There are twelve championship 18 hole golf courses and nineteen 9 hole courses waiting for golfing nthusiasts
in Poland. They are located in different regions of the country, in the vicinity of big cities and exclusive hotels.
Golf in Poland has not been around for all that long. The oldest golf club was created in 1906 but Polish golf never flourished and was banned for much of the time. A crucial point in the history of Poland, and for the emergence of golf, was 1992 following the end of the communist era. The First Warsaw Golf & Country Club, in Rajszew, was, as the name suggests the first course in Poland and today it is a tough test of golf and hitting the ball straight is a must. The Amber Baltic Golf Club was open back in 1993 and situated within the Wolin National Park offers a very testing golf course with undulating greens. Cameron Sinclair designed the Sierra Golf Club championship golf course which opened back in 2002 and is beautifully situated amongst the lakes alongside the edge of forest. Today, Poland offers golfers of all levels excellent golf courses designed by the likes of Gary Player. The golfing season begins in April and lasts through to October.
Although the history of golf in Poland commenced much earlier than the beginning of the 1990’s, when the Polish Golf Union was founded, in comparison with the 500 years of its development in Europe, it appears that the sport managed to circumvent this beautiful land. Also, nobody had taken enough care to write down the meagre history there had been, though some traces of the game can still be found.
Before World War I, within the borders of today's Poland, golf courses could be found at Powsin near Warsaw, Gdansk, Lancut, Katowice and Szczawno. The oldest club, at what was then called Bad Sazbrunn, near today’s Szczawno, was built in 1906 and was recognised by the entire European elite.
The most popular club in Poland was the "Polski Country Club" built in Powsin near Warsaw in 1938. At that time Poland had already 5 courses and despite popular belief, they were not only for aristocracy. 1932 saw the publication of the first golf instruction book in Poland, the "Podrecznik do Gry w Golfa" (Handbook of the game of golf), written by Adam Gubatta. The game between the Duke of York and Karol Radziwill on the course in Lancut in 1935 was written about in the papers across Europe.
While World War II practically wiped the game out in Poland, the political changes in 1989 allowed it to return. As is usual in such cases, the foreigners were the first to have started playing. As the number of enthusiasts increased, investors arrived also. The first post-war club in Poland was opened in Rajszew near Warsaw in 1992. The following year another two clubs, the Lukecin and the Amber Baltic Golf Club, opened in the north-west corner of Poland, on 31st July the Polish Golf Association was founded, and in early autumn PGA-Poland started its existence. The only Polish major, the Polish Open Championship, was first played in 1994 and in 1999 it was part of the Challenge Tour with prize money of $100,000. It was Poland, among other countries that started the careers of such players as Greg Hanrahan, Niklas Fasth, David Howell, Justin Rose and a few more talented, young players. Polish courses were also host to international EGA Tournaments (European Golf Association) which have included the International European Ladies Championship 2000, the European Youths Team Championship 2002, the EGA Challenge Trophy Men 2004 and the EGA Challenge Trophy Boys 2005.
The Rajszew golf course, situated on the right bank of the Vistula River, is only 25km from the centre of Warsaw and lies within the boundaries of a landscape park. A particular value of the course is its location amidst picturesque scenery with natural lakes and splendid old trees. Its architect, the Swede Jan Sederholm stated that in his twenty years of designing golf courses he had only seldom encountered plots more suited to become a golf course than that in Rajszew. The land is flat, but with a varied landscape of open plains, lakes and forests and the entire site is overgrown with beautiful huge trees. Each of the 18 holes has a unique character and the course is a perfect combination of different strategic holes, with some devilishly difficult and providing a real challenge to players specialising in long drives.
The Amber Baltic Golf Club lies on the picturesque Island of Wolin, in close proximity to the Wolinski National Park. It is only 10 minutes away from the famous SPA and beach resort of Miedzyzdroje and less than 60km from Szczecin city centre. Each hole of this truly superb golf complex has been designed with strategically positioned hazards to prevent easy scoring. With its fresh Baltic air and the beautiful landscape this is an ideal place to enjoy a game of golf and relax.
Krakow Valley is a full-blown recreational complex covering an area of more than 160 hectares and is situated on the hills of the Krakow-Czestochowa Plateau, close to Katowice in Upper Silesia. Surrounded by dense forests, its 18-hole championship course aims to satisfy every player’s requirements. The diverse tee distances, challenging for beginners and advanced players, a unique design, expansive rolling fairways and massive bunkers around the greens are all elements that combine with its beautiful landscape to allow the whole complex to aspire to a position amongst the top European golf courses. The Krakow Valley complex provides one of the most modern golf training centres in Europe, a shooting range, a horse stud and a stylish hotel. It is located 30km from downtown Krakow, on the edge of some Jurassic valleys and is also an excellent location for other sporting activities.
The Postolowo Golf Club is located less than 20km from downtown Gdansk and ranked by the magazine Golf Digest, as the best golf course in Poland. It has also probably the longest par 72 course in Europe with a length of 7094 metres. It boasts a very interesting landscape and can satisfy the tastes of even the most discerning of players. In the opinion of Jeffrey P. Collinge, a famous golf course construction and maintenance expert from Holland, this course stands a chance of being classified among the top 50 golf courses in Europe and a venue fit for holding world-class golf competitions. The Postolowo golf course is situated near the Kaszubia Landscape Park, which is of huge interest in terms of natural history and culture. The forests, lakes and rivers making up the Park combine into a perfectly harmonised ecosystem of exceptional tourist value.
The Toya Golf & Country Club is situated only a few kilometres north of the Wroclaw city centre. The course is acknowledged as one of the top golf courses in this part of Europe with its delicate undulations and numerous ponds, which seem to be natural, were formed on an area which formerly was almost absolutely flat. The course designer, an Englishman - Jeremy Pem, gave the open parts of the course the links style and the parts along the forest and among the picturesque lakes, a park style. It’s beautiful but challenging landscape is sure to meet the expectations of even the most demanding players.
Since its inception in 1993, the Polish Golf Association in Warsaw currently unites 57 golf clubs which have a combined total of more than 3000 playing members. This sport is increasingly popular and the number of golf clubs and golfers is growing year by year.