As for the course’s playability, there are three nines to choose from: Sky, Sand and Forest – all of which are equally tough. To be honest, I couldn’t see a great deal of difference in their style and character. There was plenty of sand on Sky, loads of sky on Forest and no shortage of trees on Sand. For a comparatively soft option, there’s a nine-hole academy course, but even that is no pushover.
Leaving “stunning,” “glorious” and “magnificent” to one side in the second cut of rough, to select the word that most accurately describes the 27 holes would probably involve a three-way play-off between “tough,” “punishing” and “brutal.” That should not be interpreted as a condemnation of the course, because it isn’t. Maybe I was so smitten by its ravishing beauty that my game deserted me and that’s why I struggled. If so, there were dozens of others equally affected, as the scoring on the official opening day was just the wrong side of desultory. I only had one Stableford point when I reached the turn, which was only partially explained by the fact that it was a shotgun start and my group had begun on the 8th.
Any total over 20 was impressive, while those players who had scored in excess of 25 were treated with enormous respect. The best individual score was, I believe, 31 points and the guy concerned was promptly tested for drugs. At the other end of the continuum, grizzled veterans of a thousand rounds were comprehensively humbled and could do nothing more than shake their heads and mumble incoherently as they recounted their personal humiliation of failing to even make it into double-figures. The immediate consolation for them, and the rest of us, was to be found in the simply fabulous food in the clubhouse restaurant. This really was quite wonderful!
Because I am desperate to go back to the course one day to seek my revenge (and because I sense that I may be in danger of writing myself off the list of possible returnees), I should perhaps say at this juncture that in all the years I have attended such occasions, I have never come across a course which, at its opening, has been in such great condition. It was truly immaculate. So with lies that were never anything other than perfect, what could possibly explain the difficulty that most of us experienced in failing to achieve anything remotely approaching respectability?
First of all, in places the rough was punishing to the point f sadistic. Searching for balls has never been one of the most appealing aspects of the game for any player and there was simply too much of it. Even if you did finally find yours, the best you might hope for was to smash it ten yards back into civilisation. Also, the course was long – very long. This may not be a problem for those who can crunch a drive upwards of 250 yards, but it’s a serious disadvantage for those who can’t. Consequently, a good few of the par 4s were out of reach in two for the ordinary mortal, like myself. And the car on offer for a hole-in-one on an uphill, 200-plus yard par 3 wouldn’t have been won if they had given it to anyone recording a birdie – only one player hit the green all day! Although the greens were wonderfully firm and true, they were frighteningly fast. Approaches, and even gentle chip shots that caught a down slope, would disappear off the green before you could say, “Come back, that’s not fair.”
To speed up play they will doubtless trim the rough, let the grass on the greens grow a nano-micro-millimetre more and use the more forward tees. Even if they didn’t, Lubker is surely destined to become one of Europe’s favourite resorts – and everyone there will surely play the game happily ever after.
Green fee weekday DKK 500
Green fee weekends / holidays DKK 750
Green fee Academy Course weekday (9 holes) DKK 150
Green fee Academy Course weekends / holidays (9 holes) DKK 150
The planned hotel won’t be built for a year or two, but there is other accommodation available, including deluxe apartments and smart holiday homes. As well as golf, there are also gourmet and spa weekends on offer.