Some people might find it weird, some others will understand it, and again others might have done exactly what I’m trying to achieve: I bought my little 3-year old daughter her first own golf set.
She didn’t ask for it (she’s currently more asking for a horse actually) and she never expressed much interest in playing golf at all. Yes, she used my clubs from time to time when daddy practiced chipping in the backyard, and yes, she was quite keen to play when we hit the range the other day, but in every case I was more or less the trigger.
Sure, I never forced her to hold a club but as said, she never actively asked to play the game at all.
As a keen golfer with a clear picture that this is THE perfect family sport, I’m however interested to get her interested, too. What I will do for the rest of this and definitely next season is to take her with me to some range sessions for her to see what daddy is doing there and that other people are doing pretty much the same.
She knows what playing golf is, that you have some clubs with which you swing and that you try to get that little white ball in a small hole in the ground. Mommy is doing some fancy fitness stuff and daddy hits white balls around a field…
On a little quest to play as many Leading Golf Courses of Germany as possible, this little journey brought me to Mannheim-Viernheim, the 2018 team champion of Germany and regular suspect to win the Final Four each year.
The badge “Leading Golf Courses” is one that provides some clarity for a question such as: Is it worth it to travel to that course?
This question can always be answered with a plain and simple “yes”. The venue will be great, the maintenance will stand out, and other factors as well will show its exquisite level of detail and craftsmanship. And as Mannheim is just a 45 minutes ride from where I live, I had this course on my to-do-list for a while already.
Then came Corona and with it a completely failed season preparation. I cancelled all tournaments scheduled in 2020 and instead decided to play some gems in the area I always wanted to play but didn’t manage to so far.
So on a beautiful sunny Wednesday morning, I took my daughter to the kindergarten and then hit the autobahn Mannheim-bound. As said, it’s not even an hour ride and super easy to get there.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.