182 yard, Par 3 3rd holeFairway bunker on the 4th Bridge over to the par 3, 7th
Iíd always associated Austria with Franz Klammer and the Von Trapp family Ė if you didnít sing in the hills then you went down them on skis at breakneck speed. So when Iím invited out to sample golf in Austria itís to my pleasant surprise that I find myself in a David Ledbetter Academy at the Reiterís Golf & Country Club in Bad Tatzmannsdorg.
The Reiterís has an amazing golf academy with practice facilities for every part of your game and a fantastic little nine-hole course and 18-hole track. The hotel is split in two, one section for adults and the other for families. In the past Iíve seen hotels that say they cater for children, but this hotel takes it to another level with lots of supervised play areas and a children-only restaurant. If only theyíd had stuff like this when I was a kidÖ
For a golfer, this is a perfect place for a long weekend or week to bring your family and get them into the sport. They can take lessons, making full use of the Academyís teaching and practice facilities, and then you can all go around the nine-hole course and enjoy the game together. The added bonus is while the family are having lessons and practising, any golfers in the family can play the 18-hole course before you all sample the delights of the nine-hole track.
The courses and hotel make full use of the views and it really is set in a beautiful area, which is great, but Iíd hoped for a tighter tree-lined course utilising those stunning large pines. There are a couple of holes like this, especially the 166-yard, par-3 seventeenth which is a tough little hole with the trees surrounding it and giving you that claustrophobic feeling, and the 360-yard uphill par-4 sixteenth in which the green sits sideways in the trees, a hole you need to place your shot to the green in the right area.
Water features on 12 of the 18 holes but only comes into play on six of those, unless you are really hitting some wayward shots! The run of holes from fifth to eighth all have water as a hazard, a great risk-and-reward hole at the par-5 sixth, and strategy plays a big part for your second shots to the fifth and eighth holes.
I love the short nine-hole course, which features three par-4 holes and six par-3s. Itís how golf should be, fun. Iím up early to play this little gem, and am so impressed I whizz round again. The second, third and fourth holes are a great little run and feature a drivable par-4 and a tough par-3 (you really donít want to miss the green) and a dogleg left uphill par-4 Ė a real treat and one that the whole family will enjoy. All in all, a fun place to play and a superb place to stay.
Looking back from the 11th greenPine trees surround the 14th greenThe uphill par 4 16th hole