Chedi Andermatt, a lavish Swiss ski resort, has opened a mountain golf course to lure summer guests. Director took a high-altitude swing at it
When astronaut Alan Shepard hit two golf drives on the moon in February 1971, the low gravity helped his six-iron thwacks travel an estimated 400 yards – almost double the average for the club. For terrestrial teeing off, the next best thing is probably Chedi Andermatt, a year-round mega-resort nestled at 1,440 metres in the Swiss Alps’ Saint-Gotthard Massif. Here, the high altitude and low air resistance means aspiring Rory McIlroys can blast balls 10 yards further than usual. Switzerland is about as famous for golf as for tropical beaches, but the Andermatt’s par-72 championship course can excite even the most seasoned golfer.
Framed by the dramatic Urseren valley with the turquoise Reuss river running alongside, the fresh environs lend a wild aspect to the course – look out for trout and alpine newts. The geography means elevated tees and downhill playing (just 12 of the 18 holes are on a plateau), while the gold tees – usually reserved for tournament players – ensure the course can test even the most accomplished.
The surrounding Andermatt area – on the Glacier Express train route midway between Zermatt and St Moritz – is a gift for the active, with 500km of hiking trails, climbing routes and swimming in 40 lakes. And medieval Lucerne is just 50 minutes away.
Readers may recognise the scenery from 1964 Bond flick Goldfinger – the petrol station featured in that film is now part of the Hotel Aurora – but the five-star Chedi Andermatt would probably be more to 007’s tastes. Established as part of a staggering investment in the region of over CHF1.5bn (£1.07bn) by the Middle Eastern Orascom leisure group – it offers the perfect post-game relaxation, with Alpine-inspired ‘spa suites’ and an indoor pool gazing out on mountain scenery. Meanwhile, the temperature, lighting and music are all remote controlled by iPad. It isn’t just the golf balls that go further at Chedi Andermatt – the luxury-unwind factor does too.
Rates start from CHF500 (£358) a night in a Deluxe room (B&B). Green fees for non-guests are CHF80. The resort is 90 minutes by car from Zürich International airport.
Chedi Andermatt: find out more
To book and for more details, visit chediandermatt.com