First round of 2020 – in June

June is usually supposed to be pretty much the middle of the season. In COVID-times however, all this is turned upside down and June is the new April.

Well, what a year this has been. Working in home-office for over 3 months now, May has been the time, at least in Germany, when golf courses have been re-opened after the closure due to the Corona pandemic.

I made it to the range in May twice I guess and it was OK, but playing a round, the first round of the year, clearly is something much different.

Checking the courses nearby, I was astonished how crowded the tee times have been. On the weekend, when I have time to play, there wasn’t a single slot available from 6am to 6pm. Fully booked golf courses with 4 players in the group, what a nice thing to see.

Well, not so much if you’d be interested to get your name on the list on short notice yourself but overall great that golf is back in the game. Would be shame if not really: An outdoors, no-contact sport in beautiful weather. What could go wrong, huh?

Instead of the usual suspect courses around the corner, I chose a course a tad outside of the Rhein-Main region that normally doesn’t linger so many people just by the fact that it’s a bit remote. Not far off, but still a journey from downtown Frankfurt for instance.

I booked a tee time at Golfclub Taunus Weilrod, a 18-hole course in the hilly Taunus region with quite drastic elevation changes, tough to walk, but fair to play. It’s a bit quirky in terms of layout and routing but beautiful in a sense that you have nice vistas around the area when standing on an elevated tee box, for instance.

A vertical drop of 50 meters, just to give one example. But I was fired up, paid my 65 EUR and couldn’t wait for my solo round. Literally I couldn’t wait, as there was nobody there I just teed off 10 minutes before my tee time. There were just a few people out there.

The first tee shot requires a shot that should not go left towards the water. You bet my first tee shot of the year went left towards the water… luckily it cleared the pond, got a good bounce and ended on the fairway. The approach landed on the green and just hopped into the fringe. Not bad for a start.

Some great shots and some pretty mediocre shots happened in the following holes, and yes, some lousy ones too, but in general I played some very decent golf. A couple of pars, some bogeys and few doubles. So nothing to worry about if you’d ask me.

I played: No hat, no glove, no laser. Just a very enjoyable round of golf, no stress, no rush. On many holes I played two balls for the sake of training but still managed to finish my first nine in 70 minutes!

On 11 I got into traffic. Then, due to the quirkiness, the course routing allowed the elderly couple in front of me to take the 17 instead of the 12 and therefore short-cut the round which gave me some extra room before I ran into the next group on 14 only.

That was the time when I managed to get a glimpse of other players and saw them play, saw them struggle in maybe one of their first rounds of the year, too. Golf is definitely not a game of perfect.

The course is going up and down pretty hard. The fairways were pretty brown already and rock solid. It was a very enjoyable round of golf however, in beautiful sunshine, in a tranquil environment and I loved every moment of it, even the bad shots!

Apparently the old saying “a bad day of golf is always better than a good day in office” stands true for home-office, too. Who would have thought!

So in case you are after a quiet round without hassle, stress and jam packed tee time scheduled, Weilrod is your choice—around here that is.

The BMW Indoor Invitational at Royal Portrush

The European Tour is never shy to test out new things, be it a huge shot clock to incentivize a faster pace, or a new 6-hole team match format with a lot of background noise to attract new people to the sport.

Presumably the same folks came up with a new series of events which are somewhat driven by the fact that people are not able to go outside anymore to play golf following the rather strict COVID-19 rules and restrictions in every state of the world.

What that does is to facilitate Trackman’s functionalities together with a famous course that is played virtually. It’s a professional battle on different grounds than usually but it’s still active golf, playing indoors against a huge screen.

Clearly putting and bunker game is necessary to adapt for the virtual world, but it’s impressive how modern technology can cater to establish a very similar feeling to real life golf. Of course there will never be a real alternative to play outside on real courses but you get close to the feeling anyway when you don’t have access to a course or just simply are not allowed to play.

I believe this is a great way to entertain the golf fan masses, much more than these selfie-like pro tip videos that you saw lately. Personally I could pass on those if you’d ask me.

