On a little quest to play as many Leading Golf Courses of Germany as possible, this little journey brought me to Mannheim-Viernheim, the 2018 team champion of Germany and regular suspect to win the Final Four each year.
The badge “Leading Golf Courses” is one that provides some clarity for a question such as: Is it worth it to travel to that course?
This question can always be answered with a plain and simple “yes”. The venue will be great, the maintenance will stand out, and other factors as well will show its exquisite level of detail and craftsmanship. And as Mannheim is just a 45 minutes ride from where I live, I had this course on my to-do-list for a while already.
Then came Corona and with it a completely failed season preparation. I cancelled all tournaments scheduled in 2020 and instead decided to play some gems in the area I always wanted to play but didn’t manage to so far.
So on a beautiful sunny Wednesday morning, I took my daughter to the kindergarten and then hit the autobahn Mannheim-bound. As said, it’s not even an hour ride and super easy to get there.
As a preparation I watched the club’s trailer on youtube and was intrigued.
Mannheim-Viernheim features an 18-hole championship course and extensive practice areas. The club was founded in 1930 but moved to this area not before 1973. The first step as a club was a 9-hole course, designed by the infamous Dr. Limburger and were later in 2000 extended to the 18 holes it has today.
There is a clear distinction between old and new holes. The old holes clearly resemble a classic Limburger-styled parkland characteristic; very similar to Frankfurt or Club zur Vahr Garlstedt. With a new routing combination these are holes 1-5 and 15-18.
The other holes could be characterized to be more inland, heathland style, definitely more open than the old. The fairways are similarly undulating, maybe a tad more but apart from the smaller number of trees along the fairways it actually is quite a different feeling.
The routing led to some awkward paths from green to next tee at times, especially interesting is the fact that you pass or cross the putting and chipping facility three times during one round. That’s a bit quirky but not a big deal at all. Distances are usually quite short and the beauty of the surrounding makes up for the walking.
The holes 6, 7 and 8 are a bit exposed to a public road but not crazy loud at all, so nothing to worry about.
What I also very much enjoyed was the clubhouse. It’s a very modern building, erected in 2014, and features a fancy restaurant, a beautiful sun terrace overlooking the 18th green, conference and chillout areas and very nice shower and dressing rooms.
The club house is clearly not the most important thing if you’re after a great day on a golf course, but it comes together nicely if it lives up to the quality of the course and just adds to a great experience. I just didn’t like the beer they were serving but that of course is a very personal note.
Some further information on the golf:
I teed up on my own at around noon on that Wednesday. It happened to be a day when the German Federation of Female Senior Golfers had their mid-Germany tournament – and I was following them. So there were roughly 25 pensioners in front of me and I was prepared for a long round of golf.
I’m not bothered much when I have time and I wanted to take some pictures and videos anyway, so I accepted my fate and played along. I played quite okay, so there was some extensive waiting involved during the round I have to say.
In terms of scores, I started: par, double, par, par, par, par… and was 2-over after 6 holes. That is quite a good score for me, especially taking into consideration this was only my third round I played in the whole year, thanks to Corona. So I was over the moon with my game—maybe a little too much over the moon as it got really bad from then onwards.
As a matter of fact I had not a single par anymore until the end, but instead many bogeys, some doubles and two triples. Yikes!
It was a great golf day anyway. I tend to not be bothered by bad golf, especially when I’m pretty much out of practice and I’m aware golf is a difficult game where you need that famous touch to be good at it. I lacked it that day for two-thirds of my round but compared to a day in the office… you see, great day!
Hole 4 is a very nice dogleg-right. Holes 7, 8 and 9 are these more open holes that look very nice but the rough was brutal. Hole 11 features a weird mens tee box but is a very interesting 90° dogleg-left with a ball-sucking pot bunker. Hole 12 is an interesting one, around a pond and some trees, towards another water hazard. Hole 13 is a great par-3 over water. Hole 15 has a very tricky second shot below a low-hanging big tree, no question I hit that bad-boy branch and played my third from where I played the second. Finally the stretch 16, 17 and 18 are excellent holes, with the 18 as a dogleg-right around water towards the green, which lets you putt and finish your round under the critical views of almost everybody sitting on the club house’s terrace. Glad I had a nice approach shot and a standard two-putt.
This concluded my round, I took a shower, had some drinks and a burger before I called it a golf day and headed home.
What a great round. Not score-wise, not duration-wise but boy was I happy to play proper golf again. Can’t wait to tee off here again soon!
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