The only 18 hole links course in Germany (there are 9 holers in Norderney and St. Peter Ording) is relatively new, but already looks like it has been there forever. If it hadn't been a military base before, permission to build on dunesland would never have been granted. But since the dunes were already flattened and the land sealed with concrete, the hotel and golf project was deemed to be a renaturation. And the golf architect selected for this once-in-a-generation opportunity was none of the usual suspects, but a resident of the island with the theoretical qualifications, but no practical experience. The result is a huge win and would look great in any name architect's portfolio.
The course does not play overly long thanks to the firm and fast conditions, which are second to none. However, when the North-Westerly comes up, all bets are off. The site is located on the tip of the island of Sylt, which is surrounded by the ocean on three sides. Thus the wind can be anything between a mellow breeze off the continent and a veritable arctic howler. As much as Sylt is said to be the holiday island of the rich and famous, it's northerly position is equal to that of Northumberland. While the prevailing South-Westerly is not far behind, it's the North-Westerly that really intimidates: it is then that the first hole, a difficult par 4 as it is, plays directly into the teeth of the wind and the weak at heart start to wonder whether they really should go out today.
There are no weak holes at Budersand, it is a very balanced course with an especially memorable set of par 3s. Depending on the wind anything from half a wedge to driver can be hit, but even without wind the lengths are very cleverly spaced and the iconic blind shot over a dune is included as well. While two or three of the longer holes could be a bit more quirky and have a few more fairway undulations, the truth is that occasionally it is nice to get a break from worrying how to keep the ball in play.
On the last three holes a burn appears, but that needs more work, as it is often dry and does not have a continuous bed. Other than that Budersand ticks alls the links boxes with its marram grass, gorse, fescue greens, fairway undulations, lack of trees and, at any rate, one seaside hole (although on the second tee the ocean on both sides of the course can be seen from a distance). Considering the five star hotel on site the greenfee is actually pretty reasonable, so even those staying in more affordable accommodations can and should play here. It has not an ounce of modernism to it and should please even the hardiest traditionalists. As the starter says to every group: "You do not need your pitchfork here, but keep your ball low to the ground."