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 rater 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.

Preparing for St. Leon-Rot, tee time booked

Just in case you are not familiar with St. Leon-Rot, this course is situated pretty much in the heart of Germany. It was ranked “Best Golf Course in Germany” for some years in a row but you will likely know it from professional golf tournaments such as the Deutsche Bank SAP Open or the Solheim Cup.

Speaking of SAP, the company’s headquarters are just a stone’s throw from the course and one of the SAP founders, Dietmar Hopp, opened the club in the mid-90s and since then takes good care that the club improves, maintains quality, and retains its good reputation as top notch European Tour destination and golf elite training center. He also acts as president of the club.

Living in the Frankfurt area, a one hour drive from St. Leon-Rot, I have to admit I’ve never been there. And this is exactly what I will change.

I just booked a tee time in roughly three weeks and can’t wait to tee off here. The club offers two championship courses, the St. Leon and the Rot. From what I’ve seen two courses with fairly different characteristics. The St. Leon being a bit more open, with more water, compared to Rot, a bit more classic tree-lined, more parkland style. But as said, that’s currently just assumption only and I will check if that’s a fair assessment after I visited the club.

Have I mentioned that I’m looking forward to it…? Can’t wait really!

Links Golf: Long awaited visit at Golf Club Föhr

aaaI can’t recall exactly but I might have been to Föhr a dozen times. Föhr, the neighboring island to Sylt in north Germany, was one of my parents’ usual family summer holiday destinations and as a kid I remember spending quite some time on the island. I didn’t appreciate the beauty of it back then and when I reached a certain age, I just stopped going without hesitation. Needless to say I wasn’t golfing in my teens and never visited the golf course—until just recently. I had to become 40 years of age and the course needed some severe renovations in order to be mentioned in golf articles and to earn a spot on my bucket list.

I was born and raised in the north of Germany and therefore beaches, islands and the North or Baltic Sea are quite normal go-to places for me. I’d say I feel comfortable on remote islands, appreciate the Frisian landscape, the way of life and also enjoy the nature more and more.

In 2019 I thought it’s about time to go visit the island of Föhr again, spend some time with my parents in our old holiday hideaway, bring my own little family and wallow in reminiscences. Clearly I packed my golf clubs as well, because in the past years the local golf club, which is around since 1925, underwent quite some drastic changes to the course layout and architecture and all I’ve heard and seen so far sounded amazing. So I just had to go.

Insta Post Föhr Stunning

The North Frisian flag and the club’s logo is yellow, red and blue and quite fitting the club offers three 9-hole loops, and they are called “yellow”, “red” and—yep—“blue”. As said, the club history dates back to the 1920s when it started as a private golf course of the North Sea Sanatorium and was the first one ever built on North Sea shores in Germany. It was rebranded Privat Golfclub Südstrand Föhr and later Golf Club Föhr from 1966.

While the famous German golf course architect Bernhard von Limburger created the original 9 holes back in the days, the club had to move to another property at some point and Frank Pennick was asked to create a completely new 9-hole course design in 1971. It was later extended to 18 holes in 1989 and could be described as a classic parkland course, as it was meandering through forest, despite being so close to the North Sea coast.

20 years later Städler golf course architects were put in charge to create another 9 holes to complete a desirable setting with three 9-hole loops. And it took another five years that Christian Althaus was reassigned as course architect to overhaul most of the existing holes to create the modern classic it has become today. With his own course design firm he was indeed able to drastically change the look of most golf holes and convert them into an interesting parkland/links combination, a new setting of 9-hole loops that all start and end at the club house, which obviously makes course trafficking much easier.

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All three courses have slighty different course characteristics and therefore attract different players and desires. What they all have in common is that the parkland holes of the past are integrated in every loop: Old course characteristics in the first one or two holes are combined with newly crafted holes as it opens up to the more linksy area of the course, and then by hole 7, 8 or 9 you find yourself back in the parkland area of the course again.

