A new course currently under construction on the island of Sylt will be Germany's first true links course, according to architect Rolf-Stephan Hansen. The Budersand site, a former military facility that has been derelict for ten years, has been three years in the planning, and is expected to open in 2008.
"The first two holes are located in natural dunes, but all 18 are on the linksland," said Hansen. Much of the site, he explains, was levelled when it was a military facility, but the development plans to return it to a more naturallooking landscape. A total of 150,000 cu m of earthmoving is planned.
Hansen explained that, although there is more linksland to be found on the north coast of Germany, it is highly unlikely any of it will ever be released for golf. "These sites are heavily protected," he told GCA.
"It is only because of the former military presence here that we were able to get permission to build a golf course. The authorities were keen to see the old military buildings, and the extensive concrete roads, removed.We have already demolished the buildings.We are going to build a very traditional links golf course.
We plan to finish seeding the course this year and allow it to grow in before opening in spring 2008." A hotel is also under construction at Budersand, but Hansen says he expects the golf course – which is being built by British contractor J&E Ely – to be ready first.
This article first appeared in issue 4 of Golf Course Architecture, published in April 2006.