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GOLF.TV – the one big thing golf fans waited for

For the last years during which I refrained from paying pathetically high subscription fees for Sky, I paid from time to time a week ticket for Sky Ticket, which is basically the stripped-down version of Sky for those who want to pay-per-view.

It was easy to do, easy to use and I bought such week ticket usually for the bigger tournaments such as majors, when I thought I had time to sit down and watch some golf. That’s not given during the day with a 2-year old toddler which is supposed to only watch one episode of Peppa Pig a day.

I seriously dislike Sky for all what they are doing, for their price policy, their stupid apps and all business decisions they take. In 2019 however, as an infrequent Sky Ticket user, I was offered a multi-month subscription free of charge. ‘Why’ you will ask would they do that. Well it’s the football break in Europe that time and I reckon they fired out free subscriptions as a Marketing gig. If they’d be smart enough they would have checked that I never watched a single football match and sticked to golf only.

Clearly I didn’t complain and was able to watch the Masters, the PGA Championship, the US Open and The Open Championship for no charge at all.

After that period I dropped out of Sky Ticket again and was kind of relieved to be honest, even tough I had no chance to watch golf anymore.

Then I finally found golf’s broadcasting holy grail and since then love every minute of that experience. Let me explain why.

Continue reading GOLF.TV – the one big thing golf fans waited for

Season goal overachieved

Currently being over the moon with my weekend round, I can report that my (long-time) season goal no. 1, namely #Project12, now finally is accomplished.

Overachieved I have to say. I wanted to reach a handicap of 12.X by year’s end. Two weekends ago I managed to come down to 13.1, which actually was already great news. Then yesterday, in wet and cold conditions, I scored 40 net points, which brought me further down to 11.9.

Dark, cold and wet conditions at Golf Club Domtal Mommenheim. 

During my round at Golf Club Domtal Mommenheim, south of Mainz, Germany, I shot 7 pars, 10 bogeys and unfortunately had to pick one up on the easy 18th. That’s 24 gross points and the mentioned 40 net points. And all that without using any woods, teeing off with a 3-iron only.

Since #Project12 is now in the books, it’s all about #Project9 and #Break80 for the coming weeks and of course next season. Wish me luck!

Ball Showcase: Golf Club St. Leon-Rot

The domestically famous St. Leon-Rot club is a 90 minutes Autobahn ride from where I live and I actually passed the course often. I never played it though which had to change.

So I was overly happy to walk in the footsteps of golf’s greats on the St. Leon course, where the Solheim Cup, several Deutsche Bank SAP Open and other tournaments were staged, where Tiger Woods and Ernie Els battled it out some years ago and where Germany’s amateur golf elite is practicing.

It’s no spoiler when I tell you I really liked it there. Going to St. Leon-Rot (once for each course) on a yearly basis will be my new tradition, and a nice one indeed.

The 50 most beautiful golf courses in the world you can play

According to Golf Advisor, this is the list of the world’s most beautiful courses which are open to play for the mortals. So you’ll find Pebble Beach, which sets you back 500 dollars, but you wouldn’t find Cypress Point which clearly, as the direct neighbor, is equally beautiful but is a private member’s club, one of the stricter ones even.

You can believe what you want in terms of rankings, this has its US-focus as well and only lists 5 Continental European courses after all. Not fair, you might argue. Well I have very little comparison I’m afraid to judge if the US-courses indeed are of such perfect beauty that courses of other regions are under-represented to a certain extent.

pebblebeach
Unbeatable coastal golf at Pebble Beach Golf Links | (c) pebblebeach.com

From those 50 courses, I’m fortunate enough to have played 2 at least. The rest is a working target. Will keep you posted on the outcome, as always.

So this is the list with more details:

Continue reading The 50 most beautiful golf courses in the world you can play

GPS or laser rangefinder – that is the question

Decades ago, life was easy. Golf life, too. There were distance poles on the side of the fairway, indicating 100, 150 and 200 meters or yards. It was measured towards the front of the green and you would add a good portion to the green center or the flag, whatever you were aiming for.

In between poles you would either roughly estimate or pace out manually. These measures were of course very rough but fine for most golfers nonetheless for hundred years.

Then modern technology hit the golf course as well. Nowadays it’s common to ask for exact distances, and when I say “exactly”, I mean exactly. A margin of three meters doesn’t seem to be OK anymore – you need exact figures.

I couldn’t resist myself either, as you can imagine, so in the end I use both a laser and a GPS device. But let me explain what I think of both devices and what I believe these are targeted at. Because not every style of player would be equally happy with both devices.