This is likely the only obvious weakness of the club that they spent a good portion of emphasis on new routing, new dunes landscapes and extravagant and extraordinarily beautiful golf holes with duneland characteristics, but at the same time somewhat neglected the holes just around the club house. There really is a drastic drop in flamboyance when you reach hole 8 or 9 on every loop, which is a pity.

I had a good chat with a course marshal before my first round and he said they are at least re-doing the bunkers and greens of the old holes soon. That should help indeed a little. The club has the potential to play a big role in Germany’s top-5 for a very long time – even without a dedicated dunes course. It’s just that the architectural hole quality should be equaled throughout each round.

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But let’s start at the beginning.

The course is located next to the Föhr airport and a stone’s throw from the south beach of the island. It’s not exactly a links course per definition, being rather inland, and due to the fact that Föhr basically has very little natural dune formations, all aspects of dunes golf on the golf estate had to be done by hand. In contrast to some other courses I know, here it looks very natural indeed and you do believe it just belongs here.

The course doesn’t offer tee times, which actually I like, it’s just a bit uncommon for a player residing in the Frankfurt area, where it’s all about foursomes throughout the week. But I’d prefer an empty course I could just go to and start like here on Föhr any given day.

So I checked in, had a chat with the marshal and he convinced me to start with the red/yellow course combination. You are free to decide spontaneously, obviously depending on tournament closures and other restrictions.

Some general remarks on the course before I’ll go deep on each loop by itself. There is a little driving range and practice facilities which I totally neglected to be honest. What I learned quite quickly is that neither my GPS watch nor my Golfshot app on my phone could offer distances. Not sure why Golfshot wasn’t updated but I failed to synchronize the golf watch for a while and hence had no yardages whatsoever.

That was an unfortunate situation as I pretty much rely on my devices I have to admit. So without that technical support I had to look for distance poles and sprinkler heads again and had to pace out distances, the good old way. My bad if that’s poor preparation but it felt unfamiliar and I adapted with clubbing down with most approach shots to be on the safe side. Gladly I bought the birdie book, maybe the thickest I own to date, which was helpful, too.

The layout of the course is fantastic. It’s fair for most players, has penalty areas here and there but not too many and is just pleasing to the eye. The fairways were more on the brown side I have to say, so it’s not lush green what I experienced, there were numerous neglected areas which didn’t differ much from the rough other than being cut shorter. I understand the course should be kept as natural as possible but I was a bit disappointed by the fairway quality.

The greens have been in immaculate condition however. They do tend to be slower than expected on hard coastal soil but were undulating and interesting to play.

Being close to the sea, the course is impacted by rather strong winds, as you might expect on a links-style course. On my second day I played the blue/blue course combination in decent storm and it was really tricky to maneuver the ball from tee to green.

Even with the wind, playing the course is an absolute joy. With its interesting layout, the dunes, the features such as a double green on the yellow course, the wildlife, the birds, the tranquility of the course, it’s real fun and a great golf day is guaranteed. I was carrying my bag (on day one), the walking distances are rather short and sometimes you get that Monte Rei feeling when you walk the fairway and all you see is dunes, no other track, no other soul, no distraction whatsoever. Really enjoyed that.

Let’s jump into the course specifics, shall we.

Yellow

The yellow course is the one of the three that stands out because it’s a little different, I’d say. In contrast to red and blue there is no particular linksy character, it’s more a typical north German inland course.

It starts with a tee shot that could be in Pinehurst as well: Wasteland areas and tree lines. The hole finishes after a dogleg left on a mere 100 meter long double green, sharing it with hole number 7.

Number 2 is a beautiful par-5 with loads of waste areas and a set of bunkers in approach shot distance to the green. What follows is a beautiful par-3 and the interesting 4th that features water left and right of the fairway and left and right of the green.

The 5th is another exciting par-3 over water with a 40 meter green complex, guarded by large bunkers. Number 6 and 7 offer extensive wasteland and dune formations, while 8 and 9 are coming back towards the club house.

The yellow course is quite a forgiving track, not too tricky but exciting to get around. When I played it, there was literally no other person and I was super quick. I have to say, I was clubbing down, played safe, teed off with my 2-iron (not on the par-3s obviously) and kept the ball in play at all times. Good feeling!

