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.

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© google.com

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?

Mallorca Press Cup 2019

The year 2019 ended well for me. After I basically stowed away all my clubs for the winter break – yes, you heard right, I don’t play in snow – just then I received the invitation to take part in the 2019 Mallorca Press Cup.

The cup itself is an annual gathering of European golf and golf travel writers of all sorts of media, to group them together in beautiful Mallorca and have them experience the great golf and great amenities available.

Playing hole 13 at Son Vida Golf, Palma de Mallorca

No question, I was all in for it, packed my stuff and off I went on a cold dark December morning to be greeted two hours later by Mediterranean sunshine, cosy temperatures, and last but not least by the chauffeur and his black S-Class Mercedes who was about to take me to my hotel.

Continue reading Mallorca Press Cup 2019

Brexit is done…

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…and you can think or lean towards which side you want, leave or remain, your choice, but you all have to agree that it’s going to be and look weird when in a couple of months time, 12 Europeans, including English, Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish will enter the stage under the European flag, walking the arena to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 as the Anthem of Europe, waiving blue-yellow flags and telling reporters how proud they are to play and compete for their continent.

European continent that is, not the European Union – rocking the same flag though.

Ryder Cup 2020 apparel released

Today I learned that the Ryder Cup 2020, staged at Whistling Straits, will have the European players wear once again a Scottish brand as official team apparel.

I don’t want to be too critical about it, but I can remember some despicable and pathetic team wear in recent events that were really, I mean REALLY, embarrassing! Diarrhea brown and puke green colors come to my mind…

This time a company called Sunderland got the big contract for the technical golf wear. Sunderland belongs to the Glenmuir brand which also outfitted the past events and again is an official licensee for the 2020 Ryder Cup as far as polos and knitted products go. The five year agreement will see the brand appointed for the 2020, 2022 and 2024 matches.

Glenmuir’s success story and close collaboration with the Ryder Cup began in 1987 with Tony Jacklin as team captain of the Europeans. Since then it’s the longest-running partnership between a clothing brand and a sports event.

The technical products in the Sunderland 2020 collection all look very cool and of high quality. Let’s cross fingers that the actual athletes are equipped with equally good looking stuff (and colors). I still have my doubts.

Continue reading Ryder Cup 2020 apparel released

When Mauritius is on your mind

It’s been some years ago that I went to Mauritius for our honeymoon. The island, the hotels, the golf, the whole trip turned out to be quite exceptional—and not just because it was such a special occasion.

Mauritius is Africa’s second largest economy and indeed rich in beautiful beaches and golf courses. Being on the island, I was fortunate enough to play the “The Links” and “The Legend” courses at Belle Mare Plage, and also the Le Touessrok as it was known back then, today referred as the Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club. And I enjoyed them all.

Yes it was my honeymoon and I may have been in an emotional high anyway, but by all means, the setting, the quality and the general attractiveness of the courses is superb.

I left the country/island after two weeks, knowing I will be back some day. First because one of the hotels we stayed in was absolutely the best you could ask for, and second because there are still some golf treasures to be lifted.

For my second trip I have two courses definitely on my list:

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Tee boxes for all abilities | © heritagegolfclub.mu

Both courses look just fantastic on pictures. Both are situated on the south coast of Mauritius and Anahita is actually placed adjacent to the Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club; not on an island but on a beautiful peninsula, formerly belonging to the Four Seasons hotel group.

The Anahita is a fully fledged Ernie Els design 18-hole course, while the Heritage is a Peter Matkovich design 18-hole plus 9-hole pitch and putt. They are not far from each other, so just perfect to fit in one trip—as getting from A to B in Mauritius is not as easy (and quick) as it sounds.

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Playing with the elements | © heritagegolfclub.mu

I just can’t wait to plan my next trip to Mauritius to check out the courses, maybe the related hotels and to tell you guys everything about it afterwards.

For now, it’s all just in my mind—unfortunately.

Longing for Adare Manor

Truth be told, I never had the chance to play golf in Ireland. I’ve been there couple of times, mostly for business, but never was able to squeeze in some golf. I know… shame on me.

When I think about golf in Ireland I’m dreaming about lush green fairways, typical British hospitality and a great experience eventually. What I do however picture (for some reason) are links courses such as the typical suspects Old Head, Tralee, Lahinch, Waterville, Doonbeg, Ballybunion, just to name a few.

Obviously with that I don’t do justice to all the great courses which are indeed inland courses. The famous K Club comes to mind, and not to forget, Adare Manor.

While Adare might have been a tad more under the radar than others, this is absolutely about to change very soon, if not already happened recently. Adare Manor was officially chosen to stage the 2026 Ryder Cup! And what an event to start with.

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The majestic 18th at Adare Manor | © adaremanor.com
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Strategic No. 7 at Adare Manor | © adaremanor.com

The venue, golf course and hotel complex, was opulently renovated in 2017. It’s an original Robert Trent Jones Snr. design and was reconstructed and renovated by Tom Fazio and is since then equipped with all the modern aspects and technology golf has to offer. While the setting by the 18th century manor house and the park-style routing suggests something else, the course boasts state-of-the-art technology, for example SubAir systems, the first ever course in Irland to use that.

Fazio commented: “Most golfers will never have seen anything like this course. It looks and plays like no other course in Ireland. This will be a stand out course in Europe and, with the Adare Manor house and estate as its setting, will be one of the finest stay and play venues ever created.”

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Stunning views over the 11th | © adaremanor.com
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Picturesque approach over water at the 18th towards the manor house | © adaremanor.com

Looking at the pictures taken from the Adare website, don’t tell me you’re not falling in love with this place. I am most definitely. I seriously can’t wait to play there and review everything one day, hopefully before the Ryder Cup is foreshadowed in a couple of years.

So I’m waiting for that invitation—just saying! :)

For more information, go check out Adare Manor’s website.

Ball Showcase: Son Vida Golf

In late November I was fortunate enough to leave the cold in Germany for a couple of days and instead head down to Mallorca, Spain and enjoy the beautiful island, the cuisine, the hospitality and the fantastic golf offered over there.

Staying at the Castillo Hotel Son Vida comes with the perks of being able to play the Arabella Golf Mallorca courses, namely the Son Vida, the Son Muntaner and the Son Quint.

Standing up for the modern Stableford system

In preparation for an article on the new world handicap system I reflected a bit on the current predominant handicap system we’re used to in Europe. I realized that despite all the critique, it actually is a good system nonetheless.

So here, cheers to the current handicap system, which will be replaced by the world handicap system by tomorrow in many countries, of which Germany is not included. I have an idea why but please don’t get me started…

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For those who need some refreshing:

Continue reading Standing up for the modern Stableford system