After taking 75% ownership at GC Carezza, local businessman Alexander Gostner appointed South Tyrolean golf architect Dr.Wilfried (Willy) Moroder to study an upgrade of the golf course to a modern golfing and tourist facility.
The site is famous for its history. In the 19th Century European mountain climbers brought introduced tourism to the Dolomites, and illustrious people like Empress Sissi of Austria and Sir Winston Churchill spent their holidays at the famous Grand Hotel Carezza.
In 1904 a 9-hole golf course was established for the British guests as the first course in the whole region. It was enlarged to 18-holes in 1921, and up to World War II British and Austrian nobility played golf just under the Rosengarten cliffs. After the Grand Hotel was closed in 1957 the course was abandoned but it was reopened in 1989 with 9 holes designed by Marco Croze.
The course is located 1650 metres above sea level on a sunny plateau and has a fantastic view to the surrounding mountain scenery; during the winter the clubhouse is used as a skiing lodge.
The course features some impressive holes, panoramic tees and greens, but some require blind shots or provide dangerous situations, due to the longer shots of today’s golfers.
Willy Moroder has analysed the course, its golf features and finally defined the needs for re-routing and remodelling, considering them in a Master plan submitted for building permission.
The architect redesigned the whole concept of the course and redefined the strategy of some holes and its quality. Hole #7-par 4 is a blind hole and too short for today’s golf; long hitters trying to reach the green, which is located down in a hidden spot, often put other players in serious danger. New back tees are recommended to lengthen the hole and a lake at left side of the green should be built, in order to discourage ‘blind’ drives.
Hole #8-par 4 has a steep uphill fairway with an almost blind second shot to a elevated green; this fairway has to be re-shaped anyway which will open the view to the green.
Since at hole #9-par 3 again the surface of green is out of sight, the green should be moved a little to the left and reached from the fairway #8 with the 3rd shot, changing the hole to a good par 5 finishing hole.
At the same time hole #5-par 4 gains room and new back tees can be built putting the drive zone in view. A new par 3 is designed between hole #7 and the existing #8.
Dr. Wilfried Moroder, principal of MPS-Golf Design GmbH based in Bolzano, is Associate Member of EIGCA and works on several golf projects for new courses and redesigns, mainly in Italy. He specialises in the development of skiing stations and golf resorts and can provide master planning, general planning, and golf course design.
His realised projects include the 18 holes at GC Passiria-Merano and the co-design of the 36-holes-course at Toscana Resort Castelfalfi with the award winning Mountain Course.
MPS-Golf Design www.mps-golfdesign.eu