Sitting on a plateau above the famous Lorelei Valley in Germany’s central west, Jakobsberg is your classic high-end golf destination. As the Rhine River winds its way through vineyards and forests a short distance below, you’ll be teeing off on a course that has great views down into the Rhine Valley.

The first hole looks across to Marksburg, one of the most impressive castles in the Rhine Valley, according to German golf writer Ulrich Mayring. “It is your aiming point for the second shot on the par 5 first hole.”
But there is a great variety of holes on offer here – some with outstanding views, others more secluded – that will test all your shots. Dubbed ‘Yellow Waterloo’, the 192-meter (210-yard) hole 3 will see you hitting over a gorge for a narrow, undulating green. You’ll face another gorge on hole 6, the ‘Grand Canyon’, where your tee shot must carry between 130 meters (142 yards) and 180 meters (196 yards) to the fairway, depending on how much of the dogleg you are trying to cut off. The 420-meter (459-yard) ‘Mission Impossible’ – or hole 15 – will challenge you for distance to make par 4.
“You’ll have to shape the ball off some tees and bomb it off others,” said Mayring. “You can score very low if your game is on. But they can make the greens very difficult, too.”
The course, which opened in 1994, was based on plans by American architect Robert Trent Jones Jr, but local designer Wolfgang Jarsombek built the course.
“Even though the course doesn’t have any fairway irrigation, it is very playable year-round and has a super fun factor.”
The challenges: You’ll have to navigate around large bunkers and five water hazards. The greens are fast and undulating, but if your game is on you can score low here.
When to play: The course is open most of the year but can be hit by snow and freezing conditions from December to February. Despite the exposed plateau location the wind is usually not too bad.

Yardage: 6507 yards, 5950 meters
Rating: 71.1
Slope: 131
Best hole: Hole 16, View of the Rhine, may be the easiest hole on the course but it comes with the best vista of the valley. Soak it up before you hit your tee shot 196 meters (214 yards) down the hill and onto the green from the back tee.
The resort experience:
The Jakobsberg was originally built by Emperor Frederick I in 1157 as a monastery, which is why you’ll find a beautiful chapel on the estate. When Dr. Hans Riegel – a German entrepreneur who started the popular confectionery brand Haribo (think Gummy Bears) – developed the site into a modern four-star hotel, he preserved the monuments and historic buildings. You’ll find examples of Riegel’s passions through the hotel – whether it be mounted hunting trophies, artworks by Benetton or ballooning. A shop also sells Haribo sweets so the kids will be happy.
“I’ve played there on almost 30 occasions and my non-golfing wife has never once been bored,” said Ulrich Mayring.

Dine and wine: Ask for a window seat at the Jakobsberg restaurant and you’ll have a view of the Rhine’s hairpin curve at Boppard. Or, if the weather is fine, head out to Rhine terrace and eat al fresco. It’s not a bad spot to enjoy some game specialities fresh from the hunting grounds on the estate. And try a drop of the dry Dornfelder from the hotel’s own vineyard, too.
You can pick between the Montgolfière and Gallery Safari bars if you just want to drink and chat, too. Flight’s End, a glass pavilion at the club house, has a bistro and light snacks once you’ve completed your round. Sit back and enjoy the view.
The accommodation: The comfortable rooms range from small single to a more spacious suite with living room and whirlpool. You’ll find them decorated with one of three themes: Benetton, African safari or Montgolfière (ballooning). Most have a terrace or balcony to enjoy the view.
Other activities:
The upper Middle Rhine Valley is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with historic towns, castles and vineyards to visit. History buffs will love exploring this region, which has been one of Europe’s most important trade and transport routes. Try cycling down the Rhine cycle path or hiking to the nearby Ehrbach Gorge near Schöneck Castle.
A variety of hunting expeditions for roe buck and wild boar can be booked in nearby hunting ground in the Lorelei Valley. You can also test your accuracy with clay pigeons in the shooting range. Pull!

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