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Golfing With Haydn
By Bob Enzel

Well!  Not in person exactly, but certainly in spirit.

Tucked away in the easternmost portion of Austria about an hour's drive from Vienna is Haydn-country, officially known as Burgenland.

Flat as your stomach--perhaps--but impeccably  designed for a challenging round amidst gorgeous scenery is the Golf Club Neusiedlersee Donnerskirchen.  However, before I entice you to play golf in Austria in this lovely corner of the world allow me to mention its side appeal.


Joseph Haydn was fortunate to have Prince Paul Anton and later his brother, Nikolas I of the Esterházy family as his benefactor-- sponsor if you will. The Esterházy family was quite wealthy, loved the music composed by Haydn,  thus housed, fed, and truth be told  supplied him with five liters of Burgenland wine per day.  Their generosity was obviously successful as Haydn not having to be concerned about his bread and butter was able to compose many world famous classical delights and is now considered the  "Father of the Symphony and String Quartet".  As you are playing your round of golf there is certainly  music in the air (pardon the plagiarism),  but also excellent Burgenland wine to satisfy your thirst.  You see, only twenty percent of Burgenland wine is exported, because the "locals" like their wine so much there is very little to ship elsewhere.


Proof of how delicious the wine is.  Along with several others I tasted five varieties over a leisurely dinner.  The evening progressed with Grϋner Veltliner Brut1, a pre-dinner lightly sparkling  gem.   The meal began with a Grϋner Veltliner Bergweingarten 20122, which went quite nicely with the endive-walnut salad.  The second course of poached asparagus spears was accompanied by a lovely, Neuberger Pinot Blanc 20113.  This was followed by an all-too-quickly consumed red Blӓufrankisch Hochӓcker, 20104,that went exceptionally well with main course of beef rouladen.  We completed the meal with an apple strudel desert, sipping a slightly sweet, luscious Sauvignon Blanc Beerenauslese, 20115.  

My personal friends, some of which believe I consume a lot of wine also acknowledge that I have acquired a certain expertise as a oenophile.  Thus, I have no misgivings in recommending the above Burgenland wines after or perhaps before the round (s).


Now to the golf.  It's an 18 hole, par 72, with four tee box choices: 5285 (5780), 5511 (6026), 5957 (6514) and 6163 (6739). meters (feet) in length.  The course requires a precise game, therefore not easy to play for those that hit a long ball with non-consistent accuracy.  There is an abundance of water--that has a taste for poorly hit golf balls--with natural areas that are home to a variety of water fowl. The course, although flat may look deceivingly easy, but without accuracy it will be long day.  Be prepared to lose many balls


Practice facilities available are:  Driving range, putting green, pitching and chipping green, practice bunker and a 3-hole short course.  There is a small fee for use of the driving range and balls. A lovely Club house, restaurant, pro shop, rental equipment and carts are on the premises.  The course requires soft spikes and that golfers have a handicap of under forty-five (if your handicap is 45 bring lots and lots of balls).  Interestingly, dogs on a leash are permitted.  The 18-hole green fee is 50 Euros, Monday-Thursday, 60 Euros on Friday and 75 Euros Saturday, Sunday and Holidays.

Before you finalize your plans to visit Austria, have a peek at the below Web addresses before scheduling the trip.  It will help make your holiday to Burgenland's golf, vineyards and Haydn an impressive holiday.

www.gcdonnerskirchen.at 

www.haydnfestival.at

www.burgenland.info/en

www.weinburgenland.at/en




 

 

 
 

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