It was only much slower, but that wasn’t my fault in all fairness.
St. Leon-Rot is one of these famous golf complexes that scream golf quality. It features two courses and they used to be on everyone’s list for the best golf courses in Germany.
Last year was the first time I set foot on this holy land and managed to play the St. Leon course, presumably the more exciting and more difficult course. At least it’s the track that is played when international golf tournaments are staged here at St. Leon-Rot. As I only experienced one of the two golf courses so far, the plan was to go for the other one this time, the Rot course, named after the other part of town.
To cut a long story short, the day was pencilled in the calendar a long time in advance, the course was open as far as guests were aware, I took a day off work early and just when I wanted to book a tee time a week or so before the day, I learned that the Rot course was occupied with the local seniors day… what a shame.
So what to do? Change of plans, change day, change golf club? There were multiple alternatives but all of them included to turn my back on St. Leon-Rot which I didn’t want — especially as the weather was supposed to be great and I was about to ruin a golf day which was intended to be nothing short of phenomenal.
In the end I went and just played the St. Leon course again, for my second time after I played it in 2019 for the first time. I really liked it back then, so I had no hard feelings returning to this great venue and play it once again.
It was a weekday, beautiful sunshine and the course greeted me with superb and outstanding maintenance quality. The summer has been hot and I played courses in the region that looked horrible due to lack of rain and proper irrigation. But this course was in immaculate condition and showed no signs of weakness.
A tee time around noon guaranteed I had enough time to warm up. As it was proper hot that day, especially around noon, I was sweating already before my first shot.
There weren’t many people on the course which I obviously appreciated and as I was standing by the tee number one for a while, I was aware who was teeing off before me. There were two youngsters, maybe 16 years old, long-hitters, athletic and most likely single handicappers. And behind them, there was this couple, Swiss as it turned out later, not playing badly but gosh, they were slow, again, as it turned out later!
I gave them time to proceed and as I was playing on my own, I wasn’t in a rush anyway. I wanted to enjoy every minute of this beautiful course. Well, by hole three I was waiting and waiting and waiting… Nothing wrong with waiting if it’s a busy day, but there were so few people on the course that day and the Swiss couple totally lost connection to the group in front and had at least a three or four hole gap already.
It got worse and worse, and it was tougher to wait and tougher to find some shade to wait in.
The course was great and I actually played good golf, so technically I could have a real blast — if there wasn’t all that bloody waiting. But I soon made the best of my situation, played two balls instead of one, there were nobody behind me after hole 9 so no bad feelings to hurry myself.
The scores were very decent indeed, and the course presented itself in immaculate condition.
I seriously enjoyed holes 5 and 6, the one with the approach over water and the par-3 that follows. Also hole 8 was great again, the one with the island fairway, a thing that you don’t see often. The second nine, as you guessed, didn’t change in terms of pace of play but it also continued to be really nice from a course standpoint. It’s tough to pick a great hole that stands out, they all are quite interesting with little challenges that make them very exciting, even if they’d not look thrilling in the first place.
I really enjoyed the round, despite the heat and the group in front. Those who know me, I usually can stand and tolerate something like this maybe better than others. I was just not in the mood to be angry about the situation. Instead of working, I was playing golf on an exceptional golf course in the middle of the week. What could possibly bother me?
I finished the round after God knows how long it took, packed my stuff, went to have a long cold shower and enjoyed some ice cold drinks and a fantastic meal on the almost empty sun terrace of the club. Maybe the perks of playing golf midweek during a time when the world was hit by a global pandemic. Healthy and happy I returned home, knowing that at some point I need to play the Rot course; heard it’s a great course, too.