Oh and by the way, Connor Syme took the lead by two shots:

So what do you think of those virtual indoor tournaments? Yay or nay? And what did you do to get in golf shape this year during lockdown? Anything special to share?

Adjustments to the 2020 golf plan necessary

With the year 2020 becoming more and more strange, this all is going differently than planned. Early May will be the first possibility to hit some balls and if all things go alright and there is no second COVID-wave coming our way the season will be shortened quite drastically anyway and requires some adjustments to the travel and game plan of 2020.

Courses I most definitely want to play this year in my area:

  • Frankfurt
  • Main-Taunus
  • Lich
  • Hanau
  • Hof Hausen
  • Mainz

In addition some others a bit farther away:

  • St. Leon-Rot
  • Mannheim-Viernheim
  • Stuttgart Solitude
  • Ulm

Originally I had some others on the list, some in Munich, a trip to Hamburg, another one to Berlin, one to Weimar or to the south-west of Germany.

Also, the original plan had open slots for travel to Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark and Abu Dhabi at the end of the year to play some golf. I’m pretty sure this is not happening this year though.

Stay positive, play as much golf as you can and appreciate that you can play at all.

I really miss golf club life

I’m writing this after 8 weeks in COVID-19 lockdown and with no grip on a golf club for 5 months. Usually April/May is the time of the year I’m most encouraged to get on the course, get in shape, get some practice in and some rounds in preparation for the first tournaments of the year.

When I started golf I enrolled with three friends and we always had a good time. Then later when I moved to Frankfurt and became member here, I enjoyed getting to know new people, playing with new partners and similarly enjoyed the time after the round with a drink on the terrace.

I’m of the belief the social aspect is always overseen but so important in golf. There are just few sports on this planet where you get to play with strangers for hours and then have a beer in the sunshine afterwards to discuss all sorts of golf related stuff.

For quite some time now I’m a member of a club which is far from where I live. Therefore I tend to play different courses in my area instead and don’t stick to just one. The benefit of one home club clearly is the social component. You see the same people, can make friends with people you like and maybe even let these new people into your private life next to golf.

That’s what I miss right now. Especially in times of the Corona crisis when everybody is forced to stay home, I often think about full sun terraces at a local club and the joy to see the same faces all over again for some serious golf chit-chat.

Hoping for better times. Fingers crossed.

We ship worldwide, even in crisis situations

While golfers around the world are checking daily if they’d be allowed to golf again anytime soon, we clearly understand the severity of the situation. Golf is a sport and there are truly more important things to life than golf right now… not many though.

For those of you now experienced online shoppers, you might want to check our online store, too. There are some cool shirts, hoodies and tank tops to be found there—legit street-cred golf apparel. For more off the course than on it.

But we keep fingers crossed you’re allowed back to play rather sooner than later. Keep safe and healthy.

Interview with Thomas Mönch, golf manager at Weimarer Land

In 2019 the Thuringia countryside made it onto my golf bucket list and together with two colleagues we stayed at the outstanding Weimarer Land Spa & GolfResort and enjoyed two fantastic days, playing golf, enjoying the resort’s amenities, the restaurants, the bar and we even made it to Weimar once for a decent walk in culture, being an important heritage to German history, ranging from Goethe, to Schiller, Bauhaus and the Weimar Republic.

The resort is a 20 minute ride south of Weimar where Goethe loved to do his horseback riding. Golf in this region was fairly new when the resort opened to the public as an upmarket golf holiday retreat in a converted farm.

After years of making its way up in the golf ranking lists, it is indeed a spot you shouldn’t miss if you like golf and fancy a trip to that region.

With Thomas Mönch, golf manager at Weimarer Land, I had the chance to discuss some current challenges and got some interesting insights in the work and motives of Weimarer Land Spa & GolfResort.

Golficiency: We’re living in turbulent times currently, and the COVID-19 pandemic hits everybody hard worldwide, especially the sports and hotel industry. How are you coping, what’s currently going on on your golf courses right now?