Red

The red course starts with four beautifully modern wasteland holes, then has three pure links-style holes before it ends with two really boring holes towards the end.

It all starts with a dogleg par-4. You’re playing out of the wood towards water which guards the green and you’re happy to reach it in two safely. Hole 2 is a par-4 dogleg right with huge wasteland areas to the left and right side of the fairway.

Number 3 is an interesting par-3 and 4 is a par-4 with wasteland to the right hand side.

Hole 5 is the first dune hole, a fairly straight one, while the 6th is a 150 meter par-3 over a ditch. 150 meters sound ok, but if it’s windy you find yourself grabbing for a longer iron or even a wood to master the distance to the plateau.

The 7th is an interesting par-5 through the dunes landscape before 8 and 9 are again extremely boring and old-fashioned holes.

On my round I was stuck in traffic like maybe never before. There was a threesome in front of me and these people were everywhere but they weren’t in the fairway. It took ages to get from hole to hole and they didn’t let me play through, and I was playing as a single! Super frustrating. Thought about stopping or playing criss-cross but then accepted my fate and stuck it out.

Blue

The blue course shares its characteristics with the red course I would say. Some parkland holes, the rest links-style:

Holes 1 and 2 are an old-fashioned par-4 and par-3. Nothing to be too excited about unfortunately. Then however, oh my, the 3rd, a split-fairway par-4 with a green tucked away in the upper right corner. Really cool hole, almost unexpected after the underwhelming 1st and 2nd.

Here it opens up to classic links holes. Number 4 is a par-5 with various elevation changes, the 5th is a long par-4 with an interesting green complex, followed by the 6th, a beautiful par-3, one that you might find in golf publications.

Holes 7 and 8 are very good straight par-4s with dunes characteristics while at the same time getting back into more of the tree-rich area of the property. Hole 9 is another one of these super boring old ones that urgently need some refreshing.

I liked the blue course very much. So much that I played it twice actually—in heavy storm I have to add. It was a bit more dangerous with the longer shots, but I managed to keep in play and only lost one or maybe two balls.

Due to the weather there was no traffic at all. Sometimes I saw another person on one of the other holes but nothing kept me from playing 18 holes in 2.5 hours. That’s right. It took me 150 minutes for a complete round of golf, on one of the most interesting and beautiful courses of the country that is! Amazing.

In case you are interested, here are some nice flyover videos for yellow, red and blue.

As a conclusion: If you’d ask me which course combination would be my favorite, it’s tricky to answer. Yellow is interesting and beautiful but being in the rugged north, it has to be the red/blue combination that pulls the trigger as the best holes you can play here. But that’s just my opinion and you have to see for yourself.

As far as critique goes: I already mentioned that green-keeping should definitely maintain the fairways in a better shape. Summer wasn’t even hitting the north much by then and yet the fairway looked very pitiful I have to say. Another point is the lacking quality of flagsticks and cups. That sounds a bit pedantic but during my round on blue/blue, playing in the storm, 6 out of 18 flagsticks were torn out by the wind and were lying flat on the ground. First I thought I should blame the group in front of me but then I realized that it’s just not stable enough and that the club management apparently saved some dough and went for the cheap stuff when ordering flags and cups. As a recommendation, Golf Club Föhr should reconsider.

All in all two fantastic rounds of golf. The club is a real treat and much better than some of the other North Sea golf courses, of Sylt for instance. Yes, it takes some time and effort to get to the course, being on an island, but once you are here, you shouldn’t leave without teeing off.

Fun fact at the end of my report: At one point during my trip to Föhr I was pony riding with my little 2-year old daughter. What I learned weeks later is that the pony trail that we walked was on the old golf course property that Bernhard von Limburger had built in the 1920s. What a coincidence!

Photo credits: golficiency.com, golfclubfoehr.de, clubtags.de
Disclaimer: Golficiency was offered a reduced media rate.

Quick visit to Gut Kaden Golf und Land Club

gutkaden-1In June, on our way to Föhr, where two rounds of links golf were planned, we made a very short detour and stopped for one of the most beautiful golf resorts in north Germany.

