After a prolonged weekend we were planning to go on a week-long trip. This time we chose our destination to be Eastern Bohemia. The plan was to play four out of the five local golf courses, and I figured one week should be enough to fit golf, as well as other small trips into the itinerary. The weather was made for golfing – under 20°C and sunny all day long. It was decided then.
Golf Course Dolní Dobrouč – A Rising Star
While planning our journey, I stumbled upon an 18-hole golf course I have never seen or heard of before. It is situated near Eagle Mountains (Orlické hory). I was wondering – did I miss it in the past, or was it simply not there before? After some research I found out that Dolní Dobrouč golf course is indeed one of two courses opened just recently in 2020, the second one being Oaks GC near Prague. According to their web page, the course was designed by Jakub Červenka. The atmosphere seemed to be very friendly and comfortable. At the beginning I was a bit skeptical, but ready to be pleasantly surprised.
A phone call with Marketing Manager Petra Rychetská only reinforced my positive feelings about Dobrouč. Naturally, I asked about the possibility of staying with our motorhome overnight. Not only were they very accepting of my request, the course management was also interested in establishing motorhome parking spots, and they sought advice in doing so.
We arrived at Dobrouč late at night, as usual. Unfortunately, Google Maps was of no help, because the course is relatively new and they don’t have the location in GM quite figured out, so we had to look for the parking spots on foot, with a torchlight. That is mainly because I don’t like risking a dead end in a dark, narrow, unexplored alley, especially with a motorhome. It would have been very frustrating to have to back out from such an alley. Our mission to find a parking spot on foot was, however, successful, and a spacious parking lot awaited us in front of the clubhouse. It was not until the next morning that we discovered the beautiful view over Dolní Dobrouč Valley that the parking lot opened up in front of us.
The next morning we jumped right into it. The first hole only left us wondering where the green might be. This statement sums up pretty much the course as a whole – the terrain was difficult and the fairway area was very scarce. The second hole – a par 5 shaped like the letter Z – was quite some hike, I can tell you that. But our joy and good mood only became more powerful with every hole played. As the course was built recently, some grassy areas aren’t completely green yet, but in no way does that counter all of the course’s thoughtful details. And all of that by a Czech architect? I would 100% invite him to design my own golf course (if I were to build one).
After 9 holes we took a lunch break. The whole front nine was a hiking trip – especially hole #9. The back nine only added to our satisfaction with the Dobrouč course. Have you ever played Adamstal GC – the best golf course in Austria? I think Dobrouč would have no trouble competing with that. Full of expectations, I look forward to seeing Dobrouč in the future, how the management will elevate the course to even higher level. My words to the administrator were: “Just don’t mess it up, please”.
At Dolní Dobrouč, you can park your motorhome at the end of their parking lot. There is a possibility to refill your freshwater tanks from a tap near the terrace. Unfortunately, there was no socket for us to plug the motorhome into, but the good news is that the management is planning on building 3 parking spots designed specifically for motorhomes. We will be waiting for an invitation to a housewarming (or rather parking spot-warming) party!
Sightseeing around Dolní Dobrouč
On the second day we planned to take a break from golf and try to visit some attractions around the golf course. It was still a bit cold for a cycling trip, but how else were we supposed to get around the place to see something? Well, we equipped ourselves with warm clothing and off we went. To help me with planning the trip I used Mapy.cz, which is a great tool for finding places to visit around you. Go to Trips Around You and you can select how long you want your journey to be, and how you wish to travel. I was trying to combine this function with a list of possible attractions to plan our trip. If you have any tips on how to do this more effectively, I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to comment down below!
Our trip was about 20 km. At first glance it seems a bit short, but when you combine cycling with occasional hikes to some of the destinations, lunch, and a few walks here and there, it quickly becomes quite a lot for us – amateur cyclists. We got to visit local Letohrad, Písečná, Žampach, and climbed a bit to reach Kopeček hill. From there, we travelled back to our motorhome. My tip, if you want to start your sightseeing at Letohrad, is to park your motorhome directly below there, in a big, free parking lot. On the way back we also visited Tyršovy Sady and Pardubice Castle. To finish the day we planned to move to another golf course.
In close proximity to Pardubice, there are two golf courses: Kunětická hora, and Lázně Bohdaneč. As we have already played at Kunětická hora several times, we decided to skip it this time, but if you want your golf vacation in Eastern Bohemia to be complete, you should definitely include Kunětická hora. Following my logic here, we arrived at Lázně Bohdaneč, again, later in the evening. Main benefit of our late arrivals is that the parking lots are usually empty and it is way easier to find a spot for us. After a quick consultation with the manager we were allowed to park directly by the driving range, near the chipping and putting greens. I managed to find a socket to connect our motorhome. All of this took place without a problem after we negotiated to eat at the local food stand for the duration of our stay. A weird, yet useful habit of theirs was to turn on an electric fence every night, so we wouldn’t get a visit from a pack of local boars.
In contrast with Dolní Dobrouč, this course was laid out on completely flat terrain. The main challenge here were trees and a lot of water. An interesting fact – there is a farm close to the back nine, and you can see flocks of sheep and herds of goats. After finishing the round we decided it was too early to retire into the privacy of our motorhome, so we whipped out our bikes yet again, and cycled around the place to see some beautiful ponds, ornithological watchtower and the city centre. All of these things make up for a quick, gorgeous cycling afternoon.
