This mountain course (formerly known as Golf Club Kastelruth) sits in the heart of the Dolomites and offers spectacular views as well as spectacular golf. Environmental regulations are tough in any Alpine region, so there was no way to blast this small and severe site into shape. It's a small wonder that 18 regulation holes could be built, although there are no long par 4s and only two par 5s.
While there are a number of memorable holes and a lot of fun shots sprinkled throughout the round, there are also some profound shortcomings. One is that the walking golfer hardly gets any grass under his feet. Many fairways are fenced off and some green and tee complexes are too undulated and disconnected from the fairway to make walking on the actual hole feasible. So all golfers, whether they are walking or riding, are relegated to the cart paths for much of the round. Some holes have no fairway at all, they consist of tees, a green and a cartpath between them. This means walking on stones and rough gravel for extended periods of time and it seriously detracts from the enjoyment of being in an otherwise grand natural setting.
It is expected that there will be some climbs on a mountain course, but it is also expected that they are made as easy and as beautiful as possible. However, no attention seems to have been paid to walking golfers, which is a fairly mind boggling proposition in European golf. Then there is the issue of variety: too many drive and pitch par 4s and all of the par 3s are drop-shots from a panorama tee.
The stunning scenery and a good amount of quirk fall on the positive side, so any golfer laying an eye on the site will find it hard to pass on the opportunity to try some of these unusual holes. Replay value is another story, though. While the occasional lost ball and some elaborate green to tee walks are unavoidable on such a site, there is no excuse for the unsightly routing.