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Esbjerg Golf Club. (1921 - 1970s)

Esbjerg Golf Club was founded on March 2nd 1921 at the Palace Hotel. On March 21st 1921, a notice was sent out to the Club Members that a contract had been concluded with the landowners for the lease of the course for 5 years and that the construction of the golf course had begun. The professional of Copenhagen Golf Club was supervising the construction of the golf course and a Scottish golf professional was employed for 6 months to teach the new golfers at Esbjerg.

The first golf course at in Måde (1921 to 1944)

This course with nine relatively short holes was located in a field and meadow area in Måde on the southern outskirts of Esbjerg. The course was intersected by numerous streams, and with very sparse vegetation, it had almost the character of a true links course. The green-keeping was largely done by cattle, which grazed on the course so that it was almost not necessary to use mowers. The grass was good but there was special free drop local rule for when the golf ball ended up in a cow pats.

In 1940, the German occupation forces began occupying parts of the golf course in order to install battery positions and barracks. Despite these distractions and the lack of golf balls, as well as gasoline for the lawnmower, golf was still played on the course until 1944. During the last year of the occupation the course was destroyed and the small clubhouse erected in wood burnt down. The club later received compensation of DKK 800 for the clubhouse and DKK 2,500 for loss of golf equipment. Today the land is mostly used for industrial constructions, while a still open field and beach area is used as a shooting range. At that time Esbjerg GC had around 30-40 members.


Esbjerg Golf Club, Denmark. Layout of the first golf course (1921 - 1944)

Layout of the first nine-hole course at Måde (1921 - 1944.)


The second course at Dyrskuepladsen (1945 to 1952)

During the 1930s there was already discussion between the club officials and the local municipality to move golf course. Possible considered locations were next to the runway at the end of the then airfield in Kjersing and an area opposite the Fisheries Museum as well as an area at Marbæk, which is going to play a role in the later part of Esbjerg GC’s history.

Finally, a part of land was found Spangsberg Møllegård's, an area between the current Niels Bohr Vej and the nature trail along the Møllebækken River. Today Esbjerg Teknikum and the School of Business are located on this land.

The area was not large and not very suitable for golf course either. The course consisted of six primitive holes. The game was somewhat hampered by the fact that the course was used once a year for an animal show. For that reason there were no bunkers built and the greens had a somewhat questionable standard. A small clubhouse was erected along the dirt road.

Hole 1 had two teeing areas. Along the current nature trail run a heavily wooded ditch that made the game difficult on hole 2 and hole 3. Elsewhere, the obstacles consisted of ramparts, ditches, wooden rows, and a gravel pit to be passed on hole 5. In addition, there were covered animal booths in the center of the course , which meant that hole 6 had to be played as a dogleg.

This course was nothing more than a bad compromise and after a few years, the municipality decided to use the land for other purposes. During these years, the membership of Esbjerg GC was between 40 and 50.


Esbjerg Golf Club, Denmark. Layout of the second golf course (1945 - 1952)

Layout of the six-hole course (1945 – 1952.)


The third course at Nørreskoven – (1952 to 1975)

A new and completely different exciting and charming 9-hole course, designed by the English golf architect Charles Kenneth Cotton, was opened in June 1952 on a piece of land not too far away from the previous course.

In the Nørreskoven forest, which by then was outside urban areas and partly surrounded by fields, the course was built into land, which consisted of impassable scrubs, heather belts and mixed woodland. Out of these densely wooded area fairways, greens and teeing areas were erected by clearing trees and bushes. Apparently, the preservation of as much forest as possible played a major role during construction and therefore the fairways were quite narrow. On every hole,tall trees and dense vegetation surrounded the fairways. In addition to a few lightning areas, there was no open space and semi rough was non-existent.

These conditions greatly influenced the game. Straight shots were an absolute necessity. In addition, if the shots went just a bit to the left or right, a round could cost dearly in both lost balls and the number of strokes. One advantage, however, was that the golf course was well protected from the often harsh western winds.

In the first decade, membership grew to around 200, of which 50 to 60 were actual active golfers. Everyone knew everyone, and with a very well liked couple, the cozy clubhouse became the setting for a lively club life.

As early as the late 1960s, the need for a new course became obvious. A steadily increasing number of members meant that the course and the clubhouse were getting more and more crowded. At the same time the city of Esbjerg was expanding during the 1960s and within a few years, the course was surrounded by residential buildings. There were more and more non-golfing walkers using the area and the Esbjerg Municipality realised that the continued use of the land for golf would be too risky. During the later years the number of members passed 300, this was just prior to the closureof the course.

A new piece of land (70ha) was found at Marbæk in an area owned by Esbjerg municipality that had already been inspected by the club officials during the late 1930s. The new 18-hole golf course and the newly built clubhouse at Marbækwere inaugurated in May 1975.


Esbjerg Golf Club, Denmark. Scorecard and planner for Nørreskoven course.


Esbjerg Golf Club, Denmark. Scorecard and planner for Nørreskoven course.


Esbjerg Golf Club, Denmark. Scorecard and planner for Norreskoven course.

Above scorecard for the Nørreskoven course. Imges courtesy of Christoph Meister.


Esbjerg Golf Club, Denmark. Layout of the third golf course (1952 - 1975)

Layout of the third course (1952 – 1975.)


Ebjerg Golf Club, Denmark. The clubhouse on the former Nørreskoven course.

The clubhouse on the former Nørreskoven course.


Esbjerg Golf Club, Denmark. Fairway on the first hole on the former Nørreskoven course.

Fairway on the first hole on the former Nørreskoven course.


Esbjerg Golf Club, Denmark. Fairway on the second hole.

Fairway on the second hole on the former course.


Esbjerg Golf Club, Denmark. From the ninth green looking back to the tee.

From the ninth green looking back to the tee.


Esbjerg Golf Club, Denmark. The former eighth green.

The former eighth green.