Germans are drawn to the south of Europe. Spain and Portugal are experiencing a second tourism boom, but they can barely cope with the masses of tourists. But for a golfer, it would be silly to swing a club in the oppressive heat. Ask any seasoned Munich resident or Upper Bavarian if they would leave their neck of the woods at that time of year. They wouldn’t, and definitely not on their own accord. “Are you crazy, the best place is home! The mountains, the lakes, the beer gardens, the beer is always good, life is good - what else do you need?”
That is especially true when you have regions like Starnberg/Ammersee virtually on your doorstep. This region southwest of Munich is one of the most beautiful in Germany, stretching between Lake Starnberg, Lake Ammersee, Lake Wörth, Lake Pilsen, and Lake Weßlinger. Many even consider it the most beautiful. That is why many people from Germany and abroad dream of settling south of Munich one day, or at least vacation there. “Well, it’s pretty, and there is a lot of stuff to do here”, locals know. Such as golf. People swoon over top golf destinations like Spain, Scotland, or Portugal. As nice as they are, Germany can compete, in particular the area south of Munich. The courses are as varied and diverse as the local beer, offering something for everyone.
The beautiful scenery with its five lakes, the picturesque foothills of the Alps, the proximity to an appealing metropolis like Munich – what more would you ever need? Cultural attractions? Check. A trip to the Buchheim Museum of Imagination in Bernried, which is known far beyond Germany, is just as worthwhile as a trip to Rose Island. Sisi, who spent most of her youth at Possenhofen Palace, crossed over to the island almost daily. On the other side, on the eastern shore of Lake Starnberg near Berg, lies a momentous site of Bavarian history: the spot where the body of King Ludwig II was found in the lake near Leoni. To this day, historians don’t know what killed him. A cross was erected in his memory at the site in the lake, as well as a votive chapel on the lakeshore. A stone’s throw from Berg are the golf clubs Munich-Riedhof and Bergkramerhof. The superbly renovated Iffeldorf golf course is just a 25-minute drive away.
From there, you may want to continue on to the Gasthaus zum Fischmeister in Ambach. The cozy “Bierbichler” beer garden, located directly on the lake, offers a nice, relaxed atmosphere. Maybe that is why German comedy legend Vicco von Bülow (Loriot), who lived next door in Ammerland, liked to frequent this place. A few golf shots from the comedian’s home is the Landhotel Huber with its great home-style cooking.
As you see, visitors do not have to worry about eating well. The selection in Starnberg/Ammersee is huge. After a round in Feldafing, people like to sit on the terrace and enjoy the sunset directly on the lake, or maybe drive a few miles to Tutzing and drop by Haering’s Wirtschaft, also known as Midgardhaus. The hospitality of these local golf clubs is excellent across the board, so there is no need to leave the facilities for dining.
After playing 18 fun holes in Starnberg, Gut Rieden, or Hohenpähl, be sure to stop by the monastery brewery Andechs (Bavaria’s oldest pilgrimage site). Above Lake Ammersee lies the Benedictine monastery of St. Bonifaz, which is also a must-see, offering tasty, smooth beer. But be careful: It’s easy to overindulge on this delicious stuff, which may cause headaches. Another thing that may just give you a headache is the Leading Golf Course of GC Wörthsee, located not far from the Lindau interstate, with its rapid, ondulated greens. To wind down from the many three-putts, you can visit the Bräustüberl in Seefeld or take a dip in Lake Pilsen, Lake Wörth, or Lake Ammersee, which are all just around the corner. There is really no lack of choice for a golf staycation.
Text: © Intermag Publishing/Ingo Grünpeter