Berlin-Wannsee approaches reopening after greens redesign

  • Berlin

    Josef Pötter Golf has completed the construction of new greens at Berlin-Wannsee

  • Berlin

    Thomas Himmel has redesigned the surfaces with more variety and potential pin placements

  • Berlin

    The course is expected to reopen in April 2019

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Construction work has been completed on the redesign of greens on the 18-hole Championship course at the 27-hole Golf- und Land-Club Berlin-Wannsee – one of the oldest in the country – located in a south-western suburb of the German capital.

“The project started out with the plan to rebuild the greens according to modern USGA construction with the intention to keep the design to as it was before,” said Matthias Pötter, project lead for construction firm Josef Pötter Golf. “Through the planning stages, it was then agreed to change some of the green designs to optimise water movement and to bring a more modern game. At this stage it became clear that the project will be under enormous/extraordinary time pressure”

Golf course architect Thomas Himmel said: “They were pretty much round-shaped and mainly flat, not fitting to the course itself with its broad undulations and to the prestige and quality of the club. The main goal of the redesign was to include more variety, strategy and challenge to the greens – mainly by incorporating ‘sections’ that would create different pin positions with different grade of challenges.”

A bunker renovation, including the Better Billy Bunker system, had already been completed, so the greens work was on the putting surfaces only, and the first two-to-three yards of collar.

“Without touching the greenside bunkers, it was difficult to create 18 different greens. Although the result seems to have received quite good feedback up to now,” said Himmel.

A turf nursery was established in October 2017 so that the greens could be turfed and ready for play as soon as possible after construction work began.

Pötter Golf’s site manager Darryl Spelman has overseen over 15,000 tonnes of materials moved on the site, and Mark Turner was responsible for shaping.

Berlin-Wannsee head greenkeeper Karsten Opolka supervised a tree removal program, to improve light and aeration of the redesigned greens.

Construction work began in October 2018 and was completed in February 2019, ahead of a planned reopening in April. In the space of two months, from October to December, Pötter Golf handled 95 percent of the total project, including turfing.

“We are very happy and proud with the progress we have made in such short amount of time,” said Pötter. “Proper planning of logistics combined with a professional relationship between the working force on site and the club were key factors to this achievement.”