Watching a course on television being tackled by the pros undoubtedly stimulates a golfer’s curiosity and, perhaps, the ridiculous thought, could I have played that hole better? How many of us have not wondered which club we would take at the par three 12th at Augusta? Sadly, we won’t ever get the chance to put theory into practice but there are other courses on the pro circuit where we can play and the Diamond Country Club in Altzenbrugg, Austria, is one dazzling example.
Established venue of the Lyoness (Austrian) Open since 2010, it is located in the pretty Lower Austrian countryside about 25 miles west of Vienna. Sited on land that has witnessed even more serious battles than those fought on the European Tour, it has preserved some Second World War concrete defences and, similar to beating swords into ploughshares, has converted bomb craters into grass bunkers.
Now surrounded by farmers’ fields rather than enemy troops, it is a blissfully peaceful parkland course where the principal threat is posed by a rich array of aquatic hazards ranging from modest ponds to impressive lakes. Less welcome was the water that inundated the course when the nearby River Danube burst its banks in 2009. New owners took over shortly after that disaster, pumped water off and money in. Miguel Angel Jimenez contributed to an exceptionally polished redesign of the Diamond course that rapidly established it as the jewel in the crown of Austrian golf.
Although mountains provide an imposing backdrop, the course is fairly flat and eminently walkable despite being nearly 7400 yards long off the tips. As one would expect of a European Tour course, the condition is quite exceptional with lush fairways, two distinct cuts of rough and immaculate greens.
A less familiar feature is an app that enables golfers to watch the TV coverage of a memorable moment from each hole as they go round. John Daly storming off the course in 2011 after a dispute with referee Andy McFee over a two-shot penalty is believed NOT to be among them.
As well as the Diamond there are two other golfing challenges at the Diamond Country Club. The Park course is a friendly, nine-hole lay-out while the Country course is more formidable and in the process of being extended to 18 from its present seven holes. It will be fully open in 2016. There is also a state-of-the-art academy, superb range and excellent practice area.
Apart from golf, there’s tennis, lake bathing, cycling and the mighty Danube with its picturesque villages very close by. The Diamond Resort also boasts two lots of accommodation. There are 33 apartments and two exclusive master suites in a contemporary and convenient quadrangle right next to the clubhouse. But if that’s too far from the action, there are comfortable rooms in the clubhouse itself!
Why We Like It
Vienna is a beautiful and cultured city that is only about half-an-hour away by train from the Diamond Country Club. Even closer is the mighty River Danube with a whole string of pretty towns and villages that are well worth exploring. Riverboats steam up and down to offer an exceptionally pleasant way to enjoy the delightful countryside. On top of all of that there is, of course, great golf and extremely comfortable accommodation that makes the Diamond Country Club a brilliant place to stay.
Golf writer Clive Agran, 65 and a journalist for more than 40 years, Clive Agran still wonders what he’ll do when he grows up. Nicknamed ‘Silky Swing’, he travels the globe looking for the world’s best golf courses.