On this page you will find a historical overview of the history of golf in Germany, from 1907 – 2015.
Table of Contents
The history of golf 1907 – 1933 in Germany
1907: On 26 May at a golf day in Hamburg, the first DGV is founded by Hanseatic clubs from Bremen, Reinbek, Kitzeberg, Hamburg, clubs from the metropolises of Berlin, Leipzig and the spa towns of Bad Homburg, Baden-Baden. The president is Johann Vincent Wentzel from Hamburg.
1914: World War, post-war hardship, international isolation and hyperinflation until 1923 cause the beginning golf tradition to wither away. At least from 1921 onwards there are association championships again. Oberhof prints emergency money with golf club logo.
1924: The Princely-Plessischer Platz in Bad Salzbrunn and the Golf- und Land-Club Berlin-Wannsee become social leaders in the DGV and stand for internationality and an urban country club life. This is reflected in 1925 by the first trade magazine “Golf” – on art paper and in clay printing.
1928: In Wannsee, an attraction of the Berlin society, President Herbert Gutmann provides for a permanent DGV office, a logo in green-silver-black and for sponsors such as Dresdner and Deutsche Bank. The new German Open (since 1926) goes to the Wannsee Pro Percy Alliss several times.
Golf in the NS era
1933: The Reichssportführer appoints the Wiesbaden club president Karl Henkell as association leader, who in turn appoints the club leaders. From then on Nora Zahn manages the association’s business in Wiesbaden. 1938: National German Men’s and Women’s Championships for Aryans begin. Two former DGV presidents emigrate.
1942: The DGV has 65 members, including the included private facilities and the extensive “Greater Germany” via the Austrian “Ostmark” to Poland, Yugoslavia, Luxembourg and France. Instead of association life, total war follows.
1945: The Allies dissolve all sports organisations and take up golf courses. Nora Zahn drums up old clubs for the re-establishment of the DGV in the “Golf Working Committee”. In East Germany, however, golf disappears.
Golf in the Federal Republic of Germany
1949: On 18 October, with the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany, a “Working Committee on Golf” establishes the second DGV (West) in Bad Ems, in 1950 already in the European Association. In 1951, President Moritz Freiherr von Bissing hands over the office to Willy Schniewind, who is confirmed at the Association Congress in 1952. The seats are vacated in mid 1950.
1957: The DGV in-house magazine “Golf” celebrates its new edition. 50 years DGV, of which the world wars twice cost seven years of regression.
1968: After almost 40 years at DGV headquarters – five presidents loyal, most recently H.O. Krings – Nora Zahn dies. This is followed by a decentralizing wave of founding national golf associations in the 70s, but the DGV remains the association of clubs.
1975: The first TV broadcast of a German Open by Harry Valérien with seven cameras on ZDF. The professional career of the 17-year-old winner of the German National Open, Bernhard Langer, supported by Jan Brügelmann, captain of the amateur national team, begins. Langer’s successes in 1985, 1993, and before that in 1981 the spectacular shot from the tree, convey the landscape and play appeal of golf in golfing journals and on TV. Germans discover golf holidays as an introduction to the sport.
1990: First club and association foundations for golf in the parliamentary GDR At the end of the 90s, the eastern state golf associations are fully organised in the DGV. An extended “third DGV” now faces a global golf market.
90s: Long-term planned concepts for youth and competitive golf, series of teaching letters, trainer training, competition system, club-free golf, course rating and slope system, DGS, new administrative headquarters and structure consolidate in the self-image as a “modern sports association” (President Dr. W. Scheuer).
2000: For the first time a golf world championship is held in Germany. The DGV offers 99 teams from 59 countries an impressive experience in Bad Saarow from 23 August to 3 September for the women’s and men’s team world championships (Espirito Santo or Eisenhower Trophy).
2007: The DGV celebrates its 100th anniversary with a big festival week at its founding location Hamburg. From 23 to 26 May, over 140,000 people visit the 15,000 square metre golf theme park on the Jungfernstieg in Hamburg city centre.
2009: The General Assembly of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided at its meeting in Copenhagen to reintroduce golf to the canon of Olympic sports. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, golf will thus be played under the sign of the five rings for the first time in 112 years.
2012: The national teams of the DGV win both precious metals at the World Team Championships for the first time: The women’s team becomes vice world champion, the men win bronze.
2013: The Kramski German Golf League (DGL) starts on 12 May with the first of five match days.