Colt's course in Frankfurt to be refurbished

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Frankfurter Golf Club, one of only two courses in Germany designed by Harry Colt, and host to 12 German Opens, is being remodelled by architect Christoph Städler.

Built between 1927-1929, most of the onsite supervision at Frankfurter was carried out by Colt's partner JSF Morrison. The course is situated in a forest within Frankfurter city on gently rolling, sandy terrain similar to the heathland courses near London. Once among the longest courses in Europe, playing to a par of 78, the challenge has been reduced by technology, and throughout the last decade alterations have been made to keep up with the longer ball flight. Tee boxes were placed back as far as possible, and fairway bunkers have been re-positioned. The greens, however, have not been changed.

"For many years these old topsoil push-up greens have shown increasing problems with fungi and poa annua," said Christoph Städler. "They no longer measure up with modern playing standards. Thus the members have recently decided to renovate the greens." Städler added: "I have played about 20 Harry Colt courses and I'm a great admirer of his ingenious layouts, routings, and undulated greens. Surprisingly, the greens at Frankfurter GC are relatively flat in comparison to his other courses and they have lost their challenge over the years when approach shot lengths have become shorter and shorter. A couple of greens are still appropriately contoured but we will provide the majority with bolder shaped surfaces and surrounds, very much so in the typical Colt style." Construction is being carried out by Irish contractor European Golf Services. At the time of writing, ground breaking was planned for July 10, with seeding to be complete by September and re-opening expected in June 2007.