Golf Course Profiles

Altprags, Reischach, Nr Bruneck, Italy

PROJECT - The opportunity to create a Scottish style course between the foothills of the Italian Dolomites and Austrian Alps


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In 1996 it looked like the potential for the development of a 9-hole course at Altprags looked bleak when negotiations between GC KRONPLATZ and the Reischach land owners came to a standstill, but Anna und Peter Sulzenbacher of the Hof Altprags GmbH, Welsberg, approached the Golf Club and offered some land to create a Golf Course. The view was taken that the 9 hole course would be the ideal addition to the hotel facilities being planned within the valley by the resident architects Niederkofler and Pobitzer. Following these negotiations, a rental contract was signed between the Hof Alptprags GmbH and the GC KRONPLATZ regarding the creation of a Golf Course there.

The project soon had the support from the Town Council in Prags who passed it and the Provincial Government approved the building of the Golf Course in Altprags.

At the Fairway exhibition in Munich 2002 Steve Marnoch (as Director of G&M Ltd) met with Georg Beikircher who discussed the development of a 'Scottish Style' course within the mountains of Sud Tyrol-for this part Steve Marnoch was a natural choice of architect.

The concept was simple - create a simple yet attractive course which uses the existing topography without significant changes to the current site. Simple one might think but the site was at the base of a ski run and contained some pretty severe contours with elevation ranges of 93m within the course and at 1,436m above sea level the highest course I have ever worked on.

As well as the topography there where the obvious issues of being covered with significant layers of snow in the winter but also the potential erosion and danger during the spring snow melt coming from the mountains. I discovered during one site visit in the winter that stepping backwards in snow shoes is not possible!

Sometimes clients' requests for the theme of the course do not sit too easily within the actual location but in this case Altprags had similarities with the glacially carved topography seen throughout Scotland.

With a detailed site survey it was essential to make the best use of the site contours and avoid unnecessary climbs as significant changes to the topography would not be permitted. We also had to consider how the 9 hole routing would fit within an area which contained two minor roads, three small hotel developments and a cross country skiing route.

The design work started in 2003 and all the detail plans where used as part of a long and drawn out negotiation with the local authorities. In November 2003 the Environmental Certificate was applied for and the experienced environmental survey team, consisting of Dr. Kurt Kusstatscher, Biologist (Trifolium Bozen), Dr. Sonja Pircher, Geologist, Hydrogeologist (Alpine Geology Lana), Dr. Vito Adami, Limnologist (Bozen) in cooperation with our "Green Team" Richard Mayr, (Greenkeeper), with Hugo Wieser, (Personnel, Purchasing, Organisation) und G√ľnther Perkmann, (Maintenance, machines), will set out an environmental friendly concept for the construction and the maintenance of the Golf Course ALTPRAGS. The team is being advised by an accompanying Commission of the Environmental Agency of the Province Bozen, consisting of Dr. Robert Schifferegger, (Waters Protection), Dr. Leo Hilpold, (Authority for Environment Friendly Certificate), Dr. Stefan Burger, (Forests), Dr. Claudio Girardi, (Waters Utilization) and Dr. Adriano Oggiano, (Nature Protection).

In addition to the normal set of plans and documents for permits Steve Marnoch produced a detailed photomontage to show how this course could be created within a special landscape without causing unnecessary disruption.

In addition there is also a fly-through showing in detail the contours and lack of disruption to the landscape for one of the holes, the par five 8th.

Great care was taken for this work even down to trying to consider the best methods of grass species to colour match with the surrounding landscape.

This has been a really amazing project and one which we really look forward to fulfilling.

The date for the start of the building is 2009 and the date for the opening and start of play is 2010.


Click on a flythrough below to view in full -

Hole #8, Altprags, Italy* - May 2007


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