Golfing in Switzerland

Golfing in Switzerland is a beautiful way to enjoy the country both in terms of scenery and to meet people, especially English speaking. All golf courses in Switzerland are maintained at a very high level, and each has ample practice facilities and pros to help learn and improve your game.

The Swiss take quite some time to learn the rules, etiquette, and practical skills prior to playing on the course. Generally, this includes passing a simple written exam following a three-hour course on the rules, and a practical test, which can take several weeks or more to attain the level of “Platzreife” which ensures that everyone on the course can be an adequate playing companion, can keep the course in good condition and keep up the speed of play. A handicap card is then issued either by a golf club or one of two independent golfer associations, who track your handicap level through tournaments and individual rounds, with the highest handicap being 54.

In the US on most public courses no one asks about a membership or handicap card, provided you have the proper equipment and attire it is simply pay and play. This is also the case across much of Europe, and Swiss often learn in other countries where they can play longer courses while attaining their first handicap. When it comes to private courses in the US, it is often limited to members and their guests. In Switzerland, on the other hand, once you have a handicap card you can play on virtually all courses, depending on your level of play. It is also possible to play using a foreign golf membership/handicap card, although you may find its legitimacy may be questioned, especially for those who live in Switzerland.

If you are not an active member in a foreign club, it is recommended to obtain a local handicap card. Playing a round of 18 holes starts at CHF 60.00, but generally expect to pay CHF 90.00 or more for a round during the week and

CHF 110.00 and up on the weekend.

Additional Resources: The Swiss Association of Independent Golfers is the original organization offering handicap cards to people who are not members of a Swiss golf club, live here and would like to play games from time to time on various courses as a greens fee player. They offer tournaments and help connect you to different golf clubs, including offering a one-year trial membership in clubs. This can be particularly attractive to someone staying a shorter time In Switzerland. The annual fee for an ASGI handicap card is CHF 360.00. You can also find a list of prices and conditions for playing on any golf course with their card. This is the main site of Migros golf (yes like the grocery store). They have 6 golf courses throughout Switzerland including two reasonably close to Zurich. They give extensive courses for all levels and large practice facilities. In addition, they offer a handicap card (Migros Golf Card) permitting one to play on virtually all courses in Switzerland including a discount on Migros courses at a cost of CHF 300.00 per year. You can also find a list of prices and conditions for playing on any golf course with their card. This is the main site used by all Golf clubs in Switzerland and has information about Swiss golf news, tournament schedules, rules, and especially links to all the courses near you. They also have an accompanying app. This is the main site in Switzerland for booking a tee time, tournament, or lesson with a Pro. Most clubs use this website and accompanying app for bookings. It allows the user to see what times are available and with whom you might play with. The use is free of charge and requires a handicap card to use it.

Dawson Grubbs
July 2023