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Wiesbaden Golf Club, Exerzierplatz. 

On November 25th 1893 “English Chat,” a supplement to the weekly magazine “Spiel und Sport”, which was edited by Englishman J.Bloch in Berlin, published the following text: “From Wiesbaden we are glad to hear good news of the newly formed Golf Club. Although only about six weeks old it already numbers thirty members, who play regularly and with great enthusiasm.”

On May 5th, 1894, the “Wiesbadener Tageblatt” writes: …”it is not astonishing that the nation (England) full of discoveries is showing as a new game – the game of Golf…On the parade ground at Dotzheimer Strasse one can observe daily a number of ladies and gentlemen, who are looking for a grounded thing which they are trying to hit forward with a walking-stick-like instrument. Sometimes a small round object flies up in the air and rolls and bounces in violent jumps."

 

Wiesbaden Golf Club, Exezierplatz. Article from De Amsterdamder in May 1894.

 

Above article from a Dutch weekly newspaper De Amsterdamer from 27.5.1894 stating that "recently in Wiesbaden there was a golf-tournament, where two ladies won the first prizes." (translation and article thanks to Mr. Pius Muskens.) 

In a letter from London dated April 15th, 1932, to the then treasurer of the Wiesbaden Golf Club (WGC), Dr. Charles J. Monk remembered this time and noted that a small company of English and Scottish gentlemen, who were based in Wiesbaden, founded the Wiesbadener Golf Club, with Captain Fellowfield, AP Knowles, and myself. Two rooms were used as a clubhouse in the 'Jägerhaus' business. “We only had seven holes, but we enjoyed it”. Dr. Monk also states in his letter, that when barracks were built this meant the end to golf on the parade ground. When the race course was built at Erbenheim the Wiesbaden golfers started to play their golf inside the race track, as Dr. Monk remembers almost 20 years later.

The race course at Erbenheim, which today is an airport, was built between 1907 and 1910. As the current golf course of the Wiesbadener Golf Club at Chausseehaus opened on 1911, it means that golf was only played very briefly at Erbenheim, if ever and most probably not on a proper golf course.

The Golfing Annual from 1897-98 indicates a Wiesbaden Golf Club but fails to give any further details. There are no entries for Wiesbaden in any earlier editions of the Golfing Annual. The Golfer’s Handbook 1906 has no entry for Wiesbaden, but in 1908 a Wiesbaden GC is mentioned: “For particulars apply to Otto Krengel, Sanatorium, Paulinenberg. Sunday play.”

There are again no entries in the following year, but finally in 1914 the Golfer’s handbook mentions the 9-hole course at Chausseehausand where construction began in 1911, also the year the Wiesbadener Golf-Club joined the German Golf Federation. In the federation’s yearbook published 1914 the year 1911 is given as the foundation date of the Wiesbadener Golf-Club.

Interestingly the yearbook of the German Golf Federation from1935 (and until 1939) indicates 1895 as a foundation date of the Wiesbadener Golf Club, whereas all earlier yearbooks had 1910 as foundation date. 1895 is the year Dr. Monk mentions as foundation date of the Wiesbaden Golf-Club in his letter from 1932, even though the sources from 1893 and 1894 seem to prove that golf was played in Wiesbaden before 1895. But of course golf can be played without a club in existence as everyone knows.

Christoph Meister, 2017.