Gut Kaden Golf und Land Club is a 27-hole resort 30 minutes north of Hamburg, Germany. It sits remotely in the picturesque Holsteinian countryside on grounds what used to be a manor back in the days. The gorgeous manor house, also represented in the country club’s logo, was built in the 18th century while the whole grounds as aristocratic estate date back to the 14th century even.

Today you’ll find in such magnificent surroundings a modern hotel, an exquisite restaurant, three 9-hole golf loops and everything you need to enjoy a great golf getaway.

These two chairs are placed behind hole B9 and overlook some parts of the golf estate from the manor house’s perspective. When I posted this picture on Instagram, I titled it “Could sit here all day”. And that’s no exaggeration: Bring good food, good coffee, good wine and I’d spend the day here watching some golf.

Of course, I’d rather play myself, but you know what I mean. This is a fine place for golf. Period.

The region of Hamburg is truly blessed with top courses of all sorts of style. And even when Kaden is not equally good or famous as Falkenstein or Hittfeld, it is definitely a club worth having in mind when you’re after great golf, amenities and hospitality.

If Hamburg was chosen to host the Olympics in 2024, Gut Kaden would have been the venue for the golf events as they have quite some experience staging professional golf tournaments. The 2019 German Team Championships (“Final Four”) will be held at Gut Kaden later this year, too.

My course review yet to come. Stay tuned.

For the best idea how Gut Kaden looks (and plays) like, you should watch this neat 3D flyover video.

Our round at Weimarer Land on video

You will have read here, that Golficiency had quite some weekend at Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land a couple of weeks ago. We had a camera with us and rolled it here and there, and this is the outcome.

What you see is three terrible weekend golfers on the Goethe course at Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land—having much fun nonetheless!

Long golf weekend in Weimar

On our quest to play the best courses and see the best resorts in Germany, you’ll find yourself from time to time to look out for new jewels. A good starting point has always been the commonly known ‘best-of’ rankings in golf magazines for the various countries you’re interested in. And although one should be a tad skeptical about these lists in general, there are indeed some courses which find themselves in top 5, top 10 or top 20 ranks over and over again. So there must be some truth in it.

We heard so much positive about Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land for quite a while that it was no real question if we’d like to tee off here and check for ourselves—it was more a question of when.

Being on and off the agenda for some time, we took a shot this June and finally made it to Weimar, and more precisely to Blankenhain, in the deep Thuringia countryside. The resort offers two courses so it was decided amongst a group of three to stay for a long weekend to enjoy golf to the fullest. Due to some family issues on my end we unfortunately missed most of the planned Friday activities, but everything what came on Saturday and Sunday did not at all fell short of expectations.

Insta Post Weimar

The resort has so much to offer that it would be a shame not to mention all the nice amenities on the property.

First things first

The resort is located on grounds which were farm land back in the days. Where cattle was once fed, there is a fairway now, where fish was bred, there is a water hazard now. Members of the Grafe family years ago decided to invest in that land and start a hotel and golf complex. And it turned out a good idea to use the basis of the ex farm houses and neatly transform them into what now looks like purpose-built high-class hotel and golf facilities with a rustic feel.

Being placed in the countryside, half an hour from Weimar, it is a tranquil place to play golf indeed. There is nothing that would interfere in your game, nothing that would take the concentration from you, unless you really want to.

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The approach of the resort (or the management for that matter) seems to be delivering top services and then grow, increase and expand to the next level. A good example are the golf courses themselves. Currently there are two of them: The Goethe course and the Feininger course. Goethe opened in 2010 and Feininger followed in 2012. You can also play a course named after Bobby Jones which is a collection of different holes as a combination of the two existing courses. It’s made up of 1 to 5 and 15 to 18 of the Goethe course plus the 10 to 18 of the Feininger course. That makes it a better spectator’s course as it’s looping 9 out and 9 in from the club house.

