Nice autumn round at Golfclub Friedberg

Despite being not far from where I live, I never played this course before. Today was the day, and it was a pretty good day indeed.

All the other courses in my region held their season closing tournaments and blocked the course during golf prime time. So I looked for another course where I could play a round as the weather was forecasted to be really nice.

I ended up at Golfclub Friedberg. Or Golfpark am Löwenhof. Or Sommerfeld Golf Friedberg… no idea what the official name is to be honest. There are at least three websites for the very same golf course. Very confusing and totally worthless.

Friedberg is like 30 minutes from where I live but still I never had the chance to play here. I heard some very strange stories being a very dry course in the summer time, so I figured let’s try out in the autumn, can’t go wrong much. And I was totally desperate to play.

I was grouped together with a lovely elderly couple and 14-year old Jan. He was very chatty (I mean really chatty), played only for 6 months but was already a fine player with his 20 handicap. He was +11 after 13 holes. I on the other side was minimum +13 after 11 holes… As an excuse, this was his 6th round of the week. I’m not even sure I played 6 rounds all year!

Score-wise it wasn’t the best I had to offer. Even with my irons I wasn’t as constant as I had wished but it was a great round nonetheless. The course is interesting and challenging. Nothing too fancy but definitely a well designed and well maintained course which I might visit a bit more often next year.

Or in other words, it doesn’t at all deserve all the hate. Only the club management and the three websites deserve it. The lady in the office was not in her best mood either and they had no logo balls I could purchase. A real pity.

A chilly and damp comp day 2020

Last weekend I played my first and only tournament of the 2020 season. This year truly is remarkable I have to say.

It feels weird. Usually I play around 10 to 15 tournaments a year. Actually almost every round I play is a tournament. And as I’m playing a comp series that is not connected to a certain club, I tend to get around pretty much in a radius of a 90 minutes ride by car.

This year is different. I had no season prep at all, played and practiced very irregularly only and as a consequence didn’t play much at all. As a matter of fact the comp I played last Saturday was the first one this year, and I’m pretty sure it will remain my only one of 2020.

What crazy months this have been…!

Anyway, I wanted to at least get in one official score in 2020 which is why I enrolled for a tournament at Golfclub Rheinhessen Hofgut Wissberg St. Johann, pretty mouthful indeed.

I knew the course from two years ago and while I can’t say I remembered the holes, there were passages which indeed came back to mind. Not to puzzle with local knowledge but it was good to at least have a feeling of “I played here before, I know the course, there are no surprises”.

Continue reading A chilly and damp comp day 2020

New Golficiency Service: The Golf Travel Advisor

This is the beginning of a new category of articles and posts which will, quite irregular to start with, surface here on Golficiency.

Over the years of golf travel and golf travel preparation, I was a keen collector of travel ideas and hence created quite a substantial golf bucket list. It grew longer and longer. So long that it’s easy to snip here and there and build a neat little golf trip around it.

As my list consists of international courses of all sorts, it should be relevant and interesting for a broad spectrum of golf enthusiasts, just like you!

I traveled for golf and I traveled with golf — and I’m sure you appreciate as well some well investigated golf course, travel and suitable accomodation information to have you all prepared for a great golf break with your partner, your mates or your family.

Could there be anything better than golf travel; get around the world, see new places, meet new people, play the best golf courses and stay at fantastic hotels and resorts? … See, there you have it! Nothing beats a great golf trip. Well, almost nothing.

Stay tuned for some great articles coming your way. Make sure to follow Golficiency on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in order to not miss a thing.

The grand dame of Mallorcan golf courses: Golf Son Vida

As the weather turns colder and more miserable outside here in Central Europe, it fills me with great memories of late 2019, when I played golf during winter, which in Mallorca feels nothing but great with its blue skies and very pleasant and moderate temperatures.

At the same time it gives me a heavy heart as so much happened during the past months which did not turn well for golf in the Balearics or for the lovely islands in general. Of course I’m relating to the COVID-19 lockdown and all the unfortunate consequences that come with it.

This is a travel and course report of the better times when playing golf was an obvious thing to do in good weather and when every chance to play such a course is an absolute must.

Mallorca is a golf mekka, I don’t break this to you I’m sure. On this rather small island there are not less than 24 golf courses and the vast majority of them are publicly available to play.

The oldest, since 1964, and maybe hence the most original course of the island is Golf Son Vida, meandering around the famous Castillo Son Vida Hotel and through the posh and sophisticated Son Vida urbanizacion, just 10 minutes outside of Palma.

Nowadays Mallorca is famous as a golf destination all across Europe, if not the world — and it all started with Son Vida, the grand dame of Mallorcan golf courses.

Continue reading The grand dame of Mallorcan golf courses: Golf Son Vida

My second visit to St. Leon-Rot was just as fabulous as the first

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.

