Belek planning underway

To set the scene in case you are not aware, Belek is a small town in Turkey. It‘s situated on the south coast that they call „Turkish Riviera“ and actually there is one 5-star hotel next to each other right on the Mediterranean coastal strip — and right behind those hotels, there are numerous outstanding golf courses waiting to be tackled.

But you knew all this, didn‘t you. I made a trip to Belek already couple of years ago and managed to play five courses during my 7-day stay at lovely Rixos Premium Belek. To check out these rounds, please read the articles with the Belek 2013 tag on this site.

Now it’s time, we figured as a family with 2 kids that weren’t there in 2013 and as it’s already almost a decade ago and also as Belek has so much to offer in terms of hotel quality, beaches and what makes a great beach family holiday — it was pretty easy to decide to go.

No question will we make the best out of our 10-day trip and I will surely squeeze in some rounds of golf. It will be hot mid-July, granted, but nothing that will worry me to be honest. Golf season is over then, just makes the golf courses less crowded, I hope. 50+ sunscreen, loads of water, two shirts and a cart, and good to go. Can’t be that different from playing in Dubai if you‘d ask me.

In other words, we can‘t wait to board that plane to be honest. We are currently in the planning phase. The missus is having an eye on what‘s important to take for the kids and I‘m looking at the adult amenities and golf prep that‘s equally necessary. First things first, right? ;)

Obviously the flight will go via Antalya which is a short car ride from Belek. Antalya itself has loads to offer for tourists but it‘s more Belek that caters for exquisite hotels and golf. As well as for international soccer teams in the off-season by the way.

Continue reading Belek planning underway

Hilly, narrow and quirky, that‘s Italy‘s second oldest golf couse

Apart from skiing in Austria earlier in the year, this trip in May was the first summer-holiday-like we scheduled in 2022. And after all the Corona-mess this really felt like a true holiday again, gladly.

It began with some days in Switzerland, then led us to beautiful Lake Como, where we stayed for a week in beautiful Menaggio, a lovely town on the west side of the lake. It marks the northern end of the so-called Como Riviera and indeed is a great place to stay and enjoy the area.

Close by, there is a golf treasure I had on my list. Menaggio & Cadenabbia Golf Club is the second oldest golf course in Italy and together with Villa d‘Este one of the two clubs in the Como area. Staying in Menaggio, no question I had my clubs with me.

Continue reading Hilly, narrow and quirky, that‘s Italy‘s second oldest golf couse

Nice autumn round at Golfclub Friedberg

Despite being not far from where I live, I never played this course before. Today was the day, and it was a pretty good day indeed.

All the other courses in my region held their season closing tournaments and blocked the course during golf prime time. So I looked for another course where I could play a round as the weather was forecasted to be really nice.

I ended up at Golfclub Friedberg. Or Golfpark am Löwenhof. Or Sommerfeld Golf Friedberg… no idea what the official name is to be honest. There are at least three websites for the very same golf course. Very confusing and totally worthless.

Friedberg is like 30 minutes from where I live but still I never had the chance to play here. I heard some very strange stories being a very dry course in the summer time, so I figured let’s try out in the autumn, can’t go wrong much. And I was totally desperate to play.

I was grouped together with a lovely elderly couple and 14-year old Jan. He was very chatty (I mean really chatty), played only for 6 months but was already a fine player with his 20 handicap. He was +11 after 13 holes. I on the other side was minimum +13 after 11 holes… As an excuse, this was his 6th round of the week. I’m not even sure I played 6 rounds all year!

Score-wise it wasn’t the best I had to offer. Even with my irons I wasn’t as constant as I had wished but it was a great round nonetheless. The course is interesting and challenging. Nothing too fancy but definitely a well designed and well maintained course which I might visit a bit more often next year.

Or in other words, it doesn’t at all deserve all the hate. Only the club management and the three websites deserve it. The lady in the office was not in her best mood either and they had no logo balls I could purchase. A real pity.

A chilly and damp comp day 2020

Last weekend I played my first and only tournament of the 2020 season. This year truly is remarkable I have to say.

It feels weird. Usually I play around 10 to 15 tournaments a year. Actually almost every round I play is a tournament. And as I’m playing a comp series that is not connected to a certain club, I tend to get around pretty much in a radius of a 90 minutes ride by car.

This year is different. I had no season prep at all, played and practiced very irregularly only and as a consequence didn’t play much at all. As a matter of fact the comp I played last Saturday was the first one this year, and I’m pretty sure it will remain my only one of 2020.

What crazy months this have been…!

Anyway, I wanted to at least get in one official score in 2020 which is why I enrolled for a tournament at Golfclub Rheinhessen Hofgut Wissberg St. Johann, pretty mouthful indeed.

I knew the course from two years ago and while I can’t say I remembered the holes, there were passages which indeed came back to mind. Not to puzzle with local knowledge but it was good to at least have a feeling of “I played here before, I know the course, there are no surprises”.

Continue reading A chilly and damp comp day 2020

The grand dame of Mallorcan golf courses: Golf Son Vida

As the weather turns colder and more miserable outside here in Central Europe, it fills me with great memories of late 2019, when I played golf during winter, which in Mallorca feels nothing but great with its blue skies and very pleasant and moderate temperatures.

At the same time it gives me a heavy heart as so much happened during the past months which did not turn well for golf in the Balearics or for the lovely islands in general. Of course I’m relating to the COVID-19 lockdown and all the unfortunate consequences that come with it.

This is a travel and course report of the better times when playing golf was an obvious thing to do in good weather and when every chance to play such a course is an absolute must.

Mallorca is a golf mekka, I don’t break this to you I’m sure. On this rather small island there are not less than 24 golf courses and the vast majority of them are publicly available to play.

The oldest, since 1964, and maybe hence the most original course of the island is Golf Son Vida, meandering around the famous Castillo Son Vida Hotel and through the posh and sophisticated Son Vida urbanizacion, just 10 minutes outside of Palma.

Nowadays Mallorca is famous as a golf destination all across Europe, if not the world — and it all started with Son Vida, the grand dame of Mallorcan golf courses.

Continue reading The grand dame of Mallorcan golf courses: Golf Son Vida

My second visit to St. Leon-Rot was just as fabulous as the first

It was only much slower, but that wasn’t my fault in all fairness.

St. Leon-Rot is one of these famous golf complexes that scream golf quality. It features two courses and they used to be on everyone’s list for the best golf courses in Germany.

Last year was the first time I set foot on this holy land and managed to play the St. Leon course, presumably the more exciting and more difficult course. At least it’s the track that is played when international golf tournaments are staged here at St. Leon-Rot. As I only experienced one of the two golf courses so far, the plan was to go for the other one this time, the Rot course, named after the other part of town.

Continue reading My second visit to St. Leon-Rot was just as fabulous as the first

Long awaited visit to another leading golf club: Mannheim-Viernheim

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.

Continue reading Long awaited visit to another leading golf club: Mannheim-Viernheim

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?

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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

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