As the host venue for this week’s AEGEAN Airlines Challenge Tour by Hartl Resort prepares to host its very first European Tour event in September - the Porsche European Open - the venue’s CEO Volker Schwartz believes the Challenge Tour has proven a crucial learning experience.
The third edition of Germany’s only current Challenge Tour event came to a close on Sunday afternoon after another hugely successful hosting and from September 24-27 the Beckenbauer Course at Hartl Resort will welcome some of world golf’s biggest stars.
The Porsche European Open returns to The European Tour’s International Schedule for the first time in six years and Schwartz is confident that it will be a huge success, especially because of the experience the venue and its staff have gained through their Challenge Tour event.
“For us the Challenge Tour event been a big success because once a year European golf is coming to Bad Griesbach and Bavaria, and we can show off the facilities of our resort,” he said.
“From what I hear from the players they like to play here very much and they enjoy it, so in the sporting market that’s very positive and very important.
“It’s a small event but from the organisation and from the playing side it’s almost a European Tour event so we’ve learned a lot ahead of our big tournament in September. All of the best golfers in Europe will come to Bad Griesbach so that is very big for us.
“Live television cameras will be coming to Bad Griesbach and around 350 million people will have access to seeing our golf event on TV. It’s a great stage to present our resort and our golf courses, so we are really happy to bring such a big event here.
“It was important to do the Challenge Tour event, even from the greenkeeper side, so we know how to transfer the machines from one course to the next, we know when we have to start with everything. We also have to cut the grass at night so we have to get lights on all the machines, which is totally new for us.
“We’ve also learned a lot on how to give the players a warm welcome and to get a little family atmosphere here. These are things we have learned and things we can transfer to the European Open.”
While it is a new experience for the area to host such a major sporting event, Schwartz believes the whole community will get behind the Porsche European Open and is looking forward to welcoming the hordes of German fans to their expansive golfing mecca in Bavaria.
“From the press perspective, the local papers and media, and from the visitor side, everybody is looking forward to it and we all want to stand together and really provide a great tournament in the first year,” he said.
“Of course, we will learn a lot in the first year but at least for the second year next year we will be prepared and I would like to say that everybody should come to Bad Griesbach to celebrate a big event.”