Just imagine a golf course on a plateau at a height of 1,500 metres, with views over the Rhône valley and across to the spectacular Alpine mountains. Here, in Crans-Montana, a golf course was built in 1906. It was subsequently redesigned by Seve Ballesteros. It has become legendary, known as the Severiano Ballesteros course, and as one of the most beautiful courses in the world. Every year, it hosts the European Masters.
In the same location, there is another course, the Jack Nicklaus 9-hole course (below), four times deemed the finest nine-hole course in Switzerland. Though relatively short, it requires great accuracy, because fairways are never straight, and there are obstacles all over the course.
The Lindner Golf & Ski Rhodania hotel provides the ideal location at which to enjoy this spectacular golf. Hole 3 of the Plan Bramois golf course is actually right in the hotel park. The 42 individually-furnished rooms and suites provide a superb view of the golf course and the Alps beyond. For moments that you spend off the course, the hotel's Art Déco restaurant serves international and Valais-style cuisine, in a rustic, attractive setting. Terrace tables look out over the mountains. In summer, barbecues on the terrace are very popular with guests.
The piano bar is a great place in which to relax with a drink and chat about what you've been doing.
If you're staying with a non-golf-playing companion, other activities range from total relaxation on the sun terrace, to summer skiing, tennis, hiking, riding, swimming, mountain biking, ballooning, fishing, rafting and paragliding. In addition, cross country skiing is possible in summer on the Plaine Morte glacier, at an altitude of over 3,000 metres.
The Severiano Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus courses are run by the Golf Club Crans-sur-Sierre. For the former, a minimum handicap of 36 is requested, and 30 for competitions. For the Jack Nicklaus (par 35), handicap or playing authorization (AP) is required.
There are two more courses close by, the Super-Crans course above Crans-Montana, and Noas at Chermignon. Both these courses allow beginners without a handicap to play. A further two courses, Sierre and Sion, in the Rhone Valley, offer very different surroundings. There is yet another 18-hole course at Leuk.
All these courses mean that Crans-Montana, and in particular The Lindner Golf & Ski Rhodania hotel, have a great deal to offer golfers. The summer season runs from 13 June 2012 to 30 September 2012.