www.palmettohallgolf.com/