I recently enjoyed a couple of days at the stunning Grand Tirolia and Golf Eichenheim in Kitzbuhel, and more UK golfers need to experience it too...
Kitzbuhel Golf: Not Just A Ski Town
When you think of Kitzbuhel, Austria, golf doesn’t really come to mind does it?
The Tyrolean town is home to the world famous Hahnenkamm mountain and Streif ski slope, which the world’s best take to each year for the Ski World Cup.
But there’s much more than just skiing in this gorgeous Apline town, which lies inbetween Innsbruck, Salzburg and Munich – all of which operate flights to and from the UK.
I stayed at the Grand Tirola hotel, which is home to Golf Eichenheim, a spa, a gym and three restaurants.
Arriving in Salzburg from Gatwick, Kitzbuhel was reached in little over an hour.
The hotel was incredible, with my top-floor suite offering up jaw-dropping visuals of the golf course, the Hahnenkamm and the Kitzbuhel snow-capped alps.
It was time to play some golf.
Golf Eichenheim opened in 2000 and was actually his first solo creation after years working with Robert Trent Jones Jr.
His work at Golf Eichenheim is seriously impressive, with the golf course winding its way up, through and down the natural valleys and mountains it’s set upon – it feels like it has been there forever.
The 1st is a memorable start. A dog-leg right par-5 requires a long and straight tee shot to set up a thread-the-needle approach through trees.
The next is a tricky downhill par-3 with a giant bunker short, mountains left and a steep drop-off right before a cross-country buggy ride up the mountain takes you to the 3rd tee, where you essentially hit off of a cliff before working your way back up.
It’s jaw-droppingly good.
The six-hole stretch that follows is a thrill-a-minute ride, starting with another downhill par-3 at the long 4th before the excellent downhill par-4 5th hole.
The front nine culminates with a risk-reward short par-4 with a pond guarding the green.
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All the par-3s at Eichenheim are tough, attractive and downhill, barring the delightful 6th.
The par-4 10th is a tough start to the back nine with a lake to go over with the approach shot.
It’s a tricky tee shot because anything right will leave a long approach over water from rough, whilst anything left is potentially gone.
The 11th is a long and tough dogleg par-4 before the fantastic downhill par-3 12th where distance is key, whilst the attractive 14th is tight and tricky but so much fun.
The 15th is a fantastic downhill dogleg-right par-4 featuring a memorable approach shot in before the long and tough par-5 16th, a gettable par-5 17th and the excellent short par-4 18th which plays up a steep hill towards the clubhouse.
And once you’re done on the course there’s plenty waiting for you at the Grand Tirolia.
The spa is sensational, featuring six different types of sauna as well as a swimming pool that stretches from indoors-to-out.
There are also treatments available, a gym, yoga classes and more.
As well as the clubhouse bar, there’s two other restaurants serving traditional Austrian cuisine and the beautiful town centre of Kitzbuhel is just a short taxi ride away.
Kitzbuhel also features Golfclub Kitzbuhel, Golfclub Kitzbuhel-Schwarzee and GC Rasmushof so there’s plenty of golf to be played. From my experience, it’s worth playing GC Eichenheim twice as it’s one of those courses you just need to see and play again.
Thinking about booking a golf break in 2018? I can’t recommend Kitzbuhel, GC Eichenheim and the Grand Tirolia enough.
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