Written by: Libor Ševčík
Legend has it that the Devil threw out granite boulders in the region of “Czech Siberia”, and they now dominate a well maintained golf course. That’s why it’s called the Devil’s Burden.
THIS BEGAN not with a word, but with the idea of building a golf course on unused land, providing the joy of the game to beginners and advanced players alike. Jiří Němec, the owner and president of the new golf club, bought the land he needed around his carefully reconstructed cottage and with the help of golf course designer Jiří Velden literally created a course that is a pleasure to play on.
The Devil’s Burden is truly sensitively laid out on the countryside, and although it’s new it looks like it’s always been there. Architect Velden noted, “Perhaps all golf courses were created by God. Our job is to find it in the landscape and not to spoil the basic idea with our activities.” In a relatively small area there is everything that can make a golf course interesting. Hilly terrain requiring play both up and down, water, shrubs, cleverly placed bunkers, and articulated greens. Additionally, the piles of the Devil’s boulders remain. The first hole, a par 4, is a nice greeting that doesn’t stress players out right off. Then the second hole requires a precise drive between a pond to the right and trees to the left. Number three is a very difficult par 4 that requires a precise, long drive. The 394 meter number four is the second longest hole and one of the most beautiful. Number five allows even beginners a good chance. At 247 meters it’s a short, well laid-out par 4. Number six is literally a “challenge hole”, punishing overly audacious players with lost balls. With a well-placed and sufficiently long drive the green can be reached, otherwise you need to play two shots around the dog-leg to the right at the mid-point. Number seven’s green is guarded by a stone wall that may well complicate play. Number eight is one of the most difficult, but is a nice example of successful golf architecture. The last hole is the longest, the only par 5 (483 meters long) on the course, where there’s much to be won or lost. Here it will be decided who has survived.
Another great feature of this nice course is that it’s just an hour’s drive from Prague.
The author is the editor of Hospodářské noviny’s IN magazine.
|InformationsGolfové hřiště Čertovo Břemeno
– Nine holes, Par 70, Total length from yellow tees is 2,684 meters, from the red tees 2,406 meters
– Getting thereTake the D1 from Prague or the old Benešovská Road (Route 603) to Benešov and then on to Votice. Turn there in the direction of Sedlec-Prčice (Route 121) and then on to Alenina Lhota, towards Jistebnice.
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Your favorite golf course?
“Allow me to give you the purely subjective opinion of a beginner, based on my own evaluation criteria, which are probably very uninspired. The course must be level, wide, without bunkers and other things that complicate the game or require tracking down errant balls. I think I’ll change my opinion in the future, and that I’ll seek out courses that are challenging. Specifically, I now like Konopiště and the Motol course, where playing always makes me feel good. In terms of how it’s laid out in the countryside and the overall impression, I think the best one is in Štiřín, which is also my home course. We’ll see how the coming golf season affects my subjective discovery of the best.”
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