Our history

From 1921 until today

In 1921, there were just 11 golf courses in Switzerland: Samedan, Maloja, Saint-Moritz, Bad Ragaz, Axenfels, Crans-Montana, Les Rasses and Interlaken, which were seasonal courses, and Lucerne, Zürich and Montreux, which were year-round courses. All these courses were created to entertain the clientele of the major Swiss hotels of the time, most of whom were British.

It was Oscar Dollfus, an industrialist from Ticino who had recently moved to Lausanne, who set about creating a golf course in Lausanne. Oscar Dollfus was a sportsman and an excellent horseman, and he dreamed of playing this game, which he had long known and had enjoyed in Aigle (Golf de Montreux) and in the Parc du Denantou in Lausanne, then owned by the sculptor Edouard-Marcel Sandoz.

Green on hole 18 and clubhouse around 1925 Green on hole 18 and clubhouse around 1925

The golf course acquired a wooden construction, a former US army barrack, and turned it into its first clubhouse, which survived several modifications until 1953. In 1953, the clubhouse underwent another transformation, removing the last traces of the old American military barrack.

It was not until 5 September 1931 that the 18-hole course was inaugurated.

In 1940, with the outbreak of war, the golf course gave up a third of its course to cereal crops (Wahlen Plan), and its land was given over to war crops. The concession was deemed insufficient and, in 1941, representatives of the Crops Commission nevertheless agreed to leave 9 holes to the Club.

In 1946, the Golf Club recovered all of its land and began rebuilding the 9 holes that had been requisitioned. The City of Lausanne granted a subsidy to the Club to restore the course. The official ceremony to reopen the 18-hole course took place on 6 September 1947.

The first clubhouse in 1921 (former US army barracks) The first clubhouse in 1921 (former US army barracks)

To indulge his passion, Oscar Dollfus began looking for a site large enough to accommodate a golf course. After several unsuccessful attempts, he approached the Lausanne municipal authorities, which agreed to let him lease some of the land the city owned in the Antets region, on the edge of the Jorat forest.

The first 6 holes were completed in July 1921. As the grass on the greens could not grow properly because of the dry spring, it is conceivable that the first rounds were played towards the end of the summer of 1921. The next 3 holes were built in the autumn.

The clubhouse from 1953 to 1964 The clubhouse from 1953 to 1964
The clubhouse after its inauguration in 1964 The clubhouse after its inauguration in 1964
The tee of hole 12 (1965) The tee of hole 12 (1965)

In 1958, the city of Lausanne agreed to lease additional land and a new route was drawn up. Several architects of European repute were contacted, including Harradine, Morrison and von Limburger. The design of Hermann Narbel, the greenkeeper at the time, was chosen after a few modifications. Players were able to discover the new course from the start of the 1962 season: three holes remained unchanged, two were slightly modified and twelve were completely new. The layout of the course today is still that of 1962.

In 1964, a new clubhouse was built on the site of the old one. It was extensively modified and extended. The new clubhouse underwent a number of modifications before becoming the clubhouse it is today.

In 1996, architect Jeremy Pern was commissioned to refurbish the greens.

Throughout the 2000s, the Club's buildings underwent a number of modifications in order to meet the various requirements as effectively as possible.

Playing golf is all about tradition, but managing a club is very much about embracing modernity too. At the Golf Club de Lausanne, you can't have one without the other !

More than 100 years of history in pictures