Planning for the course began over 10 years ago, with permission eventually given to create an 18-hole layout with some housing along its western boundary.
Howes was approached for the design following his work at Golfclub Föhrenwald, located just a kilometre away from the Linsberg site.
“The routing was quite a challenge as it is on a relatively small piece of land and there are two major power lines running through the property,” said Howes. “Fortunately, the desire of all involved was to create a course which had no intention of hosting the Austrian Open – it has been designed to be user-friendly for all levels of golfers.”
Austrian contractor Pittel+Brausewetter started construction in July 2017 and it was completed a year later. After nearly a year of grow-in, the course opened for play in May.
“With the land more-or-less flat, imagination was needed” said Howes. “There was only three metres of elevation change from one end of the site to the other with no features – including trees – to incorporate into the routing.”
Some trees have been planted, with most located on holes four to eight and the fifteenth and sixteenth. “The overall result should give the effect of three distinct characters throughout the round – links, lakes and woodland,” said Howes.
“There are three man-made lakes which come into play on four of the holes. Holes ten through fourteen are designed and landscaped as links holes to add variety to the golf. With the ground being gravel and the grass species that we specified, there should be no problem maintaining them to play like a links.”
The links holes feature revetted bunkers, built using the Ecobunker system.
“An extensive environmental study had been carried out which had many suggestions and restrictions, which in the end helped to enhance the biodiversity and interest throughout the whole site,” said Howes. “The power lines posed quite the challenge not only for having to avoid the huge pylons, but also because all the golf had to be at least 10 metres below the wires. Large excavations were necessary to meet this criteria and therefore had to be incorporated into the strategy.”
The developer has leased the Linsberg course to Föhrenwald, giving members access to 36 holes. “Everyone who has played the course so far has loved it,” said Föhrenwald club manager Elgar Zelestner.
This was first published by Golf Course Architecture and can be found here.
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