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.

Continue reading Links Golf: Long awaited visit at Golf Club Föhr

Out of breath at Düsseldorfer Golf Club

After Carsten and I played Refrath and Lärchenhof (both near Cologne) we made our way more to the Düsseldorf area. Next on the list was Düsseldorfer Golf Club, another treat in Germany’s west, situated on an old knight’s estate. The weather turned out to be really OK that day, so we found ourselves peeling off one insulating layer after the other with every sun ray that we caught.

We were set to play a round with local member and internationally renowned golf course architect Christian Althaus. Unfortunately it turned out he didn’t have much time for golf that day (not surprising as it was a mid-week morning), but he was kind enough to show us around a little and gave us a peek into the life of a course architect – a pretty adorable job if you ask me. Christian is responsible for some great new courses and re-designs and is in the business for more than 20 years. So he knows his stuff, plays off a +1 handicap and loves his home course Düsseldorfer Golf Club. So if this wasn’t promising a great day, what would!

As the club decided to aerate and sand the fairways and greens we had to start on the 10th hole and made our way along the hilly course. I was really surprised how steep some parts of the course have been because I had no idea that this part of the Düsseldorf region was so close to the foothills of the so-called Bergisches Land. Apparently it is. After the first 9 holes I was pretty wrecked and seriously appreciated that we had to wait for our second nine, starting at the first hole.

But to give you some more flavour what it’s like on the course:
Hole 10, straight par 5 downhill
Hole 11, dogleg par 5 uphill
Hole 12, par 3 downhill
Hole 13, dogleg par 4, first downhill then uphill
Hole 14, straight par 4, a little uphill towards the green
Hole 15, par 3 from an extremely elevated tee, which you have to climb up to, make you shot with your heart pumping, then walk steeply down

By then I was totally out of breath, and I always considered myself as fairly fit. Apparently I was wrong. If my ball had found the water hazard in front of the 15th, I guess I would have jumped right in to refresh.

Anyway, we finished our first 9 holes eventually, had a short break and then continued onto the front-nine which are equally nice but less hilly – a little less. The sun kept shining, we were playing decent golf, the course presented itself challenging, we weren’t really bothered by those holes which have been sanded that day, so we finished our 18 holes and rewarded ourselves with a long rest on the sun terrace.

Golficiency Rating: 6/10