Golf in Südtirol – an overview

Hannes Schnitzer talks about the status (quo) and development of golfing in South Tyrol

Swinging into the future: Golf-in-Südtirol CEO Hannes Schnitzer about the beginnings, current status and future development of golfing in South Tyrol.

“Golf with a G for great fun!” Hannes Schnitzer says with a smile when asked to sum up golfing in South Tyrol in a few words. Since its very beginnings, some twenty years ago, he has been the managing director of Golf in Südtirol. “Golf isn’t just a sport in South Tyrol – the enjoyment factor definitely plays the leading role here. Our guests see golf as a welcome activity on top of the enjoyment of a very pleasurable holiday, while the locals look for relaxation, distraction, for a break – in addition to the health benefits and sporting side of golfing.”


Those coming to South Tyrol to play golf usually like to immerse themselves in the local settings as well – the more so as the South Tyrolean greens offer a beautiful best-of with their backdrops, unique for each golf course, and clubhouses with restaurants that go to the very heart of South Tyrol’s Alpine-Mediterranean cuisine. “A bit of hiking, a bit of enjoyment, a bit of the ‘South Tyrol experience’ –  it all adds to the overall package of a golf holiday spent in these parts”, Schnitzer explains. “Golfing is generally viewed as a nice add-on that completes the holiday. However, as a consequence of our work, South Tyrol is increasingly seen as a small Alpine golf destination per se.”


South Tyrol as a golfing region – the status quo


Today, South Tyrol offers nine golf courses, all in excellent locations:



“There are many and varied golf courses in this small area, some situated on the valley floor among apple orchards and vineyards, some more alpine. Golf is well established in the range of tourism activities on offer in South Tyrol”, Schnitzer summarises his review of South Tyrolean golf courses.

But back to the start again… 


The idea of presenting and commercialising South Tyrol’s golf courses under a single, unified brand surfaced twenty years ago when there were only four golf clubs. At that time, in 2000, Hannes Schnitzer was still working as the managing director of the Lana golf club and South Tyrol was completely unknown as a golf destination. The concept of joint positioning was based on the firm belief that golf courses and golf hotels could complement each other if marketed together. “Back then we took our brochures to fairs and we presented ourselves with a small website featuring our members. Going to golf fairs is still an important part of our work, but nowadays we obviously communicate also via modern means such as Facebook, Instagram and so on. The response is very good and we get excellent feedback, especially from the German-speaking public”, Schnitzer explains.


Golf – much more than just a certain prestige


Speaking of which: in terms of golf tourism, Germany – with its 700,000 golfers – is still the main market for South Tyrol. However, the sector is catching up in Italy as well, even though it is still much smaller in comparison. And there are new markets with large potential and growing attractiveness, like the Czech Republic.


“Golf used to be an elitist sport, but today it has become affordable and embodies much more than just a certain prestige. More people are interested in playing golf – and there are increasingly younger people among them. Relaxation, exercise and health are trends that surely contribute to this development – and these are not likely to diminish any time soon.”

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