When it launched five years ago, it could have been dismissed as a one-off event jumping on the back of the pop-up restaurant trend, a publicity stunt even, but the Golf Mountain pop-up course on Adelboden’s Engstligenalp has proved it has staying power and this year celebrates its fifth season, opening on 10th September and closing on 25th October. WATCH VIDEO!
With 18 holes ranging from par 3s to a par 5s, Golf Mountain provides a challenge to even the most skilled of golfers. Hazards include streams and rocky outcrops as well as swirling mountain winds and extreme weather conditions. One minute, golfers might be in bright sunshine, the next in dense cloud.
The unpredictable conditions are worth enduring, however, as the setting is a sight to behold. Located at 1,964 metres, making it the highest golf course in Europe, Engstligenalp is a nature reserve of other-worldly character with breathtaking views over the village of Adelboden.
As a pop-up, the only part of the course that is properly laid out is the greens, which are created from artificial grass, the rest of the course is au naturel. In addition to the course, Golf Mountain has its own driving range and a traditional wooden Alpine chalet that is converted into a clubhouse every summer, complete with a pro, a pro shop for renting clubs, changing rooms, a cosy bar and rustic restaurant, serving local specialities such as fondue and raclette.
Greenfee at 80 euros
The green fee at Golf Mountain is CHF85 (80 euros), while a green fee followed by raclette in the Alpine chalet at the end of your round will cost CHF110 (102 euros). Golfers can also stay up on Engstligenalp, at the basic but comfortable Berghotel. Those seeking a few more luxuries may prefer to stay in one of the many hotels in the village of Adelboden, and use the cable car to access and exit Engstligenalp during the day.
Those seeking a more traditional game of golf while visiting Adelboden shouold have a go at the nearby courses at Thun and Interlaken, which are about a 50-minute drive away. Both are also easily accessible by public transport.
The Thun Golf Course offers a 9-hole course and an 18-hole putting course, as well as driving range, with plenty of lake panoramas and is considered one of the most attractive golfing locations in Switzerland. The Interlaken Golf Course nestles between the Lakes of Thun and Brienz and has an 18-hole, par 72 championship course and a driving range, suitable for both for beginners and low handicap players.