Blog: Links golf on the rise


Sean Dudley

Adam Lawrence reports on a visit to a new German links

I freely admit I’m biased where links golf is concerned. To me, it is the Coca-Cola of golf, the original and best. Nothing else matches a day on the links.

Combining the promise of a new links course with the anticipation of having covered its creation from a distance for three years, I was almost beyond excitement at the prospect of visiting the Budersand course on the German island of Sylt this week. When, at my instigation, veteran golf journalist George Peper visited the course earlier in the year and pronounced it more truly a links than courses as eminent as Le Touquet, Kennemer and Falsterbo, my blood pressure went through the roof.

Germany, like its neighbours Holland and Denmark, doesn’t lack for great linksland, but also like them, it is heavily protected. Architect Rolf-Stephan Hansen, a native of Sylt, was able to build Budersand only because the land, previously a military base, and largely covered with concrete and metal, had already been developed and degraded. He has restored the dune environment amazingly.

For a full review of Budersand, you will have to wait for a future issue of GCA, but I will say this: holes such as the immense opener, with its green set high in the dunes, the stunning par three thirteenth, which has only a tiny frontal opening between sandhills, resulting in a hole that is almost akin to Lahinch’s famous Dell, and the fifteenth, a tiny par three with its green set hard against the sea, would comfortably fit on many of the British Isles’ great courses. That Budersand is Hansen’s first design defies belief.