209 GC Finkenstein [0]

WORTH WAITING FOR! – After years of negotiations the Alpe Adria GC Schloß Finkenstein finally became reality.


The golf course Schloss Finkenstein is a relaxing oasis just outside the city.

To start off with, you may say: This was a real big-shot of the architect Diethard Fahrenleitner. The area of the GC Finkenstein (we wave the term Alpe-Adria, you know anyway which bank is meant with it) left and right to the B85 is ideal for a consumer friendly meadow. Nothing buck-like, but built with enough nuances of comfortable ups and downs, a few accentuated mounts to hide the big road, enough water and a very nice club house, with sufficient space to have accommodated the whole entourage of Dietrichstein in former days. But these people haven’t been there very often. The journey to the top of 840 metres was too uncomfortable. Back then. Nowadays: Lars Johansson emphasises the successful concept of the course in front of the doorstep of Villach :”We have the idea of a pleasurable, but still strategically placed golf course with fantastic panorama and the numbers of members prove us right already.”

Within just a couple of months Finkenstein collected about 400 members – in full speed. The main reason is probably the absence of a golf course close to the city of Villach. “We still haven’t reached the top of the pole yet, and we will still run lots of advertisement. The plan is, to get at least 600 members and we can accommodate them easily.” 70 hectare, 30 farmers, 13 years. Let’s take a look back to the chronology of the course, which was mentioned in the Golfrevue in 1994 for the first time. “Extra-ordinary ÖGV-Club” it said.
Two years before that, in 1992, Finkenstein was officially founded. And upon request, back then, they said: “Start of construction – next year.” That’s how it was working for several years and the one and only big tourist attraction has been the arena of the castle. Golf? Next year! Finally, in 2002: Hypo-Alpe-Adria-Bank, a golf-affine enterprise (although they took on the sponsorship of a alpine skier named Rainer Schönfelder – we don’t blame them, everybody makes mistakes) takes over the project, calculates everything and gives the go for construction in 2004 – as majority shareholder.

From day one there was no more doubt: financial opposition? No way! Even the problems with the land – 30 farmers had to be brought on their side – were solved quickly, because of many tries during the 12 years of planning (which of course was basic ammunition for jokes in the “Villacher Fasching”). The farmers knew already, what is going to happen. “We had to buy a little bit of land, but most of it is leased. However, we are very happy with this solution.” Johansson explains. We believe in him. The golf scene of Villach is also very content, because they now find their home right outside their doorstep rather than travelling all the way to Dellach or Velden. Johansson about the cooperation with the city: “Even in this matter we have realised, how urgent the need of a golf course was for Villach. Politics was standing behind us as one, and even the green party was easy to please, as far as the golf project was concerned. You will not find this everywhere in Austria.” And because banks are very good in calculating, Hypo-Alpe-Adria was also thinking about synergetic effects in regards to GC Seltenheim. “Of course there is some approach,” Johansson says, “we would be stupid not to take the whole portfolio into consideration. Fact is, that each club has it’s own brand.” And: Hypo-Alpe-Adria is checking some more places in Carinthia and Croatia as well. The golf family will be probably expanding. If you ask yourself now, why a bank institute takes on golf so much – here is the answer: Hypo-Alpe-Adria has its own department for tourism, which obviously goes in handy.

The Course in detail
After that much theory, back to business: Finkenstein, hole by hole! The start was very nicely designed by Diethard Fahrenleitner. The course itself greets us with a polite, homeopathic 432 metres short Par 5. Although you have to hurdle a comfortable slope, you still should be able to play a Par there. After that, a short Par sends us 3 metres underneath the road to already mentioned six holes, which are separated by the B85 from the rest of the course. The pond, which clings to the 3rd Green and the Tees of hole 4 and 6, affects not only our optical view of the game. But Diethard Fahrenleitner left throughout the whole course enough space for missed hits. Hole for, as well as hole 15 and 17 is a real test for our golfplay: “That sorts out the boys from men”, as the south Carinthians use to say.

The complete finish once again demands full concentration. Hole 15 is a 298 to 325 metres long Par 4 with forest to the right hand side (Do not slice!). Hole 16 is a slightly downhill Par 3 (153 to 191 metres), which leads funnel-shaped from the Green to the tee and finally ends at the pond, that characterises the final hole. Hole 17 (Par 4, 325 to 393 metres) is a sneaky one – from tee to the Green: water on the left hand side, skin tight landing zone for the drive, because the trees from the right sneak to the fairway and then the second hit, very loooong and uphill, pffffff. And last but not least the final hole, which reminds a little bit of Fontana, just mirrored: This 424 to 513 metres long Par 5, an elegant left bended dogleg, passes the pond on the right, tightens in between to the size of a corridor and just brave longhitter should try to reach the Green with the second hit. At the end of the day, you can always work out a birdy chance with a well placed third hit.


Die Daten dieses Clubs sind inaktuell und werden daher nicht angezeigt!
Datenstand: 2013-02-10

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