Rozkoš Lake and The Grandmother’s Valley
Our fourth day was dedicated to maintenance. The closest Caravan Park, also called a Stellplatz (an automated parking lot tailored to motorhomes and campers) was located near Lake Rozkoš. I was very pleased to see that it fulfilled my expectations – that’s what I imagine the ideal Caravan Park to look like. Only if there were places like this in Czech Republic! The entrance was protected by an automatic latch, payment was settled at a parking meter, and everything was included – power socket connection with 16 A current, outlet for gray water, fresh water tap and a sewer to empty the motorhome’s mobile WC. On top of all that we were alone with a great view over the lake. It was quite windy – would be ideal for sailing – but still too cold to sit outside.
After spending the night at Caravan Park Rozkoš I decided to go on a cycling trip around the lake to make up for not playing golf that day. The bike trail was mostly on flat terrain and it made up a majority of my route. The remainder consisted of secondary roads and paths, as I didn’t want to cycle on main roads.
In the afternoon we decided to visit The Grandmother’s Valley. Everyone in Czech Republic knows the book Babička by Božena Němcová, and this area is where the plot was set. Our plan was to visit the majority of the places mentioned in the book, and according to a local guide we were very lucky to have so few people around, because the Valley is usually packed with people. It is possible to park near an intersection in Zlíč, or below the Ratibořice castle, yet another place frequently mentioned in Babička.
Our third golf stop was at Mladé Buky Golf course. For me, it was like coming back home, as I spent many of my working days near this course in particular. I was looking forward to meeting my good friend – the manager of Mladé Buky GC – Honza Grund. The eye-catching part of Grund Resort is obviously a four-star hotel. Usually, that’s a big problem for motorhomes, because the hotel management generally prefers, for obvious reasons, that people stay in their hotel. Fortunately for us, I know Honza and he helped them understand that by coming in with a motorhome we will definitely take advantage of being able to sleep in it. On the other hand, we were more than willing to take advantage of most of the services at hand, such as the restaurant or locker rooms. My recommendation is to call the Resort beforehand, and discuss the possibility of parking there. There are two parking spots for buses, so a motorhome will fit in without a problem. Fresh water is available by the driving range.
Next morning I decided to hop on my bike and take a short trip around the place. I chose a route of 7 km, but my joy started to diminish soon after I left. I realised I forgot to check the altitude profile of my route and the first 4 kilometers were only downhill, which meant a huge climb was awaiting me, especially considering that my destination was another 50 meters above the starting location. Needless to say I had to push my bike uphill for some 2 kilometers :). On my way around the Pekelný Vrch hill I saw Skalní Útvar Baba (Baba Rock Formations), Havlův Hrádeček (Havel’s Castle) and Břecštejn Castle ruins. At every stop the Grund Resort prepared information boards with details and interesting facts about the place. To conclude, if you are not a proficient cyclist, I would strongly recommend taking this trip on foot, it would have been much more enjoyable, at least for me.
Unfortunately for me, I booked a tee time right after my physically exhausting trip, and on top of all that, my friends and I gave the Mladé Buky golf course a nickname: cardio session. Yes, you can imagine my excitement to play this golf course with rich terrain, where it was a matter of mere two holes for us to travel 50 vertical meters. One hole – a hike, next one – a ski slope. A combination of technically challenging holes with narrow fairways, hills, water, trees and beautiful views made up for an unforgettable experience, even though I played at Mladé Buky many times before that. It’s a pity that we couldn’t use the food stand more than we did, because the food was delicious. The problem was that reconstructions were in progress, and the kitchen was able to work only partially.
The fourth and last golf club we wanted to visit was Myštěves. On your way there don’t forget to get your hands on Hořické Trubičky – a local specialty. It is a dessert made up of crispy cylinder-like shells with many possible types of filling, often dipped in chocolate. We bought some while visiting the main square in Hořice – the city where this dessert was first prepared. Before leaving for Myštěves I called the local management and we negotiated that it is possible to park in the parking lot directly next to Myštěves Chateau (Zámek). You can easily connect to a power socket there, it is primarily for golf carts, but after some talking they are more than willing to let you use it. We were grateful for another night in a calm neighbourhood, although in the afternoon it was a bit lively by the Chateau entrance.
I went to investigate what’s going on, wondering if I could, by any chance, get my hands on a pint of local beer. I did. Even though the restaurant wasn’t fully functional yet, similar to Mladé Buky, it was obvious they were grateful for all the customers they could lure in. This positive attitude inspired me to reserve a homemade lunch for the next day. It goes without saying that we will be glad to visit Myštěves in the future, for example on our way to Liberec.
Queen’s Park took advantage of automatization even at the reception. Before our round we left the fee money in an envelope, wrote down my name and my email, presumably to email me the receipt,… and took off to play some golf. One of my friends called it a “low cost playground”. There surely is something to it, but it was impossible for us to say one bad word about the course conditions. Three holes are played in the adjacent park, the rest on surrounding plains. It was a nice walk accompanied by some golf.
With all the trips and activities besides golf, the week was headed towards a sudden end, and there we were, heading back home. As this was our second trip with our own motorhome, my mind is packed with new experiences and things to improve for the next journey. Here is a list:
- Electricity – a majority of the visited locations had a socket for us to connect to. The main purpose isn’t so much recharging the batteries, but rather being able to use kitchen appliances that require 230V power. I will consider buying a static converter (12V=>230V) in the future.
- Fresh water – two refills were enough, considering that we showered in the motorhome everyday. I bought and cut up (10m + 15m) a 25 meters long hose, which I used to refill the tanks.
- Grey water – water for disposal that was used in the motorhome. Again, after full showering every day I emptied the tank once, on the 4th day at Rozkoš Caravan Park.
- Wi-Fi – I bought an unlimited cellular data package from Vodafone and it was worth every penny. We used 30GB in one week, that included my wife using MS Teams for online education, and one night of watching PGA tour.