Thomas Mönch: The Corona crisis has serious effects and implications on the Spa & GolfResort Weimarer Land. On 19 March we had to close down the complete resort until further notice. The golf courses are therefore not playable anymore, neither for guests nor for members of the club. In addition we closed the complete hotel operations with all gastronomic and wellness facilities. Our reservation desk sadly had to cancel all guests’ bookings for Easter and the Early May weekend, even in a fully booked situation. Gladly the majority of our regular guests agreed to postpone rather than fully cancel their bookings.

Continue reading Interview with Thomas Mönch, golf manager at Weimarer Land

How COVID-19 has us by our golf balls

I’m not telling you any news when I say the world turned upside down couple of weeks ago when the Coronavirus hit the world hard and literally everybody on this globe was somehow affected by the COVID-19 disease and the respective actions by the various governments to avoid it from spreading.

You could argue the actions are crazy, but honestly I believe the people all over the place are doing quite a job in social distancing and flattening that damn curve to do everything in their hands for the greater good.

Experts tell us this is the only way to treat this horror and I tend to acknowledge they are correct. Restaurants are closed, pedestrian areas or city centers are empty like never before, and sports facilities and events are closed or cancelled.

This again has direct impact on all the golf-loving creatures out there, to which I count myself – and probably you too. I haven’t swung a golf club in 4 months and this time around would be my season ramp up for the first tournaments of the year. The weather has been awesome lately and sure I’d be on the course every time possible (considering family and all the other hobbies…)

But I can’t. Golf is closed, tournaments cancelled, the season pretty much postponed. Which is a pity as I had a) a great plan what to do this year (courses, resorts, tests, trips, etc.) and b) big hopes in terms of my handicap in getting that thing in the singles.

Anyway, this is not gonna happen anytime soon. This spring, this summer, this fall will all be pretty much different from all the others in the past. And still this is a first-world problem.

Live with it, let it sink, digest it and then keep fingers crossed everybody in your family, your loved ones, neighbors, friends and other are staying healthy and fine. I wish you all a great deal of happiness during these crazy times.

Stay safe, stay at home, stay alone for some time and look forward to the good times which clearly are just around the corner.

See you on the golf course, folks!

Ball Showcase: Golf Son Muntaner

Second ball I brought with me from Mallorca and actually from the course I played twice.

For once because I really liked it the first time I played it and second because Son Quint was busy with a members’ tournament when I wanted to play that one. So I came here again and in the end I was quite happy as Son Muntaner indeed is a great course and for good reason was just recently awarded European Tour Destination – World Class Golf Venue. That says a lot.

What a great achievement. And before you ask – I had nothing to do with it! Great course, great story and great ball for my showcase which is filling up nicely.

Operating some of the finest courses on the island: Arabella Golf Mallorca

imageFor those who don’t know Arabella Golf Mallorca so far, here is a quick reference.

The Arabella brand was founded by the German billionaire family Schörghuber. The empire was built on construction and beer—two things which not only go well together but apparently are very lucrative, if you do it right. The Bavarian Paulaner beer might be something you are aware of in that sense (and taste).

But they also ventured into hotels and golf, two things that also fit quite nicely. Under the Arabella brand there are hotel resorts and golf courses across Europe; predominantly in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain.

For Mallorca in particular, there is a subsidiary bearing the name of the famous island in the brand itself: Arabella Golf Mallorca. They operate several courses in the Palma region and are respected as some of the best on Mallorca, if not Spain altogether.

Continue reading Operating some of the finest courses on the island: Arabella Golf Mallorca

Out of bounds… and the country

Imagine you are teeing off at Golf de Preisch, a neat little course in the north of France. You’re standing on the 4th tee, feeling confident that you can place the ball in the middle of the fairway—boom, and there it is again, the pull hook!

Problem with that, especially on hole number 4, the ball most likely will not only have left the club’s premises but also the country! Golf de Preisch lies exactly at the French border to Luxembourg. So any errant ball over the fence will automatically be subject to the Schengen treaty, having left the country within the European Union. No customs clearance necessary though fortunately.


Due to the close proximity to the borders, the three 9-hole loops of this 27-hole facility are suitably named “France”, “Luxembourg” and “Allemagne”.

Are you aware of other courses, where this or something similar could happen, too?