It was a hot Wednesday afternoon in the early 1950s when the idea for the Osnabrueck Golf Club was born. Equipped with rackets and balls, Heinz Kreft met with his club mates as he did every Wednesday - for tennis. The summer was hot, the match no less so, too hot, in fact, to really enjoy it. Then Heinz Kreft came up with the idea: "Actually, playing golf would be much more pleasant”. And this thought never left him.
He had already discovered golf at a young age during a stay in the USA. Some of his well-traveled acquaintances, including Mrs. Emmy Homann, had already taken a few swings elsewhere – so the first symptoms of golf fever quickly spread to Osnabrueck.
Heinz Kreft did not accept arguments such as "golf is not appropriate for a city like Osnabrueck”:
Why shouldn't something work in Osnabrueck, which had already been successful in Berlin, Bremen and Hanover for quite some time. Just one week later, he had already reviewed the membership list of the Osnabrueck Tennis Club and selected about 50 members whom he could imagine being enthusiastic about golf.
In addition, the mood was favorable for initiatives such as the founding of a club, especially during the times of scarcity in the immediate post-war period: conditions were gradually becoming more or less orderly again, and the upswing, later known as the German economic miracle, was beginning to take clear shape.
People had an appetite for something new - golf became the talk of the town.
The group of 60 interested parties that met on February 4, 1955, in the rooms of the Chamber of Commerce was not only ready for a new start, but also determined. Bank director Holland from Hanover, at that time treasurer of the DGV (German Gold Association), outlined some financing models for a golf club in Osnabrueck and gave information about details.
After a short time, it became clear to the assembled interested parties what was to inspire them in the coming weeks and months: not much more than DM 150,000 were required for the purchase of land and the construction of the course. A golf club in Osnabrueck was feasible!
Spontaneously, 32 people present signed the founding charter, thus sealing the start of what would later become the OGC. Today, this document hangs framed as a founding document in the club rooms. The spirit of optimism spread like wildfire among the golf-minded people of Osnabrueck: only three months after the founding meeting, the young club already had 135 members, and the next task was to acquire sufficient land that could later be cultivated into greens and fairways. This initiative was mainly brought forward by Wilhelm Karmann, Hans Richter, Hugo Siegers, Dr. Richard Frieß and Paul Meyer.
Despite the great enthusiasm, one must not forget:
At the beginning there was a lack of everything - there was no board, no chairman, no club house and no golf course, there was little knowledge, and above all there was hardly any money.
So the idea was born to join forces in a property community. The Jeggen property community met for the first time on June 22, 1955, and was able to raise a large part of the required money. The remaining funds were added by many club members subscribing to smaller shares, with the minimum share being 1000 DM. Initially, it was decided to separate the club and the property community - a precautionary measure to preserve the property assets in case the club should fail. The property community conducted the first, very difficult negotiations, finalized the contracts, purchased the property and was later also responsible for the construction of the clubhouse. In the following years, however, it withdrew more and more from the club's activities, thus proving to be a calm and efficient solution.
Two things deserve mention, however, because they illustrate so well the special founding spirit of those years:
The Jeggen property community included personalities who later never played golf. Nevertheless, they were enthusiastic about the idea of a golf club and wanted to promote it. Likewise, some owners later donated their shares to the club or bequeathed them so that the community idea could live on. This led to the Osnabrueck Golf Club gradually becoming part of the property community itself - with the pleasant effect that the club is one of the few in the country that can play on its own property.
Shortly before Christmas, on December 12, 1955, the time had come: the property community acquired land on the Wellinger Berg, a compound which could accommodate nine holes.
Almost three years were to pass before the first shots could be played at Jeggen – an enthusiastic start with a small competition on the practice course on May 26, 1957. Three years in which a long struggle with the authorities was finally concluded in favor of the OGC, three years in which seeds were sown, nurtured and - with the participation of many members - hard work was done.
The renowned golf architect H.E. Gärtner from Wiesbaden was commissioned with the construction of the course and presented the final plan in June 1956. Soon after, in November, the first nine holes were marked out, irrigation lines were laid and the terrain was cleared. Mr. Friedhelm Hagedorn could be won as the first course master, whose wife Erika took over the club catering.
