On Sunday 20th July 2003 we once again had the pleasure of getting up early to drive down south to one of the courses in Sønderjylland - this time to Breinholtgård Golf Klub which is situated app. 10km from Esbjerg. The weather was as usual fine and we had been promised temperatures close to 30 degrees. It looked like it could be a very warm day "on the job". It is of course no sweat to play 18 holes in the heat but in this club there are 27 of them, so we were definitely facing a warm challenge and we actually survived - barely!! If total dehydration and total exhaustion is survival, then it is what we did. The clubhouse is very nice here and this old farmhouse looks like it has been totally renewed from top to bottom. It is a very pretty sight. We had been talking about a trip to Breinholtgård Golf Klub for a few years now; actually we had the idea before we started our site (FORE.DK), so this was something we had really been looking forward to. The expectations had not been lessened by the fact that the course had been recommended to us by many other golfers. Our biggest problem was though if we had the stamina to play all of the 27 holes in 30 degrees!!?? Fortunately we did!!
The training facilities are good and placed just before you enter the parking lot in the club. From here you only have to move a few yards before you can swing your clubs. The driving range is long and wide but is still a little close to the 1st hole of the "Ådalen" so be careful not to be closer acquainted with the range balls, when you play this hole - watch out and take good care of your fellow golfers!!!! Anyway, back to the driving range - here you have the opportunity to practice every shot in the book both from the mats and the grass - either one are of a good quality. All the mats are placed under a roof and there is plenty of room. You will never feel that the range is overcrowded. The distance markers are plenty and easy to see, so you have every chance to practice the length of your shots. The chipping green is of a good quality and it is possible to practice both your chip shots and longer pitch shots. The matching bunker is quite alright, and you can also practice the long irons from here. A really good idea but remember to take care of other golfers on the area. The putting green is placed next to the 1st tee of "Skoven" and the 1st tee of "Sletten". Furthermore it is placed close to the clubhouse terrace, so it is always possible to find someone you can test in a little match for a pint or a soft drink. The green is pretty large and the ball rolls well, fast and very true, so you don't have to complain about that.
The 1st hole on "Skoven" is a par 4 (371y/339m) with a dogleg left where you easily can get into real trouble. From the tee you must aim for the tree you can see on the left side or slight right of it, but be careful. The distance to the tree is some (208-219y/190-200m) and if you end up short, you have locked yourself in. If you can't drive the ball this far, just aim for the middle of the fairway or the right side. This gives you the best position to advance with your next shot. The second shot can also cause trouble, especially if you have played the ball too far on the left. Then you have to curve your ball around the trees or hit a high and very long second shot. In both cases you'll face some difficult shots. Should you have placed the ball in the middle of the fairway(!!), only the trees which stand tall in the middle will cause you grief. The approach is not too difficult but the green is protected by a couple of bunkers that can tease you. The greens are not so easy to read, but they are fast and true so if you have lined up the putt correctly and hit it with the right speed, the ball will find the cup almost every time. There are no bouncing balls on these greens!! A par is within reach and please don't get off with a start like Jan, whose ball was lying some 12 feet from the hole in regulation and walked away with a bogey on the card, or like Peter who reached the greenside bunker in two and after a little "bunker battle" ended up with a 9!! He is normally a good bunker player!! Quite a start!
The 5th hole on "Skoven" is a really nice and short par 3 (159y/145m) with a great view over a few of the other holes. The tee box is placed in the woods, and you hit the ball to a green placed in the open and some (5,5-7,7y/5-7m) below the tee. This makes your tee shot rather exposed to the wind, and you need to take a moment to check out the wind direction. The green is well guarded by nothing less than tree bunkers; one on the left front side; one on the right front side and the last right behind the green. That's why you need to keep it straight from the tee. Fortunately the green is almost as large as a standard building site - almost 588sqm so you'll have a fair chance to hit it in regulation. Two putts and your par is carded... and if you are a bit sharper a birdie is not totally impossible.
The 9th hole on "Skoven" is an exciting par 5 (506y/462m). The length is not the factor that makes this hole tough - it's the way that it's designed. The hole has a dogleg right which begins some (339y/310m) from the tee. There are trees along both sides of the hole from the tee box and all the way to the green. The drive is probably the key on this hole, as it is essential to get well off the tee, if you want the chance to go for the green in two (three) shots. The perfect drive is down the left side of the fairway and not too close to the trees that crosses the fairway some (285-295y/260-270m) from the tee. Here the long hitters must control themselves or else they must really rip it and clear the trees. The second shot is either a lay up down the fairway or a more risky shot over the trees in the right side. This can really be costly if you don't clear all the trees (if you meet Tarzan, say hello - will you!!). Jan placed his ball in the right side of the fairway and tried to hit a long iron over the woods with a little fade (look out for the bunker placed in the right side some (33-44y/30-40m) from the green). He succeeded but the ball ran through the fairway and ended up among the trees on the left side some (44y/40m) from the green - luckily rule 25 applied in this area, and he could drop the ball and play to the green anyway. Be careful though because this rule will not apply here for ever... As the third shot you probably just need a short iron, so you should be able to get close to the pin. The green is only protected by one bunker in the left front edge, but the green is still hard to read and not at all fun to putt. If you have hit a few good shots it is more than possible to card a birdie here - just try to see if you can't grab one.
