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Golf & Country Club

GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB BERLIN
by Reinhard v. Bronewski & John Parmenter



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The golf course for U.S. personnel existed at the Berlin Golf & Country Club from 1945 until departure of American and Allied forces in 1994. It was located in Wannsee (sub district of Zehlendorf), Golfweg, next to Koenigstrasse. This large compound, surrounded by the Dauerwald forest, across from the German TV tower (Wannseeturm) was the primary sports and recreation site for countless Berlin Brigade troops, their families, and friends. Especially on weekends, the public could watch golf matches, contests and other activities. Highlights were golf championships and special tournaments where famous golf master demonstrated their skills.

Occasionally, the U.S. Army used the Country Club site for military training; practicing helicopter assaults. Berlin Brigade Infantry troopers departed landing helicopters and go directly into mock battles firing blank ammunition. Just as at Grunewald and Wannsee, ARTEP and FTX combat training exercises were conducted at Dauerwald.

Interestingly, -Golf Club Berlin- was originally founded at that location in 1895 by American and British diplomats. The Wannsee golf compound was built and opened in 1926, and called -Golf und Land Club Berlin Wannsee-. The Club became known world wide and was popular with its international guests. Numerous national and international matches and tournaments were held there.

During World War II, the large compound was utilized by Germany forces for military training. Antiaircraft (FLAK) positions were established there against Allied air raids. During fighting in 1945, (tank attack) the legendary side sustained severe damage and its famous clubhouse totally destroyed.

After moving into West Berlin, U.S. Army repaired the club for its own use and renamed it, -Golf & Country Club Berlin-. For several years, it was off limits to the German public which had to move its sports activities to Kladow, a sub district of Spandau in the British Sector.

In the 1950s, German sportsmen were invited to return and former club members were allowed to use a section of the Wannsee Golf compound again. The first common match was held in 1953; many followed. Berlin and American sports enthusiasts played and practiced together.

With German reunification, the U.S. Army finally returned this famous compound back to its Berliner owners. The main ceremony, with General Haddock took place in 1990, followed by a 1994 ceremony with General Yates. In 1995 the legendary site celebrated its 100 years anniversary.

By 2007 the -Golfplatz- has grown. A new club house was erected in 1997. New buildings were added, surrounded by a fantastic golf course and landscaping. Now there is an 18-hold championship course and a genuine 9-hold "all day" practice site. Conditions are great for 27-hole tournaments, -the 6020 yards- provides an international limit. The courses' soft, green "carpets" are beautiful and an "American flair & spirit" seems to exist there.

Born in 1947, I have always watched and enjoyed American activities there. Now, I'm really missing our American sports friends!

© Berlin-Brigade.de

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