Continue reading My second visit to St. Leon-Rot was just as fabulous as the first

Yes, I bought a chipper and I don’t regret it

I know what you are thinking right now. And you may have a point, but hear me out. It won’t disappoint you.

When I lived in England, I unfortunately haven’t had much time to play golf. But when I did with locals, in 100% of the occasions, there was at least one player in the group using a chipper without hesitation.

Back home in Germany I never encountered anybody using this sort of club and honestly never had one in my hand myself. This changed a couple of weeks ago when I decided to give this thing a try. All the English people can’t be so wrong about it — when it’s helpful and useful, then it’s a reason to put in the bag.

So what I did, I purchased the top level chipper online as no local golf shop had one to show, nor to buy. Hence online I went and screened the very narrow offer of chippers out there. And this is how it went.

Continue reading Yes, I bought a chipper and I don’t regret it

“The greens at Winged Food West tumble downhill like a marble staircase”

Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, NY is said to be one of the hardest golf courses to shoot low scores on. And quite fittingly it was the venue of this year’s US Open.

As a matter of fact, there was only one single player in the field prevailing in a sense that he managed to stay under par after 4 rounds in great weather conditions: Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion.

If you want to understand what all players went through these days, suffering from bad scores, across the leaderboard, you should watch this video to get a sense for the course characteristics of Winged Food West and potential traps along the way:

I seriously love these “Every Hole” videos of Golf Digest! If you like these too, then go check out their playlist! You’re welcome.

Any by the way: Can you read a Winged Foot green? Check it out here!

What a show, Bryson DeChambeau!

Bryson DeChambeau is the 2020 US Open champion and seriously left the golf world stunned about his performance at Winged Foot Golf Club, NY.

DeChambeau is a phenomenon. He’s special in many aspects and with that I’m not only referring to the positive ones. But you could like him or not, that what he’s shown the world last weekend was truly amazing and outstanding — a great show of golf that will have its place in golf’s history books, no question about it!

DeChambeau, presumably the man with the most unbelievable intentional body transformation ever, won the US Open in style: With smashing drives but only 23 fairways for the whole week he managed to get out of these unfortunate and penalizing rough positions and still got to the red numbers eventually.

And that’s worth mentioning: Of the complete field at this year’s US Open at Winged Food Golf Club, truly a tough track apparently, he was the only one (!!) who shot under par. The only one. Let that sink in for a moment. Yes, US Opens tend to be tough and the rough is always set to make people rather cry, but only one person under par is quite astonishing.

And if this wasn’t enough, he won by a 6-shot margin over Matthew Wolff (E) and Louis Oosthuizen (+2). All in all an incredible performance.

Pure dominance. Here are some very interesting statistics:

Continue reading What a show, Bryson DeChambeau!

Hands up, who’s playing fantasy golf?

If you’re like me, you really love all aspects of the game: The difficulty, the outdoors, the technical aspect, the social aspect, the ability to discuss it, the fact that every course in the world is different and, last but not least, the pro tours which usually tend to be really exciting.

There are other facts, too, but as I have a family I have to settle with the most important ones and leave side aspects to others. One of which is Fantasy Golf.

In case you’re not aware, this is, very similar to other sports, a way to win an online competition by creating week-in and week-out a list of (golf) players that you maintain regularly. The better those play in the next tournament, the more points you earn, i.e. the better you predicted the outcome of the tournament as a whole. Of course players do not play every single tournament, certain course characteristics do more favor a number of certain players and you could also count the current form factor in, in case you are able to assess or anticipate it.

It is really fun and a way to seriously stay connected to the game as you won’t miss a week(end) and get zero points. And there is a social aspect to that game also.

These guys however exaggerate a bit I’d say:

As an example, this is the fantasy golf game of the PGA Tour. Have fun!

Late 2020 season progress

Yesterday I went to the range with my clubs in the hunt for some answers to what’s wrong with my long game currently. As it turns out, there’s isn’t so much wrong after all.

I put my 9-year old driver, fairway wood and hybrid back in the bag, and truth be told, the balls were pretty much flying as desired. Yes, it was range only from artificial turf but the overall performance was very, very positive. Which is why I believe I neither have a club or swing problem, but more a shaft problem in my new metalwood clubs. A problem that needs some fixing in the off-season clearly.

So in the meantime my old woods are performing nicely and I also had one completely new club in the bag which I teased here very recently. No, it’s not a putter and yes, there will be more information about it very soon. But so far, I’m really happy with the purchase and the outcome in the first practice session.

So happy indeed that I enrolled for two competitions in October to get these two areas to real tournament-pressure numbers. We’ll see. #Project9 and #Break80 are back on the agenda. Not for 2020, but definitely for 2021.