Open Search -

Like us on Facebook

Course Atlas -

Course Atlas

Please consider supporting our efforts.


Wiener (Vienna) Golf Club, Prater-Krieau. (1902-1939)

The driving force behind the founding of the Vienna Golf Club was the Legation Secretary of the English Legation A. Percy Bennett, together with his boss, Ambassador Sir Plunkett. With Bennett's help, Bennett set out to find a suitable site, which was found in the Krieauwiesen, privately owned by the emperor, and used as the Empress's former riding ground and also as a military training area. The land for 9-holes was given to the club on a leasehold basis.                                                    

The golf architect was none other than Willie Park Jr. He was not only one of the best players of his time (he won the British Open in 1887 and 1889). Also, he planned around 170 courses during his life. Park immediately brought along his nephew James Stagg from Musselburgh in Scotland, who became the club's first professional and thus the first golf pro in Austria.               

In 1902 the course was handed over to its members for use. Count Heinrich Larisch-Moennich became the clubs first president as chairman of the executive committee. 

The club initially had 75 members. 

There is an interesting side note to be mentioned about the course itself: It was necessary to protect the primitive, flat and square greens with stakes standing at all 4 corners. The purpose of these pegs was to protect the lawns, which were specially maintained on the greens, from damage by the military. The military had orders not to enter the areas marked by stakes.               

Score cards were made as early as the opening of the course to let the players know the distances of the holes. The historical designations of the 9 holes at that time are interesting: 


                No. 1 Avenue 310 yards

                No. 2 Main Avenue 300 yards

                No. 3 Edgewood 246 yards

                No. 4 The Bend 300 yards

                No. 5 Long Acres 270 yards

                No. 6 Crosslands 180 yards

                No. 7 Bellevue 130 yards

                No. 8 Dyke 212 yards

                No. 9 Home 200 yards



There was no clubhouse at that time, the hunting lodge in the front garden of the MeiereiKrieau was rented to be used as a cloakroom for the members and as a storage place for the playing equipment etc.


Wiener Golf Club, Prater-Krieau. Entry from the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook.

Entry from the 1905 Nisbet’s Golf Yearbook.


By 1909, the number of members had risen to 87. In 1909, the International Austrian Championships were held over the Krieau golf course.

As early as 1915, the City of Vienna was considering the construction of a central stadium. Due to the war, however, the project was not realized. By 1927 parts of the golf course were under threat and materialized when the foundation of the Praterstadion was finally laid under Mayor Karl Seitz in November 1928. The stadium was built in 23 months from 1929 to 1931. 

Shortly before construction of the Vienna Prater Stadium started, the club officials had succeeded in fixing the lease, which until then had been concluded annually, for a longer term.  This more than made up for the loss of 6-holes caused by the construction of the stadium. Not only were the lost holes gained back on the other side, but an expansion to 18-holes had become possible.


Wiener Golf Club, Prater-Krieau. Medal dated 1925 for the Wiener Golf Club


Wiener Golf Club, Prater-Krieau. Medal dated 1925 for the Wiener Golf Club

Above medal dated 1925. Image from the Christoph Meister Archive.


The architect chosen for this project was Frenchman C. Noskowski. In 1929/30 a new clubhouse was also built, which lost its function with the end of golfing in the Krieau in 1938, but still existed until 1945. During the occupation, Russian soldiers converted it into a horse stable, and later it became a source of building materials for the allotment gardeners who had meanwhile settled on the grounds of the golf course. The remaining ruins were demolished in 1945. 

The membership of Vienna Golf Club in 1931 was 379 and there were four golf professionals: Harry G. Brown, Josef Petras and two assistants, Otto Närr and Douglas Steiner.


Wiener Golf Club, Prater-Krieau. Picture of the clubhouse in 1933.


Wiener Golf Club, Prater-Krieau. Aerial picture of the course in 1933

Above images from Die Deutsche Golf Zeitung, May 1933.


In 1938, the Vienna Golf Club had taken over the course and club in Lainz and from then on called itself "Wiener Golf- und Land-Club E.V." The course takeover happened in time, because the club's own grounds in Krieau were abandoned in 1938/1939. 

In 1949 the club was re-established and a new site 2km further to the Southeast on the Freudenau horse racing course was chosen to open an 18-hole golf course still in existence today. 

Christoph Meister 

June 2021.