Since the "birthplace” of the OGC was acquired shortly before the turn of the year 1955, the dates conceal a fact that is still astonishing even at today's construction speed: Between groundbreaking and the first tee-off there was hardly a year! Contemporaries attribute this fact to the fact that the "founding generation" was made up of genuine entrepreneurs - men and women who were used to tackling things and pushing them forward even in the face of adversity.
In the meantime, the increasing number of members met for dry practice, in a completely untypical environment for today's golf:
In the attic of the Hagedorn company, surrounded by drafts and ball nets, they practiced their first swings - from 1956 with Mr. Edwards and later from 1957 with Mr. Dunston. From 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. - the coaching sessions were fully booked!
Even though the preparation for the actual course was still somewhat abstract, a real social pull towards golf had already developed. Within a very short time and with rather makeshift equipment, a real golfing milieu developed - without a course even being in sight!
The reservations that are often expressed today about golf as a pastime for a financially strong elite played virtually no role at all at that time: for many budding golfers, it was more difficult to obtain good equipment than to pay the club dues. In the pioneering years of golf in Osnabrueck, it was therefore quite common to share a set of clubs among several players - as well as some charitable work for the club.
Then finally, from May 1957, the clubs were swung for the first time in Jeggen: first on the practice course, later, on August 26, for the first time officially on the whole course.
The Osnabruecker Tagesblatt reported at the time: "One enjoys a magnificent panoramic view over the nine golf holes of the course, which is surrounded by high spruce forests [...]. Even today, while still under construction, it is obvious that one of the most beautiful sports facilities in the Osnabrueck administrative district is being built here."
Although today a panoramic view of the facility is denied, so much have the seedlings of yesteryear shot up - but there can be no doubt that the journalist was right with his prophecy at the time. At the end of September, the opening of the course was celebrated with a sports event with acquained clubs. To celebrate the inauguration, OGCers anticipated a special holiday, so to speak: when they gathered at the clubhouse in 1957 for a Saturday tea and cocktail hour in honor of the course's opening, it was October 3.
Surrounded by the comforts of the OGC that are taken for granted today, it is not easy to imagine the atmosphere of the first playing days. Some who were there at the time characterize it with the words "Boy Scouting for adults": A successful entrepreneur like Jochen Hellmann would camp out in the woods on weekends in order to keep the way to the golf courses as short as possible for his family and himself.
A barrack of the former Reich Labor Service served as the clubhouse which still reminded everyone of its original purpose. The founding generation will never forget how they gathered here on Sundays: in raw garments , on wobbly garden chairs, crammed between all kinds of lawn care equipment, more in a bivouac than in the clubhouse of a golf course.
And yet: the cannon stove was roaring, someone had always prepared coffee and cake, and no one would have exchanged the togetherness of those early days for anything else. For all the scenic beauty, one weakness of the terrain on the Wellinger Berg also became apparent at that time: the soil consists of stony marl with a very thin humus cover. So it was unavoidable that the first OGCers would hit more stones than divots out of the ground. Once a year, therefore, the members got together for "stone time" and collected the superfluous boulders together.
The social life of the OGC flourished almost from the day it was founded. The traditional kale dinner in February meant the end of the golfing hiatus for many and ushered in the round of social events in the golfing year. At that time one qualified as the kale monarch sensibly by the quantity of the consumed kale, which almost inevitably entitled Günther à Brassard to be the first king.
A fortunately little state-carrying protocol regulated the rights and duties of the majesties – with humor clearly being a major royal duty. In the middle of the year, the President's Award was presented, a celebration hosted by the respective president, with which originally deserving club members were honored.
Over the years it developed into a major event in the OGC with increasing demands on the purse of the acting presidents and great prizes for the lucky winners. Prizes for almost everyone, on the other hand, were held by the so-called Martin's Goose in the fall. This institution was distinctly typical for the early years of the OGC: Almost everyone won something, if not a few inches around the hips at the dinner, then at the game; sausages, poultry legs, a goose - or even, as a so far unique highlight of a prize-giving ceremony, a live fowl!