Ball Showcase: Golf Club Schloss Braunfels

Two weeks ago I played Schloss (Castle) Braunfels, a rather hilly course in the Taunus mountains.

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Last week‘s souvenir from Braunfels.

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Never played here before, so I got myself a ball as souvenir and played a decent round of golf — at least the first nine have been very ok, then the heat paid its tribute. Shame that they neglect the course in the heat wave currently. Most of the fairways were brown. Doesn’t look good but kicks the ball even further… I don’t have a problem with length but esthetically I prefer lush green.

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This is how a thirsty golf course looks like…

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On hole 3 I chipped from the rough with my lob wedge, the ball went right into the cup and sprung back out. That would have been so cool. Next time.

Frankfurter Golfclub, once a year tradition.

 

Once a year I play Frankfurter Golfclub, the poshest club around my place, that’s my rule. It’s a great course, manicured, designed by the famous Bernhard von Limburger and always well maintained. Even when the sun is burning everything else to death.

I played a tournament here and I really enjoyed it again here. Well, first I hated it, then I loved it.

For the first three holes I had to pick up the ball. No score possible. Total crap what I played but I remained calm. My playing partners began to whisper about me and they looked concerned but hey, it was a Friday, it was sunny, I was on a great golf course, I just wanted to have some little fun.

And the fun came later. After the 3 holes on which I had to pick up the ball I played really decent golf. On the remaining 15 holes I guess I a couple of bogeys, a couple of pars and just maybe two doubles.

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What a golf day! #fridaygolfday #frankfurterGC

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I went home with a smile.

Playing plays out, finally!

 

I have to say it’s difficult to accommodate a full job, a family, a house, multiple hobbies, friends and a sport like golf – oh, and sleep too.

As a consequence I don’t play as often as I wish but just so often that family is happy, I’m happy and I get enough sleep at night to be fit for the office. So training is pretty much out of the picture.

To put that in perspective: I’ve hit the range three times this year, short course once, private rounds three times and played nine tournaments so far of which one was a fun tournament with my company and all the others had effect on my handicap.

If I could chose I would play golf twice a week, but currently that’s not in scope so I have to life with it. What I do miss as well is coming around a bit, traveling here and there, taking my clubs with me, checking out new courses, new resorts, being on the road with my sticks. That would be cool again…

But not now. I get some rounds in, mainly through the tournaments I play in the German Rhine-Main area.

Couple of weeks ago I played Zimmerner Golf Club. Nice course, not spectacular but interesting. I played 45 stableford net points and won 1st prize. My handicap came down by 2.7 to 13.9.

I was over the moon because for the last months my game struggled – I mean I struggled with my game.

I didn’t practice much. But playing constantly, making the right adjustments here and there progressed and I do feel much more comfortable with everything now. Played more with thy hybrid, and plan to make my way up to the driver in multiple iterations.

I have time.

*dreamingofscratch*

More focus on training and the handicap this year

Couple of days ago I tidied up the basement and found old golf membership cards. I tend to collect them in one place but apparently I had a bunch of them in a different spot – like always when you are looking for something.

What I realized to my surprise was that my handicap, not that long ago, was much better than the one today. I play tournaments regularly and my handicap is adjusting to that, but it seems that for too long now my handicap only knew one direction: up.

So this is going to change now.

More focus on training, a more reliable swing, intelligent course management and ball striking with the longer woods. That’s my approach for this year.

Needless to say that most of the deficiencies have their origin in suboptimal striking, a non-consistent swing and too little training or play, but the equipment of course plays its role, too. So I’m happy to trust my PING G400 set: driver, 3-wood, 5-wood, 19° hybrid, irons from 4 to 9, then W, U, S and L from the same set, plus my trusty Scotty Cameron California Del Mar putter.