There are plans to build another course as well and also to overhaul the resort’s par-3 course with additional holes. Something that’s not necessary to redo is the practice facilities. Here you find everything you need including a range equipped with Trackman devices, Flightscope and a box dedicated to Logical Golf (basically a TechnoGym kinesis golf fitness wall)

Christoph Städler and his team were responsible for the complete design of golf facilities and course architecture. They created a resort which quickly became famous domestically and was awarded ‘Best New Course in Germany 2013’ by Golf Magazin. Meanwhile it is selected member of ‘World of Leading Golf‘.

The courses

Going into a bit more detail, the courses for me are typical resort courses. Fair for most players, but challenging enough for the better players. If you are able to strike the ball well and have decent length, you are confronted with hazards and bunkers which are out of play for the shorter (or smarter) players.

‘Hard par, easy bogey’ has been the philosophy designing the courses, according to Städler but it has to be said that while these are great courses for all sorts of players, those better and longer ball strikers who manage to find the fairway more often, will miss one or the other challenge throughout the course, especially because there is no additional tee box. It’s just yellow and red and a scratch player plays from the same tees as a senior, with all due respect.

The Goethe plays approximately 6’000 meters for the gents (CR 72.2, slope 134) and looks like an old parkland course (despite being so young) due to the surrounding woods. The holes feature undulating fairways and interesting routing.

The third hole is a beautiful par-3 with water in front and to the left and is just a very pretty golf hole.

Hole 5 is laid out on an interesting plateau for the second shot, number 6 rewards a brave approach shot, 4 and 7 are tricky par-5s.

The 12th is the absolute signature hole in my opinion. It’s played downhill towards a pond that splits the fairway in two parts. So what’s necessary is either a short straight lay-up and a second over water, or a full shot to the right hand side, but then still a second shot over water, a bit shorter from that angle though. Beautiful hole, course management tactics required.

The 15th features a split fairway with an approach shot through a tree corridor, over a bridge into a rather small green.

These are a couple of examples of interesting holes on the Goethe course, but all others not mentioned are far from boring. And the distances from green to next tee are so short that even Reisegolfer would approve.

One thing I might mention as critique is the fact that there are quite some blind holes, meaning you don’t see the flag from the tee box and have to involve guess work from time to time. A fact that can clearly be lifted with some experience or when you play the course for the second or third time.

The Feininger course is the younger brother on the property. It is more open plan, less trees or tree-lined fairways, but more water—at least on the front nine. It’s par-71 with 5’700 meters (CR 70.6, slope 126). Fairways are undulated and in general the course follows heathland characteristics to some degree, I’d say.

Hole 1 starts with not less than two water hazards, followed by no. 2, again with loads of water towards a double green. I haven’t seen that for quite a while but holes 2 and 12 share the same green complex. Very interesting.

The 3rd is a tricky par-5 around water, followed by a short par-3 and a beautiful dogleg par-4.

While the front 9 seem to be played around a lot of water, the back nine are more situated to the north-east towards a hilly part of the property. There is less water involved, actually only on 18, and the course characteristics appear to be a bit different.

The amenities

Some words on the hotel and the facilities. That part I’ve seen really made a very good impression. The staff was overly nice and friendly, the breakfast was excellent, the restaurants cater for every wish or need and so does the bar. We stayed there on the US Open weekend and you can imagine that a cosy bar, live golf and some drinks in good company is hard to beat really!

Golf is a seasonal game in central Europe, so it’s clear that resorts like this are trying to attract guests not only for golf, but also for wellness, fitness and culinary pleasures of life. In my opinion that’s totally accomplished here. Even when your spouse has no interest whatsoever to play golf, you can definitely spend a good long weekend or even longer here without being bored or sluggish. Things like the pools, the massages, the fitness area and all sorts of well-being facilities will create a good mood and atmosphere.

I will definitely be back soon. Matthias Grafe and Thomas Mönch, the golf manager, created a little golf paradise in the middle of the Thuringia countryside, just where Goethe used to enjoy horse riding and hiking. He’d appreciate golf as well if he could, I’m sure.

Disclaimer: Golficiency was offered a reduced media rate.

