Stuttgarter Golf Club Solitude, Leonberg.
In 1927 construction commenced for the John S.F. Morrison designed 9-hole course on heath land at Leonberg, near Stuttgart in the south of Germany. Hawtree and Taylor, represented by A.W. Murray, were commissioned to build this course, which was ready for play in summer 1928.
The course was a brilliant architectural achievement given the somewhat restricted area (19ha) and its close proximity to populated areas made it at the same time very special but dangerous. The area became densely populated after some years and with the exception of two holes every hole was then surrounded either by houses and gardens or by the road from Stuttgart to Leonberg, which was part of the famous “Solitude” car racing course.
On some holes the tiger line endangered the lives of the local population, but even though the course was not a championship course, it was great fun to play. The third hole, a 238m Par4, was dramatic to play, the fairway was hanging to the left, a tee shot to right with a carry of 180m over an area full of pine trees was necessary to avoid an bunker on the left near the out of bounds.
Holes No. 7, 8 and 9 were ultimate challenges: The seventh hole was a long Par 5 dogleg to the left, again a hanging fairway, and the driving area for the tee shot was bordered by private properties; from time to time a golf ball ended up on the terrace of a nearby house destroying the china on the table.
Number 8 was a Par 3, 170m over a deep valley. The golfer aiming directly at the green had to carry the ball over a private house whose owners cultivated a profound dislike for the golfers trying to get back lost golf balls. The last hole, another par 3, 160m, was again one of Germany’s most extraordinary holes, a field-path with out of bounds to the left, a poplar-lined walk to the right, in between a fairway measuring approximately 9 paces.
In the mid 1950s the secretary was Dr Nagel, Stuttgart, Klopstock Strasse 46. The professional was H Krueger and the green-keeper Pfluger. Course records; A Strach (amateur ), 68; H Krueger (professional), 62. The nine-hole course had a par and SSS of 70. The station at Leonberg was 3 ½ miles away. Visitors’ fees were 6 Dm. Sunday play was permitted with caddies. (John Llewellyn)
Due to the very restricted space it was decided in 1964 to build a new course at Stuttgart–Mönsheim. The original course at Leonberg was closed down in 1969, when the 18-hole von Limburger designed layout at Mönsheim was opened for play. Remains of the original course such as bunkers can still be seen when travelling from Stuttgart to Leonberg by car and nowadays the area is used as a public park. Plans to open the golf course again as a public facility run by Leonberg Town Council have always failed to be successful.
The Google Map below pinpoints the location of the former course.