There are around 100 golf courses in Switzerland, all unique in their own way. What makes the Buna Vista golf course in Sagogn special must surely be the scenery.
Players on this gem of a course in the Surselva valley can take in views of mountain scenery from Laax to Ilanz and the Rhine gorge. But this 18-hole course is no walk in the park: its raised tees and treacherous grass bunkers make it a very satisfying challenge. When the club first opened in 2007, there were many objections. But now that the commotion has died down, the course is firmly established as a local favourite attraction. Skiing in winter, golfing in summer – surely this has to be the perfect recipe for an all-year tourist destination. Board member and club captain Sepp Caduff is pleased with how the club is developing as a business. And not surprisingly, because, while managing to stay pleasantly downto-earth, it is nestled in a simply exquisite landscape and, thanks to its Vista restaurant, can even offer players all kinds of gastronomic delights, too. Vista is a major draw for visitors.
The friendly new team at Vista (formerly Tello) looks forward to welcoming you. Austrian-born head chef Daniel Zeindlhofer previously worked for four years alongside celebrity chef Andreas Caminada at the Schauenstein, and is an advocate of light, creative cuisine. Nonetheless, he always insists on having a Wiener schnitzel on the menu. Vista is open non-stop from morning until evening. A pared-down menu is available at lunchtime, with a different set menu available each day. The evening menu is à la carte.
Holiday apartment owners and overnight guests from the region receive a 20 per centreduction on the green fee.
However, Caduff does not yet feel the club has quite enough young people among its 400-strong membership. To put this right, the club has introduced a range of additional facilities, some not entirely conventional – for example footgolf, a fun variation on golf for players of all ages, involving kicking a football along the fairway. The idea is to give people different routes of access into the world of golf. Because, contrary to popular perceptions, there really is more to the sport than just buying expensive equipment and strolling over neatly trimmed greens. Unfortunately, golf is perceived as an elite sport,
and the club in Sagogn has made it its mission to show that that could not be further from the truth. Caduff is determined to help people not to feel intimidated by the sport. “Everyone is absolutely welcome here. We think golf should be a sport for the people.”
To show that it means it, the club has made its terms of membership as attractive as possible. In future, it also plans to broaden its pool of partner clubs – this year focusing on clubs in Italy and Austria – so that members can enjoy reduced green fees on courses outside Switzerland as well.
The club offers a beginners’ course costing just CHF 999, which includes green fees up to the end of the season. And the taster courses, for guests who just want to give golf a try on a one-off basis, are very good value too. “So no more excuses for not giving golf a go,” says Caduff with a smile. He believes the world would be a better place if everyone could play just a little bit of golf.