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Berlin-Kladow Private Golf Course.

In 1929 the two largest producers of Margarine in Germany, Jürgens and The van den Bergh joined forces in setting up the “Margarine-Verkaufs-Union” This pair of companies would go on to form the basis for an even larger multinational group called Unilever.

At this time Leo Van Bergh, a long-time member of the Golf- und Land-Club Berlin-Wannsee, set up a 6-hole private golf course next to his house in Kladow. The course was built by “Späth-Gartenbau” from Berlin, a company who also build the golf courses at Saalfeld (Thuringia) and Feldafing (Bavaria) among others. Exiting photos seem to prove that the course was already in existence in 1928.

The former area of the course is today bordered by the streets Imchenallee, Sibeliusweg and Friedrich-Hanisch Strasse.

 

Berlin-Kladow Private Golf Course. Plan of the golf course.

Plan of the golf course showing the crossing fairways.

 

The course had five greens 1&7, 2&6, 3&9, 4&8 and 7. This means 4 of the 5 greens were played on twice from different directions during a round of 9-holes. There were 11 tees, as some holes even had separate ladies and gentlemen as follows; Tee 1 Ladies & Gentlemen; Tee 2 Ladies; Tee 2 Gentlemen & Tee 8 Ladies/Gentlemen; Tee 3 & 7 Ladies; Tee 3 & 7 Gentlemen; Tee 4 Ladies; Tee 4 Gentlemen; Tee 5 Ladies; Tee 5 Gentlemen & Tee 9 Ladies/Gentlemen; Tee 6 Ladies;Tee 6 Gentlemen.

The placement of the tees and greens were an amazing example of how nine interesting holes were successfully laid out on a very tiny piece of land.

 

Berlin-Kladow Private Golf Course. View of the golf course in the late 1940s.

View of the course in 1949.

 

Berlin-Kladow Private Golf Course. Entry from 1950.

Entry from 1950.

 

The former sports director of the Wannsee Club still remembered in 2012, that he had played several times at the van den Bergh’sprivate course in Kladow before WW2. It seems that by 1938 the Kladow private golf course was no longer in operation.  

By this time Leo van den Bergh, who was a Dutch national and a so-called “Non-Aryan” according to the laws of Nazi Germany had already left the country. The German who played the private golf course with Leo van den Bergh several times before the war when he was invited there made a request and received permission from the Allied authorities (Kladow was now part of the American sector of Berlin like Wannsee) to reopen the former Van den Bergh private golf course in 1946 as provisional golf course of the Golf- und Land-Club Berlin-Wannsee, whose course at Wannsee was occupied by the Americans.

The exiled Wannsee golfers played on the Kladow course much longer than expected, as only at the end of 1952 they received back 9-holes of the 27-holes golf facility in Wannsee. Golf was no longer played at Kladow after 1952 and the area today is a public park with footpaths crossing the former firways.

The Google Map below shows the location of the former course.