Off to a new handicap in 2018, new personal records and a new small number on the 2019 membership card! #project12 #break80

A gem near Frankfurt: Golf Club Main-Taunus

This course is just a stone’s throw from my place, it’s a mere 15min ride on the Autobahn but still I have to say I rarely play this course. And after another tournament recently, I have to say, I have no idea why I don’t play here much more often. It’s such a nice course, offers challenges to all levels of players and still isn’t overly tricky.

During the tournament I had great company, we chatted along very nicely, had some drinks afterwards and my playing partner even won the trophy. So we were in a good mood, the atmosphere was great, weather held up and it turned out to be a great golfing day. I played 32 net points so my handicap went up 0.1 again. Didn’t care much.

Again, no idea why I don’t play here more often. Highly recommend it if you are in the area.

Flat but bloomy: Bad Vilbeler Golfclub Lindenhof

To kick off my tournament season earlier this year I decided to play a round at Bad Vilbeler Golfclub Lindenhof, north of Frankfurt, Germany. I played this course once before, but only for 12 holes or so.

So I was excited that day, the weather was holding up quite nicely and I was really interested to see the rest of the course. In early summer, when everything is in full bloom, this course is supposed to be extremely beautiful. That day was a little different, no blossom to be seen.

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Great stage for today's Deutsche Bank tournament.

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The course is rather flat but interesting nontheless. On many holes you find water as the prominent hazard, on most holes you do find however multiple areas you wouln’t want to place your ball.

The 9 and 18 really stand out in my opinion. The 9th is a par-5 dogleg right with a huge pond right in front of the mens tees. Either you are overly brave (and good enough) and drive over the water, or you lay up to the left and start to play to the right side starting with the secon shot. Great hole. What’s cool as well is the fact that you have a telephone at the tee box with which you can order something to drink or eat at the halfway house. So when you reach the 10th 15 minutes later, everything is waiting for you. Cool.

The 18th is a par-3 towards the clubhouse. What makes it special is the sheer amount of water you find on that hole.

So playing Bad Vilbel was a treat, a nice course, definitely not perfect but when you are in the area anyway, Bad Vilbel is a nice addition to your list – and stay for dinner if you can and enjoy the evening.

Sweden golf, Ekerum Resort Öland

During the preparation for our holidays in Sweden I researched so much on golf courses and was literally stunned by the sheer amount of top notch courses they have.

I wanted to play them all. As that’s not really possible when you travel with your family I narrowed it down to a bit more than a handful. Still a lot of golf. And then our itinerary required some severe adjustments so that we cut most of our journey through south Sweden and ended up in Stockholm and Öland.

No hard feelings, but I managed to play one round and one round only on Öland.

I played the Långe Jan course at the Ekerum Resort just outside of Borgholm, Öland. The resort features two courses, one named by the lighthouse in the very south of the island, the other named by the lighthouse in the very north. Both of them are supposed to be very nice, the Långe Erik being more kind of a “normal” course, and Långe Jan featuring a modern re-fit with wasteland areas and some tweaks you don’t find at every other course.

I thoroughly enjoyed the course, even with my round taking donkeys with some slow people all over the place. I got in traffic, joined a couple’s group which happened to be members and they told me they never experienced such traffic on the course yet. Well, bad luck for me.

Sweden has great courses to offer, and a big shoutout to the Exilgolfer and Sweden Golf, I got some great recommendations which courses to play. I will take my notes out again next time Sweden is back on my list. I can’t wait to play Bro Hof, Barsebäck, PGA of Sweden, Hills, Sand, Falsterbo, and so many more.

For this time it was just Ekerum. Very good course though. Would definitely recommend you play if you are on the island.

More information: Ekerum Resort Golf

The new sticks…

I just wanted to let you guys know that I quite recently bought a new set of clubs. You might be aware that I used to be a huge Acushnet fanboy and that I owned everything from Titleist, Scotty Cameron, Bob Vokey, FootJoy, etc. (Well, no Pinnacle to be fair). But I realised I have to move on. Which I did.

