…in the end he’s the one laughing—with a $2.25 million smile.
I’m not good at betting and my money definitely wouldn’t be on Rory lately, but after quite a long period of time during which he wasn’t able to win or at least substantially satisfy, he came out with a win at the 2019 Players Championship, the unofficial 5th major tournament.
This young bloke is in the hunt for the career slam and personally I keep my fingers crossed for him. I wish him well, wish he’s able to make a move on the PGA Tour and in particular in the majors (and in the Ryder Cup, but that’s a different story). He has the potential and, believe it or not, he matured and is able to get his head around things happening on the course.
What you saw over the weekend was a crystal clear Rory McIlroy, focussing on the next shot, on the win, on getting better and taking a lesson from every suboptimal shot. There were indeed some as putting is actually not his strong suit, but boy can he drive the ball off the tee! And I’m not sure if I would stand the pressure to take out driver on the 18th on Sunday that close to Jim Furyk, risking a play-off.
Rors did and he did win this prestigious tournament in fashion. Frankly I missed a big jubilance and thought he was a bit too cold, but that’s I guess the case when you won dozens of tournaments and your big aim is that huge career slam—with the rest being just practice under tougher conditions.
Season prep is in full swing. While it’s still cold around here, and I’m actually on a short ski break at the moment, I did my bit already to get the season ready for 2019:
Clubs are cleaned, put in the carry bag for the early-year practice, shoes are cleaned (three new pairs of golf kicks put on the Amazon wishlist too), rain gear packed, hats sorted, markers, pencils, tees and gloves put aside and new dozen of Titleist’s Tour Softs as well.
2019 will be the second season I’ll play my PING G400 clubs; 4 wedges, 4-9, hybrid, 3- and 5-wood plus driver.
This season however I want to see some real progress in terms of playing abilities, but seriously who doesn’t. Have to get out on the range rather sooner than later. The first session is planned for next week, followed by some heavy pracice and finally the first round of golf by end of April.
I’m already enrolled for 5 tournaments this year, more to come, but this keeps up the pressure – in a good sense.
Another preparation to the season 2019 has to be up-to-date with the new golf rules. Obviously the new golf rules were introduced for the recreational player in order to speed up the game, which I indeed appreciate. It’s just that these rules (or at least some of them) should not be applied for the pro tours if you ask me. It’s still a weird picture to see top players leaving the flag in for a short putt. Not sure I like that…
The year 2019 is two months old, Germany and basically the most part of Europe is cold, rainy and unpredicatable. It’s time we see some major improvements in the temperature!
Some golf nuts are already practising for the new season, some courses opened their summer greens and more or less everybody is waiting for the spring and summer time to get out on a more regular basis and play.
I don’t know about you, I need sunshine for a round I enjoy.
This picture shows Kronberg Golf und Land Club, the club house, hotel and restaurant of a local club, where I tend to play once or twice a year. And it gets me into golf mood every time I pass the big entrance gates of the property – longing for better weather to kick off the golf season 2019.
Two weeks ago I played Schloss (Castle) Braunfels, a rather hilly course in the Taunus mountains.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I went home with a smile.
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
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.
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.
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.
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