Saarow-Scharmützelsee Golf-Club. (1930 - 1945) 

The initial plans to build a golf course at Bad Saarow had been made before the Great War in 1914. Bad Sarrow lies roughly half way between Berlin (65km SE) and Frankfurt/Oder, on the shores of Lake Scharmützelsee.

It was actually 1929 before a 9-hole golf course was laid out at Saarow on the western shores of old Lake Scharmützelsee with the then seventh tee almost bordering today’s 63-holes golf resort of the Sporting Club Berlin which was built and opened during the mid-1990s.

The plans for the original golf course were drawn by Colt, Alison & Morrison. The construction of the golf course was supervised by Bernhard von Limburger, later to become a well-respected golf architect of his own.

The golf club was founded on March 21st 1930 at the Hotel Esplanade in Berlin and the course opened on June 20th 1930. The opening was well attended and the president of the German Golf Federation, Herbert Gutmann, surrounded by the crème de la crème of the Berlin society including chocolate factory owners, UFA films stars, Jewish villa owners and other great Gatsby’s of that time.

A nice house next to the golf course was found and without much extra work and cost it became the clubhouse. This house is still around today.


Saarow-Scharmützelsee Golf-Club. Image from "Golf" April 1930.

Image from the German magazine "Golf" dated 15th April 1930. Courtesy of Christoph Meister


The course had a total length of 2.620m from the men’s tees, the fourth hole was the longest measuring 410m and playing slightly uphill. The terrain was undulated and the golfer had constant views of the lake from many points of the golf course. The long holes were designed as dog legs. 


Saarow-Scharmützelsee Golf-Club. View of the golf course in 1931.


Saarow-Scharmützelsee Golf-Club. View of the golf course in 1931.

The above postcards from the Christoph Meister Collection are from 1931.


Saarow’s most famous golfer was Germany’s Max Schmeling, heavyweight champion of the world between 1930 and 1932.

In Café Dorsch adjacent to the former golf course there is a photograph hanging which shows Max Schmeling is in an argyle sweater and elegant plus fours on the fairway of Saarow golf course. Under the blue sunlight he is surrounded by UFA film actresses and handsome young men in breeches of expensive cloth. Schmeling has a tee in his mouth and on the tee there is a golf ball and one of the young athletes addresses his hickory-shafted driver so that it appears as if he is about to hit the ball off the tee in Max Schmeling's mouth. Luxury and unsuspecting decadence of the 30s. 

In 1938 the club had 28 members. Standard stroke index was 70 for gentlemen and ladies playing over 5.260m and 4.592m respectively. A minature train was available to carry golfers to “Saarow-Golfplatz” station which was adjacent to the course.


Saarow-Scharmützelsee Golf-Club. View of the golf course in 1939.

The above postcard of the course is dated 1939. Christoph Meister Collection.


On March 21st 1940 the club celebrated its tenth anniversary. The golf professional Dürk, had been called into the army by this time, and no professional was appointed to replace him. 

The golf course survived the war but after the capitulation of the “Reich” it was not used any longer, also because the course was now in the Soviet occupied zone and the Soviets had no interest in Golf. By October 1946 most former club members had left the Russian Zone and moved to the Western zones. The clubhouse was looted and all golf bags and equipment stolen. By then the occupying forces already used parts of the golf course for other purposes. 

Today there are some East-German style panel buildings and a football pitch covering parts of the land that was previously used by golfers.