Insider tips from Victor Zindel

Graubünden: the destination for keen golfers

Graubünden: the destination for keen golfers - Insider tips from Victor Zindel

Our rail network takes you to various spectacular links, including a course in the middle of an Alpine village, one overlooking the Rhine and Europe’s highest-altitude golf course. Victor Zindel, RhB employee and passionate golfer, gives away the secret of his favourite courses.

Victor Zindel is both the Rhaetian Railway’s head of sales for Graubünden North and a passionate golfer. He has spent the last 20 years playing several matches annually in the company of friends. “Golf is my chosen sport because you can play it anywhere in the world, always in the heart of nature and with a chance to meet interesting people”, says Mr Zindel. Whether with blazing sunshine or high winds, no match is ever like any other. Golf courses also provide a valuable habitat for various animals and plants. But the thing that you most require for some matches is strong nerves. When Mr Zindel was playing golf in South Africa on one occasion, he found a green mamba dangling out of a tree, right above his head. “That made me run a quick mile, I can tell you!” he laughs. Although this native of the Alpine village of Maienfeld has played in many golf courses throughout the world, his preferred locations continue to be those of his home canton of Graubünden. These are Victor Zindel’s favourites:

Eighteen holes at 1,800 metres above sea level: Arosa is one of Europe’s highest-altitude golf courses. Although it lies high up in the mountains, its altitude is not immediately apparent to players. With the onset of evening and the end of play, cows are allowed to graze on certain parts of the course. Victor Zindel’s opinion: «This is one of the truly-great courses, and you must play it at least once.»

Bad Alvaneu
Bad Alvaneu, in the Albula Valley, has its own 18-hole course. Its unique feature: the tee of the ninth hole lies on a plateau, located right in the middle of the village of Bad Alvaneu. Another outstanding feature is the ancient woodland into which the course has been integrated. A new driving range was inaugurated in April 2012. Victor Zindel’s opinion: «This beautiful tourist destination in its own right offers an interesting challenge for beginners and advanced players alike.»

The 18-hole course at Samedan has been in use since 1893, making it one of the oldest golf courses in Switzerland. Surrounded by mountains, this championship course is nevertheless virtually flat. Seven-hundred-year-old larches and mountain brooks dot the ways to the greens this click save. Victor Zindel’s opinion: «This links course is characterised by its northern and maloja winds – making it a real challenge for any golfer.»

The 18-hole course of the Davos Golf Club lies right in the middle of Europe’s highest town. Conditions change with the wind and weather, creating challenges both large and small for the player. The Club extensively rebuilt and modernised the course last year. Victor Zindel’s opinion: «The town’s spectacular mountain backdrop makes this challenging course, built on a former aerodrome, truly unique.»

Perched high on a plateau above the Rhine Gorge, we find the 18-hole golf course of Sagogn. The idyllic landscape offers a great place to relax in. It owes its name of Buna Vista to its wonderful views. This is something appreciated by the celebrities who come to play, including Formula One team head Peter Sauber, who is occasionally to be found on one of the greens. Victor Zindel’s opinion: «A one-off course with wonderful views of the Rhine Gorge, and abundant sloping areas to provide a great challenge for any player!»

Just a few kilometres from the source of the Rhine, we find the nine-hole course at Sedrun. Each hole has two tees, to make the second round more interesting. The ninth hole is truly spectacular, as the tee looks out directly over the Rhine. Victor Zindel’s opinion: «It really is a great golfing experience to play directly above the Rhine. And this course also offers a special atmosphere, located as it is on the road to the Oberalp Pass.»

So what does...

So what does...

...the greenkeeper at the Kulm Golf Course do in winter?