Blog

It’s time for a new GPS watch

I was and still am a big fan of my Garmin S2 GPS watch. It accompanied me on uncounted rounds of golf, always worked perfectly (in contrast to the golf shot afterwards) and definitely does the trick. Still it was time for something new.

As said, I really like my S2, there is nothing I would have liked differently when I bought it. It had everything I asked for, and frankly, all the other gimmicks with expensive color GPS watches, it just doesn’t give you any additional benefit—in my opinion.

As it ages though, it’s the second wrist band already and buying it in white hasn’t been the greatest idea in the first place. Then the battery seems to fade, and I’m lucky if I make it through 18 holes before the battery dies. The capacity is just not there anymore. And it’s a bit bulky and clumsy. Apart from these downsides it’s a brilliant watch, no question about it.

But it was time for something new. I went for even a cheaper version of golf GPS watch and bought the Garmin S10, a sleek black GPS watch with a monochrome watch face, battery for 12 hours of GPS golf mode or months in watch mode only. And it’s lightweight and black.

Ticks every boxes, what do you think?

Continue reading It’s time for a new GPS watch

What is it like to play a reversible golf course

The moment I learned about The Loop course at Forest Dunes in Michigan, I was intrigued to learn more about it. The first fully reversible golf course, designed by Tom Doak, that you can play clockwise and counter-clockwise the following day.

How ingenious is the idea to create a course, that’s actually two courses at the same time, depending on from what side you’re teeing off.

So imagine you go to tee 1, put your ball in the fairway and attack hole 1 afterwards, before you head to tee 2. Pretty standard right? The interesting turn in this story is, by tomorrow, you will play the same fairway from the other side as hole 18, ending on a green next to where you started your round yesterday.

Sounds weird? Well, it is weird, but so cool at the same time!

Watch this “Adventures of Golf” episode with Erik Anders Lang, thoroughly exploring The Loop and having some interesting discussion with the architecture maestro Tom Doak himself.

I can’t wait to see similar courses being opened in other parts of the world as well. It won’t solve immanent issues golf has at the moment, but will clearly make up for some excitement and change on the course. What a brilliant idea!

A golf hotel with rich history: Castillo Hotel Son Vida Mallorca

To be pretty clear upfront, I had a great time in Mallorca, couple of months ago. Playing golf in beautiful sunshine in the middle of the European winter, having great company with like-minded people – what else could you ask for?

image

Well, you could want to live like a king while you are there? Exaggerated? Yes of course, but understandable at the same time.

Golf in Mallorca is a feast for the senses. People playing golf here are hedonists, longing for joy, fun, elegance and pleasure. And they get exactly that. The golf courses in the region cater for exactly those people, offering great golf and at the same time great amenities, great food and service.

Imagine you could play like a king, eat like a king and sleep like a king! Sounds promising? Then you should maybe consider the Castillo Hotel Son Vida Mallorca as one of your next golf trip destinations. Not only are the courses top-notch, the hotel seriously screams superiority, classiness and luxury. No wonder the hotel is part of the prestigious “Luxury Collection“, a sub brand of hotels that really live up to utmost luxurious requirements.

pmilc-facade-1011-hor-clsc.jpg

The Castillo Hotel is run by the Marriott hotel group, sits on top of a mountain in the Urbanización Son Vida, the famous neighborhood of stately mansions, overlooking Palma and the bay.

Continue reading A golf hotel with rich history: Castillo Hotel Son Vida Mallorca

Night golf at Emirates Golf Club, Dubai

I’ve been to Dubai couple of times, always enjoyed it very much, did a lot of touristy things, did a lot of expat things, played a lot of golf—but what I didn’t do for some reason is night golf: golfing under floodlights.

See Iona Stephen in this Golfing World video teeing it off at the Faldo Course at the Emirates Golf Club Dubai to get some impression how that looks like. As I haven’t experienced this myself, it’s hard to assess how the actual feeling might be, whether it’s such a different game that it’s not real golf anymore. Watching the video, it does look like proper golf and I’m intrigued to check it out myself soon.

Continue reading Night golf at Emirates Golf Club, Dubai

Two beautiful rounds at Mallorca’s Golf Son Muntaner

Two rounds of golf at a fantastic Mediterranean venue, in such a beautiful spot in the world. What else could you ask for. Is it worth it though?

image

The island of Mallorca has always been close to my heart. Not that I spent most of my holidays here, but when I first set foot on this island many years ago, I fell in love with the interesting complexity of it which seems to get forgotten sometimes when you read about Mallorca and its annual struggle to cope with the sheer amount of tourists coming here.

It’s an obvious beautiful island but also looking a bit deeper, it reveals so many great things, so beautiful spots, so tranquil places, so utterly fantastic stuff which stay more or less uncovered if you’d just spend a beach summer break or something alike there.

Cyclists know why Mallorca is special and golfers do, too.

Continue reading Two beautiful rounds at Mallorca’s Golf Son Muntaner

Bryson’s new tactics seem to pay off

In the past months Bryson DeChambeau had put up some extra weight in order to get to a physique he could drive the ball farther than everybody else. Did he manage to?

Well, the Charles Schwab Challenge is not over while I write this, so it’s a bit early to assess but from what I saw yesterday and today, it’s fair to say that DeChambeau had quite a transformation in the lockdown weeks. He must have found some weights in his basement to play around with.

So, that transition: It didn’t make him a nice guy or a more bearable guy, not even a faster guy in the sense of pace of play, but he truly looks like Popeye now with huge extra weight on.

Continue reading Bryson’s new tactics seem to pay off

Live TV golf back in the game

After weeks and months of absence, pro golf is back on tour, back on telly and back in our hearts. It was about time, if you’d ask me.

2020 is a crazy year. It has been so far and seems to continue to make its way into history books on so many levels. Life, as we know it, came to a halt and so many beautiful factors of daily things were taken away from every one of us—including golf.

Not only was golf forbidden to play, it was of course also for the professionals, hence there was no live TV coverage for such a long time.

But that changed now. With the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club we have the first of pro event back in live TV. The PGA Tour being first out there, made a good effort with teasing the crowd in social media, as this tournament will–as all the others to come in the near future–be played under some new circumstances: Played without spectators, to start with.

I haven’t had much time to sit in front of the TV lately myself with this new COVID-19 home-office and child-care situation, but I seriously support the idea to bring pro golf back into play and back onto the screen.

I love my golf.tv subscription and can’t wait to see some of the events kicking in here on this side of the Atlantic, starting with a so-called “UK Swing” with six consecutive events in the UK, as announced by Keith Pelley, European Tour commissioner. Please read here.

The new World Handicap System

What it is, what it does, what’s great about it and what not – probably.

To many golfers around the globe it came as a shock when it was announced that the respective golf regulative body in their part of the world decided to hop on the band wagon to change the way how to calculate the handicap of every individual golfer.

Some were so accustomed with their way to calculate things for years, others still didn’t understand the Stableford system thoroughly and thought: “even another complexity now?”.

Well, my feelings were two-fold, too. I belong to those having understood the Stableford system inside out and truth be told really appreciate it. And even when things get a bit technical and mathematical in terms of handicap changes after a comp, it was all very transparent and understandable.

Continue reading The new World Handicap System

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.

Continue reading First round of 2020 – in June

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?