Top 5 at Nahetal

The title of this post sounds better than it actually was. Yes I was 5th in my last tournament, but with 14 gross points only. There you have it. All the others must have been rubbish, too.

Truth been told, I played some lousy round of golf. Really embarrassing.

The course was great, Golf Club Nahetal, an hour south-west of Frankfurt, Germany. The weather was superb, conditions have been excellent, all set for a fantastic round of golf. The warm-up on range was fine, then we were told there was a 30 minutes delay, so I chatted along with some people before I headed off.

I realized right from the start, the positive image of my current golf game, which I had from the last training session and the warm-up wasn’t really transitioning onto the course. I had some great iron shots, short game and putting was OK, but the long game, oh my gosh, just wasn’t there.

After many embarrassing tee shots, one of my playing partners said on the 17th hole something along the lines of “I can’t believe you still use that club to tee off!” He was right, I wasn’t quitting, I knew I can play metal woods and I proved it often, it’s just that it seems gone now. But I wasn’t giving up, I always took out the hybrid, the 5-wood or sometimes even the 3-wood to tee off. The driver I left at home in the garage, that thing isn’t working at all nowadays.

Anyway, the course is a beauty and I would recommend to play it if you are in the area. It’s tree-lined throughout, there’s water on quite some holes but fair to most golfers. As said, the conditions have been excellent and I actually have no idea what caused my fallout. Those balls in the water, those thinned shots, that lady, all those lost balls… a disgrace.

There is no excuse, it’s just me to blame—or my clubs, which I did.

Just kidding of course, but I will try out some new stuff with my old (long) irons, in order to keep the ball in play more often. Not saying this will bring down my handicap or will make me happier in the long run, but it will hopefully calm the waves a bit, and my nerves. That’s useful and frankly necessary since yesterday.

You can imagine I was quite astonished when I saw I ended up 5th place in the gross Stableford list. Nothing to be proud of unfortunately.

U.S. Army golf in Wiesbaden

rheinblick-wiesbaden-logoFirst tournament of the year 2019 and I sensed this was going to be a bit special when I checked the website in order to collect some further information about the course.

The Golfclub Rhein-Main in Wiesbaden is a German golf club which shares the course with the Rheinblick Golf Course, a U.S. military facility.

Wiesbaden is a fairly big U.S. Army command base and in that capacity they own the golf course (one of three 18-hole courses in Germany) to provide additional service to the soldiers, military staff and families.

The U.S. Army MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) Division of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command signs responsible for the property and the management of the course. It is therefore no surprise that you have to pay your cash greenfee in dollars, that all staff is American and that the parking space in front of the club house offers enough room to park your Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Suburban or Lincoln Navigator. First thumbs up.

Insta Post Rhein Main

You step into the club house, into a different world. There are Army generals framed in the hall, and adverts of the local car dealers offering their military sales programs.

In my personal tradition I tried to buy a logo ball in the pro shop which was impossible as they only sell goods (balls, clubs, clothes, etc.) to people holding a U.S. military ID card. The only thing I was allowed to buy was a token for the ball machine. That was all—much appreciated though. I was looking for some coins in my wallet and the American pal in the Golf Channel cap said I had to pay in dollars or by card, no Euro cash allowed. He also joked that has something to do with taxes and if it would be allowed, Donald Trump could be the next German Chancellor and how he’d like the idea but most likely Germans wouldn’t… I had no smart comment in that moment (not even a stupid one) and left the pro shop with one ball token, paid by credit card. That was a premiere, too.

It was raining cats and dogs when I warmed up, spent a good amount on the putting green getting soaked and finally met my playing partners at the first tee to kick off my 2019 tournament season.

Another premiere: There is a guy acting as a starter, announcing the next group to tee off. What he’s actually doing; When it’s time, he’s getting out his microphone, toc toc toc, and says something along the lines of “Good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is the 10:30 starting time of the Deutsche Bank tournament. On the tee: [followed by the names of the people in the group]. Fire away and have fun!”

It was a slightly awkward feeling being announced over loudspeakers but quite cool nonetheless. Definitely something that other clubs should consider, really getting you in the tournament mood!

