Engadine Golf Club – since 1893
Engadine Golf Club - since 1893
Everything started in summer 1889 with a journey by hotel pioneer Conradin von Flugi to England where he intended to assess the possibilities of building a golf course in the Engadine. The result was a 9-hole course situated between today’s railway station and St.Moritz Bad. This course was first mentioned in the “Engadine Year Book” of 1890 which rated it as “very sporty”. Thus it was the people of St.Moritz and their guests who managed to first give a home to golf on the old continent.
Since golf took the Engadine by storm it came as no surprise that the town of Samedan granted permission to the “Hotel Bernina” to build an 18-hole golf course in the Champagna plane. The Director of the “Bernina”, Angelo Franconi, became the first “Honorary Secretary” of the Engadin Golf Club which was founded in 1893; in the same summer the Engadine Championships took place for the first time. In the following spring a simple shelter was built in the shape of a chalet, serving as the first club house.
At that time, two golf clubs existed in the Engadine, namely the St.Moritz GC and the Engadine GC in Samedan. As more or less the same people were members of both clubs, it was not long before a merger took place. The initiators of this merger knew that St.Moritz had the funds and Samedan the territory. Joining forces meant that a proper club house could be built which was sponsored by generous patrons. The construction costs amounted to CHF 10,000.–
In the following years the Club made several fresh starts. On 5 August 1904, the General Assembly adopted new articles of association and rules and it decided to join the “Swiss Golf Association” which had just been founded. In the same summer the first “Championships of Switzerland” were held in Samedan. These championships and the ones which took place in the Engadine in the following years continued to be won by English players.
The success stories of golf and the Engadin Golf Club went hand in hand. Europe’s strongest players could be encountered in the Engadine until everything came to a sudden and radical halt at the outbreak of WWI in summer 1914. It was only in the 20’s and 30’s that sports returned to the valley. Again, regular tournaments took place: alongside the English there were now German, French, Italian and even Swiss players competing for the prizes.
WWII meant that tourism came once again almost to a standstill. Nevertheless, there were tournaments every summer, forging players and club representatives into one big golfing family with one common goal: retaining their beloved sport.
In the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, the golf course in Samedan became a popular meeting place for personalities from industry, politics and, of course, show business.
Another development became apparent in those years: several local caddies, enjoying plenty of practical instruction, acquired proficiency in the game and became excellent players themselves. However, the club refused to accept them as members – it remained an exclusive association of guests, their hosts and friends, making it almost impossible for anybody else to join. This led to the foundation of the Samedan Golf Club in 1949 which was accepted into the ASG in the 70’s. As a result, two golf clubs made use of the course in Samedan.
With the opening of the second 18-hole course in Zuoz-Madulain the golfing capacity expanded to comprise 36 holes. The Engadine saw the advent of a third golf club: the Zuoz Golf Club. The company Golf Engadin St.Moritz AG was founded in order to operate the two facilities; all three clubs were entitled to use both courses.
At the end of 2007, the Samedan Golf Club and the Zuoz Golf Club were incorporated into the Engadine Golf Club. This merger led to the formation of one of the biggest golf clubs in Switzerland, with a total of 1300 members. The members of the Engadine Golf Club are entitled to play on the courses of both Samedan and Zuoz-Madulain; the two courses are run by the Golf Engadin St.Moritz AG.
The Engadine Golf Club is proud member of the “1893 Club”.