I got fitted for a complete set of the PING G400 range and couldn’t resist to order.

So far, my experiences are a bit so-so. These are great clubs, but I guess I have to adapt to the following:

  1. Graphite shafts. Never had those in irons before.
  2. Cast irons. Was used to forged so far.
  3. Chunky looks. I will get used to the wider sole and the brushed material.
  4. Distances. Are completely off, notable longer but unfamiliar.
  5. 0.75° upright. Yeah, that’s a toughie to be honest, completely new stance, especially for pitches
  6. PW, UW, SW, LW same range as irons. No such thing as the Vokey feel around the green unfortunately, but easy for full shots.

Other than that, they are damn good. Can’t wait to sport them next year to get me down to a new all-time low handicap… Fingers crossed.

So, this is what’s in my bag for 2018:

  • Driver: PING G400, Alta CB stiff, 10.5°
  • 3 Wood: PING G400, Alta CB stiff, 14.5°
  • 5 Wood: PING G400, Alta CB stiff, 17.5°
  • Hybrid 3: PING G400, Alta CB stiff, 19°
  • Irons: PING G400, Alta CB stiff, 4-PW, UW, SW, LW
  • Putter: Scotty Cameron California Del Mar

And yes, I know that’s 15 clubs… #shhhh

An autumn round which felt like summer

My in-laws live in south Germany and we visit them from time to time over the weekend, as you do. This time, they weren’t even there but we went there anyway (for other reasons) and I brought my golf clubs to play a round.

The area near Ulm is beautiful but not at all blessed with many golf courses. So it was easy to pick a course. After I played GC Ulm last time, I went for GC Donau-Riss, a 15min ride from where we stayed.

The course is equipped with an 18-hole course, a large range, decent training facilities and a short course. The overall appearance of the track is rather open. What I mean by that, it’s not your typical parkland course, on the contrary, without many obstacles you can overlook big parts of the course. Not all of it, but it is rather open, you get what I mean.

It was early Oktober and during the round I hated me that I didn’t wear shorts. It was really hot, the sun was burning and it felt like a little reward for the bad summer we had so far.

I started my round on the 10th. No intentionally, but because I followed two youngsters which intentionally started on the 10. I just realised when my GPS watch made no sense whatsoever for my approach shot.

The course wasn’t overly packed but after some holes I got in traffic and joined another couple’s group, played along for 6 or so holes, played alone again, got in traffic again and joined another golf buddys’ group for the last 2.

All in all a fun round in just over 4 hours. The course was nice, while not extravagant. Holes which are worth noting:

  • 1. Split fairway.
  • 4. Double fairway, meaning you can decide to play left or right around an area of rough and trees.
  • 9. Uphill par-4 with a huge biotope area which you have to lay up for.
  • 15. Huge biotope again.
  • 17. Short par-3 with liver-shaped green. I couldn’t putt straight to the hole and had to putt “around the corner”.

So when you are in the area, give the course a chance. It’s not worth a huge travel but definitely is much fun to play. I had a great day on the course.

Re-activation and re-connection

This blog has been pretty silent over the last year which I actually feel a little ashamed of. The reason for the golf absence, at least in the blog writing fashion, has mainly to do with the fact that I became father to a beautiful baby girl, which I admire over the moon.

So priorities have shifted, the day work is important, the baby deserves a lot of time, my wife gets her share of my time without question, then I have another big online project running, read a lot, we have a house which takes some time, friends, family, hobbies and last but not least, playing golf.

Sounds like an apology? It is one, truth be told. But priorities do shift, and there is no such thing as bad behaviour for a blog that is absolutely free. I’m not even sure if somebody actually missed me, missed my golf stories or my golf pictures. Especially because Golficiency is quite active on Facebook and Instagram.

Long story short, over the winter months, I will try to create more content for my audience. Golficiency was founded in the off-season to stay in touch with the game, and it will be re-activated in the (European) off-season.

Happy reading!