Generally I truly appreciate the technology that made its way to golf as well. I also believe that, correctly used, it can drastically improve your game. But it does require some thought process and less ego—yes, I’m talking to you, middle aged male golfer.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we:

Continue reading GPS or laser rangefinder – that is the question

My take on the OWGR Top 10 of 2019

What I really like about golf is not only playing the game for myself but also to cheer for one or the other professional player. I try to see some pro tournaments on TV which is not easy with a full business and family life, but I do have some favorite players that I follow, double-tap on Instagram and support in other ways.

Compared to other sports like football I seriously appreciate the fact that rooting for one player not at all means that I hate everybody else in the field—a behavior which unfortunately is so predominant in football.

Anyway, I like playing golf and I like support a handful of golf players. It’s a gentleman’s sport throughout and spectators should be included in the equation. I’m aware that the Ryder Cup or the Solheim Cup might be sort of an exception, where two continents, two teams clash together and the situation is artificially hyped to an extreme. It’s different from the rest, one could say.

Brooks Koepka
Current world’s no. 1: Brooks Koepka | (c) golfweek.com

Coming back to the normal tour schedule, players earn points according to their stats in the weekly events. The better they play, the more they earn, the more points they receive. Easy as that.

Translated in a ranking of points earned globally on any given tour, this adds up to the current standing on the official world golf ranking high-score list. Please find below the 2019 season ending top 10, enriched with my personal view on the person in question:

Continue reading My take on the OWGR Top 10 of 2019

Slow play is killing the game

Not just since the most recent discussions about Bryson DeChambeau’s or J.B. Holmes’ approach to slow play, it has been a hot topic on tour.

What is slow play, why is it dangerous for our beloved sport and how could the tours increase the pace of play, watch this.

I’d consider myself a quick player: I don’t do practice swings at all, neither on the tee, nor on the green, I have a quick decision process what clubs to take and I’m a fast walker. For me the only things that take a second is to plan the shot (shaping) and to get distances right.

For the latter I highly recommend GPS devices such as watches or handheld products, or the good old laser. There’s a blog post coming on that soon, so please check back and have a read.

Playing in a group of course creates some dependencies to other players but there are measures to speed up: Ready golf is one, leaving the flag stick in is a second. And before you ask, yes there’s a blog post coming on that one too!

41 net points at GC Main-Taunus and a new handicap for me. A good weekend.

Not easy to pad yourself on the shoulder without showing off or sounding too pretentious. But my game is finally starting to go the right direction and you can imagine I like that!

On the weekend I played a tournament at Golf Club Main-Taunus in Wiesbaden and had a great day with good company, good weather and good scores.

As reminder: I’m currently avoiding my woods and hybrid and instead only use my 2- and 3-iron off the tee. Still scored an 83 and even had three or four lip-outs on the green. In the end I carded 25 gross points and 41 net points which brought me down to a 13.1 handicap. Not far off my season goal of 12.X. And I had no double-bogeys at all, just bogeys, pars and one birdie. Good news that.

I had to leave early and missed the winning ceremony, so I’m not even sure how I ranked in the comp; dont’t think too shabby though.

Still there’s a lot of work to be done, much practice necessary in order to finally make some progress with my woods also. I just feel that I need professional help here unfortunately.

[UPDATE. I actually won the tournament. Who would have thought!! Came up 1st in the gross and 2nd in the net stableford calculation. What great news!]

The 2026 Ryder Cup at Adare Manor will be absolutely mind blowing

Very recently it was announced that the 2026 Ryder Cup (and yes that’s a long way to go) will be staged at Adare Manor in west Ireland. Despite the fact that I’ve been to Ireland a couple of times already, I’ve never played golf there. It was mostly work and one buddy trip from London, but golf was never an option.

I remember that I’ve seen all these lads with golf travel cases at Dublin airport and said to myself “I want that, too!”. So golf in Ireland has been on my bucket list for quite a while, especially the south-west is something that I’d like to tick off that list rather sooner than later. Apart from these legendary courses such as Ballybunion, Waterville, Lahinch, Tralee, Doonbeg, Old Head etc. there are others in other parts of the island, like Portmarnock, European Club, the K Club and alike that I had on my list.

I did not have Adare Manor on it, and truth be told, I have no idea why not. The property (hotel and course) was fully renovated in 2017, so I reckon it has to do with the fact that the golf course changed quite dramatically in the recent past. But I wasn’t prepared to see such beauty when somebody told me Adare Manor will host the Ryder Cup.

I investigated quite a bit since then and can officially agree that it’s one of the worthiest places to host the pan-Atlantic tournament everybody is so much longing for.

But see for yourself.

I hope to play here before 2026 in order to give you a more personal view rather than just showing you a professionally produced resort video, which I have to admit is pretty cool indeed.

Fell in love all over again. Damn.