18 beautiful Bohemian holes
Written by: Libor Ševčík
While the Hones Golf
Club course in Písek-Kestřany was only opened last
year, it fits into the typical southern Bohemian
countryside so well that it looks like it's been
Photo: časopis Golf
JAKUB KRČÍN, 16th-century nobleman and famous pond builder, had
no idea what golf was when he landscaped the fishponds, century-old
oaks, lovely meadows and parks that now characterize the southern
Bohemian region, but his work seems made for this increasingly
popular sport without any great modifications. This is proven by
both the flat eighteen-hole course right beneath Hluboká castle
and by the rolling nine-hole course in Písek-Kestřany. In fact,
all that was necessary was to sensitively insert attractively shaped
greens into this pure golf landscape, lay in sand traps, and correctly
estimating distances from tees. The course is a par 70, with a
total length from the yellow tees of 5,224 meters, and it's enjoyable
for both advanced players and beginners alike.
The project is credited to the workshop of the famed golf course
builder Kató of Japan. Therefore, completely within the style of
large courses, the first hole is ideal for warming up, as is the
second, although it has sand traps. The first water is encountered
at three, where you also have to play to the left to an elevated
green. Number four is perhaps the hardest. The drive must be long
and straight enough for you to even get a view of the green up
on a hillside. There is water to the left of the fairway and shrubbery
to the right. Number five leads down from a hill, and even a weaker
player can make par here. You can also par number six with precise
shots, but if at the end your shot drifts to the right, it will
wind up in the Hliněnský fishpond. The pond awaits you in all its
beauty at seven, which is only 146 meters long, but the water surface
seems to extend endlessly. Eight is the longest hole, and in addition
you tee off towards the horizon. After a good drive you'll encounter
no greater problem. Nine is the cherry on top. Even weaker players
can drive the green, only 97 meters away, but if you overshoot
it you'll be looking for your ball a long time, as the green lies
on a knoll.
Whether your score is good or not, you'll have a fine walk through
a genuine southern Bohemian golf landscape.
The author is the editor of Hospodářské noviny's IN magazine.
Photo: časopis Golf
Hones Golf Club Písek - Kestřany
- Daily green fees:Week days - CZK 300 / weekends - CZK 500
- Getting there: From Písek it's best to take the 3rd class
to Kestřany (about 6 km from the main road). In the center
of Kestřany turn right to the Ovčín area, and follow the
signs to the golf complex.
More information and reservations at:
tel.: 603 286 066, email@example.com
managing director, Intercontact Praha
"I have two favorites. The first is Royal Course, right
next to the fine Barringotos hotel in Vale de Lobo, Algarve,
Portugal. It's a beautiful eighteen-hole course, somewhat
hilly and right on the shore of the Atlantic. Number 16,
called "Sweet Sixteen," is unforgettable. The tee
is on a high cliff below which the waves break, and the green
is on the opposite cliff, and you have to drive over a chasm
above a sandy beach that's hard to get to. My other favorite
is on the island of Mauritius. It's called Legend, and it
belongs to the Belle Mare Plage hotel on the island's eastern
side. I've probably never seen so many water hazards anywhere.
No one keeps track of how many balls are lost in the sea.
Local boys hunt for them and sell them back for small change."
Royal Course, www.algarvegolf.net/courses/royal.htm
The Legend, www.golftoday.co.uk/clubhouse/coursedir/world/mauritius/legend.html
photo: Věroslav Sixt
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