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Interlaken Golf Club. (1904 - 1915)

During the early years of the 20th century a commission was set up by the Kurgesellschaft (spa society) at Interlaken 50 km south east of the Swiss capital Bern to examine all questions relating to the establishment of a golf course.

Almost immediately an area called Höhematte (46°41’08.99” N; 7°51’37.04 E) was assigned for the project. The initiators were completely unaware that a regular golf course had 18-holes and needed far more land than was available at Höhematte.

The first golf professional at Interlaken, a certain Mr. Smith, who arrived on May 15th 1903 must have known about this fact and told the spa society that the assigned terrain was completely unsuitable for a golf course.

The opening of the golf course, originally planned for 1902, had to be postponed. In December 1903 the citizens of Interlaken decided to rent out an area of roughly 18.5hectares to the golfers. Mr. Smith apparently didn’t like the situation and left only to be replaced by Monsieur A.L. Chevalier from Valescure.

Under the supervision of golf professional Chevalier a golf course was laid out by 25 workers and opened on June 21st 1904. Today the former military airport of Interlaken is situated on the land originally covered by the golf course (46°40’23.04” N; 7°52’55.61” E).


Interlaken Golf Club. Golfers gather round the clubhouse.

A gathering of golfers outside the early "Clubhouse."


Interlaken Golf Club. Golfers on the early Interlaken course.

Golfers on the early Interlaken course.


In 1907 the Swiss International Championship was played at Interlaken and won by an Englishman by the name of H L Gaw. During those years the golfers played for a mighty 8.5 kg silver trophy called the “Kursaal Challenge” this trophy was still being competed for between 1981 and 1994.


Interlaken Golf Club, Switzerland. Report from The Pall Mall Gazette August 1907.

From The Pall Mall Gazette August 6th 1907. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


In a report in the London Evening Standard in May 1908 it stated that “The Interlaken golf links are considered to be the best in Switzerland. They are situated on the plain between Interlaken and Bonigen, and there is a pretty pavilion with a tea room. The hon. secretary is Mr Howard Copland” 

Nisbet’s Golf Guide 1910 as well as Spalding’s Golf Guide 1913 mention that the Interlaken Golf Club had a 9-hole golf course with Cecil R. Blandford being the honorary secretary.

With the start of the Great War the influx of American and British tourists stopped and the financial situation of the golf course deteriorated significantly. This led to the closure of the golf course in February 1915, it was not reopened after the war.

Today’s Golf Club Interlaken-Unterseen was founded in 1963 at a different location right next to the eastern shore of Lake Thun.

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