The course is a proper parkland course with rich tree lines on all holes. Back in the 1950s, after WWII, when this area was converted to a golf course from a military training area, there were no trees whatsoever. This has changed dramatically and it actually looks beautiful nowadays.

The property is quite hilly too, and due to these ups and downs you tend to have great vistas and magnificent views over Wiesbaden and the Rhein-area. It’s called “Rheinblick” (Rhein view) for a reason.

The course condition has been excellent and the architecture is indeed interesting and challenging. There are some tricky doglegs which cost you if you don’t have local knowledge, which I had not.

The pin positions were really tricky today, I mean US Open-Sunday tricky. We joked that this was done on purpose because Deutsche Bank recently released some Donald Trump tax papers to the authorities in relation to the Mueller-investigation and that this was their answer to the Deutsche Bank people to see them suffer. We laughed about it but maybe not a good idea to tell that joke to the U.S. boys in the pro shop…

Three hours in, the sun came out and we could concentrate on pure golf and and look forward to the famous hamburgers in the restaurant after the round. Then shock, the restaurant was closed… WHAT?!

All in all a great course, beautiful setting (one of the nicest in the area), fantastic course quality and a very special touch with all the military atmosphere there. I will definitely be back soon, when it’s sunnier and warmer, and I will carry some dollars with me—I desperately need that Rheinblick logo ball. PM me if you know somebody who could help.

A nostalgic day at Golfclub Worpswede

Over Easter I traveled up north with my little family to visit the parents. It’s a 5 hour ride by car on the German Autobahn and definitely not stress-free with a two-year old toddler in the back seat.

gcworpswedeAs we planned to stay almost a week, I packed my golf clubs and thought it would be a good idea to hit a course in the Bremen area. Usually when I see my parents I play Club zur Vahr, Garlstedt course, one of the best courses in the country, or Bremer Schweiz, where I have been a member for a while, too.

This time I thought it would be worthwhile to go back in time and visit Worpswede, the course where I joined as an 18-year old and learned the game from scratch. Back then I became member, together with three friends who all have given up the game since.

Here is where I had my lessons, my first tournaments, my first trophies and so many golf-related memories. It’s a super laid-back club and the course used to be quite interesting. It’s not famous nor outstanding but having seen it again with all my golf experiences so far, it’s pretty underrated I have to say.

So I went shortly after Easter this year to play a round and to walk in my own old footsteps again. And boy, was that an overwhelming round of golf. It all came back to me, once I sat a foot on the property. Holes were coming back to memory, shots were rewound in my head and even the smell of the turf I seemed to recognize.

The course is situated quite remotely in the north-east of Bremen, North Germany. You find absolute silence and very little obstructions to the eye or anything else. Meaning, if you play badly here, there’s only one person to blame…

The day turned out to be optimal for my return. Blue skies and 20°C, no wind and just bird sounds to hear. I used to be a member here for a decade, then dropped out when I started to work after university and for some reason neglected the place for 12 years.

It was about time to come back!

I have to say I played quite poorly that day. It was my first round of golf in 2019 and my range practice sessions that I had earlier in the year appeared to be quite useless unfortunately. It still was an amazing experience and I enjoyed every single hole, most notably:

  • 3: A par-3 which I rarely reached back in the time.
  • 4: Dogleg left with a tree in the middle of the fairway.
  • 5: Drivable par-4 from an elevated tee box, the signature hole.
  • 7: Where I had my first ever birdie. Yay!
  • 10: One of the few water hazards (sorry, “penalty areas carrying water”)
  • 15: I hated this hole as a youngster: Forced carry, out of bounds to the left, water to the right and straight down, the green tucked to the far left behind trees and water. Impossible to score. This week I walked off with a par. Astonished.
  • 16: Beautiful short par-3 over water. Birdie chance.
  • 17: Great approach shot over another water pond. Picture perfect.

This concluded my remembrance round in my first golf club. I had a drink on the terrace, posted the first Instagram picture of my day and then drove off, just like I did for over 10 years—12 years ago.

See you soon, Worpswede. Good to have you.

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.

I went home with a smile.