The next hole we will describe is a hole on the "Sletten"-course. The 7th hole on "Sletten" is a par 5 (496y/453m) which is pretty much straight all the way to the green. The difficult shot on this hole is the drive!! It is extremely important to hit a decent drive as most of the dangers are connected to the drive. From the tee, some (169y/154m) a long bunker is placed in the right side of the fairway. In the left side of the fairway there is a water hazard some (205y/187m) from the tee and it looks (from the tee) like it reaches in on the fairway. You CAN trust the course guide! A drive straight down the middle of the fairway is preferred because of the other water hazard (on the right side). The second shot will for most players be a lay up shot which will get you in the right position for the approach shot. This is best done by hitting a middle or long iron down the fairway which will take the rough and bunker by the green out off play. The long hitters can reach the green in two shots but it takes a little knowledge of the course to do so. This shot is uphill and totally blind, and there is nothing you can aim at - so good luck!! The third shot will probably be hit with a short iron to the green so expect to get close to the pin. The green is protected only by one single bunker on the left but it reaches almost all the way from the front edge to the back - it is very much in play if you lack precision. Furthermore the green is surrounded by rough but it is not too tough to play from. Some (219y/200m) from the green trees stands tall on the right side and they continue all the way to the green. Don't flirt with them - it can be a costly affair. If you have hit a few good shots and reached the green in regulation you can go for the birdie, because the green is not so hard to putt - a par is also a good score here.
The 9th hole on "Sletten" is a really fine par 3 (169y/154m) placed close to the clubhouse and you might have some spectators, when you play this hole. The tee shot is quite harmless!!! Only if you don't find: three bunkers, out-of-bounds and a few trees to be a problem?? When playing the tee shot, it is very important that you stay focused because this shot is the factor that determines whether this hole is easy or hard. The green is long and narrow so precision is the key word. From the tee box and all the way to the green there are trees along the right side but they grow in a safe distance from your line of play, so the shouldn't be in play. The green has got threes bunkers which are very well placed. One in the front and one on each side behind the green - this means that there is no sand shortage here!! If this is not enough out-of-bounds lurks right behind the green. Have you hit the target this hole just might offer you a birdie, the green is not so hard to putt. Jan made his birdie putt and if he can... everybody can!!!! A fine finishing hole on "Sletten" and perhaps also on the round - but we had a rendezvous with nine more holes in "Ådalen" which we characterizes as both the toughest and most fun to play.
The 1st hole in "Ådalen" is a really tough par 4 (417y/381m) with a dogleg left at some 60 degrees. This is where the problems with the course guide begins. It feels like the final 9 holes are just put in the guide without being measured properly. It says that there are some (307y/281m) to the water hazard on the fairway. That would mean that I (Jan) would like to attend the World Championship in long driving - as I carried the ball that distance without hitting it well!! I really don't think this is possible for me, so be careful on these nine holes. The holes are incredibly beautiful and very challenging so there is no doubt in our minds, that these are the very best on the course. Well, back to the 1st hole!! You need to try to place the drive down the left side of the fairway. You need to clear the bunker which you can easily reach with a long iron or a small wood even though there are some (253y/213m). You must remember that there is out-of-bounds all the way to the green in on the left side - this is where the driving range is placed. Please look out for potentially dangerous situations and keep a good eye on your fellow golfers. If you have placed your ball in the right position on the fairway, you now face a very difficult second shot to the green. The ball must be carried over a long water hazard which is very much in play. If you don't dare to hit the full shot towards the green there is a small landing area some (44-55y/40-50m) from it, and you can try to lay up short here. This area is well guarded with water hazards though. The green is "only" protected by one bunker on the right side, a water hazard in front and furthermore the green is placed across your line of play so it is not at all easy to get close to the pin. The green is slightly sloped and not easy to putt, but should you card a par or even a bogey, you can be pleased. A superb, exciting and challenging hole!!
The 7th hole in "Ådalen" is a par 5 (492y/450m) with a dogleg right. It is not the length which makes this hole difficult but far more the precision, that is required to hit the green. When you stand on the tee you must remember to check if there are any players on the 6th green because this is situated close to the 7th tee box. Dangerous situations can arise if players on these two holes are not careful. The drive should be placed just left of the two bunkers - preferably down the middle of the fairway. It is impossible to tell from the course guide the distance to these two bunkers as they are just marked but have no distance noted. We believe that these bunkers are in play for the longer hitters - in our judgement, there are some (241-252y/220-230m) to the first one. If you have cleared the bunkers and hit a long drive you now has the opportunity to go for the green in two shots. If you are not among the long hitters it is important that you don't place your lay up shot closer than some (88y/80m) from the green because of the small rough area that crosses the fairway in this distance. If you got the length to reach the green this is only protected by a bunker on the right side which is quite big though. The rest of the way around the green the rough is tricky and not particular fun to hit from. Be sure that you are precise in your approach!! It is important to place the ball in the right position relative to the pin because this green is quite sloped and very difficult to putt. A birdie on this hole is a possibility and a par is almost a must. A fine hole that challenges your precision and patience.
The finishing hole on "Ådalen" is a fantastic par 3 (175y/160m). An easy hole???? Well - close to the green a giant water hazard is placed and along the right side runs out-of-bounds!! As dessert there is a bunker on the right front edge. ENJOY!!! No matter the score this is a beautiful hole.. There is really no way of describing this hole - it has to be played!
After a long round (if you have chosen to play all 27 holes), it is time to drag what is left of your body in the restaurant and order something nice from the menu. Here you can get all sorts of foods and drinks. If you have the strength, it is possible to sit on the terrace and enjoy a relaxing moment while looking at your fellow golfers. There are plenty of holes within range to look at. The clubhouse has one of the biggest pro shops in Denmark and it has a wide selection. If you can't find what you are looking for we can only say this: You will probably never find it! Breinholtgård Golf Klub is a very nice and well designed course where you really can test both your driving skills and your precision with your irons and putter as well. There is just one thing that we think is a shame and that is that course guide does not reach the same high standard as the rest of the facilities. Our conclusion will at anytime be that you simply MUST visit this course. There is nothing else to say!