Germany is not the first country that comes to mind when thinking about links golf. But all rules have exceptions, and Golf Budersand is a wonderful example.
Golf Budersand is located on the Island of Sylt at the northern end of Germany’s North Sea coast. The island is really just one huge sand bank, so the conditions are ideal for a links course; plenty of sand, North Sea coastline, a steady westerly wind, and weather to challenge golfers in all possible ways. On top of that a sea climate that makes in possible to keep the course open year round, in spite of the northerly latitude.
The golf course is located just outside of Hörnum, at the southern end of Sylt, on land that previously housed an old military base. When Claudia Ebert, now the general manager of the club, arrived and saw the land she envisioned a golf course. She contacted a local gardener, Rolf-Stephan Hansen, and together the started the project that would grow into a links course. The old military barracks were torn down or buried in the sand, grass was planted, and four years later, in 2008, the course was opened.
The finished course exceeded expectations. Already, only a few years on, Golf Budersand has secured a spot as one of the three best courses in Germany. A remarkable achievment, especially considering that this was the first and only golf course Rolf-Stephan Hansen has designed or will ever design, he says.
Budersand has a very nice clubhouse, located on the highest point of the course. In the clubhouse you’ll find what they call a bistro, but which more reminded us of a fine restaurant, with a superb menu. The restaurant is open for lunch or dinner late into the night. Weather permitting, a lunch on the terrace – with a magnificent view of the course and the sea – is highly recommended.
Immediately adjacent to the course is the five-star Hotel Budersand. The hotel really lives up to its five-star rating. Everything is first class, with beautiful rooms with a sparse but elegant Scandinavian design. We especially appreciated that, in spite of the modern design, everything worked flawlessly and was easy to understand. No mysterious shower contraptions or impossible to understand thermostats, everything just worked.
The hotel also houses a fine restaurant with one star in the Michelin Guide.
The golf course is fairly difficult, with a slope rating of 133 from the club tee, and a handicap limit of 28, yet it is not frustrating. Often times it feels easier than it really is and the score indicates. In spite of the tall rough it is mostly not too hard to find your wayward balls, and the few times that it took a bit longer we didn’t feel rushed, probably due to the generous 12 minute starting interval.
Already on the first hole you have to put on your thinking cap. If you choose driver, chances are you will end up in the rough, so simply pounding away as far as possible is not the best choice. This was a recurring theme on this course: it’s a thinking golfer’s course.
The front nine holes are furthest away from the sea. Three holes out, a couple of holes closer to the water, a par three for the turn, and three holes back to the clubhouse. No real surprises here, but also no disappointments. All of the holes are good designs.
The back nine adds a bit more excitement. The 10th is a tricky dogleg with a partially blind approach and small landing areas. The 13th is a beautiful par three, with the green surrounded by dunes on all sides, except for a small opening facing the tee. The 14th is a nice par four, working its way back towards the sea.
The 15th is probably what you would call the signature hole, a beautiful par three, well defended by deep bunkers, with a magnificent view from the raise tee of the sea and large parts of the course.
The final three holes yet again reward the thinking golfer, with a small burn meandering across the fairways, demanding good distance control. The 18th is a nice and challenging par four, finishing right next to the hotel.
You’ll find the Golf Budersand address, website, greenfees, and all the details in our course description.
This island of Sylt is a true summer paradise, and there are many other things to do than golf. A good place to start exploring is sylt.de