Biggest ups and downs in my whole golf experience

Last week I was competing in just another Deutsche Bank tournament that was staged at my local club, just around the corner. It‘s not a hilly course but still my game was up and down.

It‘s one of these days, you head to the course, you have a good feeling, you even practiced a little in advance — which I did indeed. Putts were falling in the practice area and when you head to tee one, you‘re pumped.

I stepped on the dancefloor, had the honor and, no kidding, hooked two balls in the bushes. Two balls gone, score in danger right on the first hole.

The following holes were weird, too. Either I played a par or a triple bogey and had to pick it up. Very frustrating. Especially because a good score was possible. In the end I scored at least 6 pars but numerous pick-ups, all caused by lousy tee shots. So my long game is absolutely out of shape and I‘m risking my handicap to go all the way south.

I know I need professional help but the next tournament is just around the corner. A quick fix is needed. I reckon I don‘t need more pars currently but I need to get rid of the really bad shots off the tee.

Maybe I‘m starting again to use my 2- and 3-iron — who knows, I had some great time with them.

2021 mid-year status report

Hi there, I’m still alive. Sorry for all the silence here. As far as my golf progress goes this year, I can report the following:

Tournaments played: 0
Rounds of golf played: 0
Driving range sessions: 6
Putting green sessions: 4
Pitching range sessions: 0

Also, no club update, no equipment change, no major difference whatsoever. Just very little golf in total…

Do I have an excuse? Well I do believe I have one but it’s of course relative and rather subjective, but indeed I became father for the second time, and the baby boy (a future golfer, naturally) was born in early June.

April, May was still quite COVID-restricted and from June onwards everything apart from baby, family and job was obviously of reduced priority. Even golf—who would have thought.

Instead, my 4-year old daughter began to go to a bambini golf camp and had weekly practice lessons. That was the time when I got my range sessions scheduled in while my daughter, in sight, was practicing on her own. Well, “practicing” is a strong word — 4-year olds just try to whack the ball no matter what. It looked more like a field hockey stroke; by the way another sport my dear daughter started, tried out and lost interest in quite quickly.

After several weeks, she lost interest in golf too, and I therefore my chance to get to the course myself. Poor me.

But for some reason I was hooked and I booked a session with a local pro here at Hof Hausen, where I live. I said I needed some help with my woods as I only play irons in competitions. And as I almost always play comps instead of just recreational weekend rounds, I barely touched my woods as I have been too inconsistent for my liking and therefore refrained from getting my score (and mood) ruined each time.

I had my pro lesson, he assessed my swing, was astonished about the fact that I don’t use woods at all and video-diagnosed my swing thoroughly. Apparently I was playing too arm-heavy with too little shoulder and hip rotation and with that created a rather steep down swing from the top before impact. Once that was fixed in two minutes or so, the balls were flying like arrows through the air and I was hooked even more. Couldn’t get the grin out of my face really.

What also got me were his comments how he sees my (long) game in general. Depending on the short game obviously, he could see my handicap go down to mid-single digits easily. Well, it wasn’t so easy in the past years, but granted, that was irons-only what I played then.

You can imagine what such comment does to your self-confidence while you’re hitting pure rockets from the tee box. I was high and wanted more.

Reality bites the dust, so I didn’t manage to get to the course the weeks after but last night I enrolled not for three tournaments, not for four but for not less than five tournaments in the coming weeks. And I can’t wait to get the big sticks to the even bigger test. Future (and the handicap) will tell if that was a good idea!

The comps include rounds at Spessart, Domtal Mommenheim, Groß-Zimmern, Lich and Rheinhessen. Bring it on! Pray for sunshine though… it’s really miserable outside nowadays. What a summer!

Practice round for the company scramble

Every year there is a big trophy to win and I have to say, I really like winning that. I managed to put my name on the trophy already but there should be many more years we’d be able to take that home with us as a team, if you’d ask me.

The company invites for an annual golf tournament which is played in the Texas Scramble format, a real fun team format to enjoy every minute on the course. And boy, has this been fun in the last years.

In order to really make a move and get our hands on the (rather cheap) trophy, taking into consideration that we have a +0.8 hcp colleague (not in my team), we decided to practice early to increase chances. We penciled in at least two sessions, one serious range session with chip and putt, and another on-course session, pretty much play along each other, maybe talk tactics here and there how to tackle the course in the scamble.

Needless to say that some couldn’t make it to both sessions, and also needless to say that, once you’re on-site, you somehow lose the concentration, the focus on winning the trophy. Therefore I have to admit that the putting session was really short, chipping was short also, range session was OK, the round of golf actually was just 12 short holes only to be frank and we played quite poorly. The other blokes had golf clubs in their hands the first time since like September 2018 or so.

What indeed has been quite good these days, has been the food and the drinks in the clubhouse after our stressful, exhaustive training in preparation to reclaim the Deutsche Börse Golf Trophy.

Wish us luck! We might need it!

UPDATE (on tournament day):
Tournament has been cancelled due to inclement weather—heavy rain and thunderstorms… I live not even 10 minutes from the course, I haven’t seen a single rain drop today. That gives us more time to practice though. Yay!

Deutsche Börse golf tournament at Hof Hausen

As an employee at Deutsche Börse I was invited to take part in the 2nd Deutsche Börse Golf Day last Thursday. Last year I had to cancel because I couldn’t make it from London to Frankfurt. This year however I had big hopes for a great day. Mainly because I wanted to get to know more people within my company who play golf, but as well because the course was new to me, the game mode was also and just because currently I’m really crazy about golf.

The course we played is the Golf Club Hof Hausen vor der Sonne, even for German clubs a very long and unusual name. It’s situated in Hofheim, just outside of Frankfurt. And it’s a proper members’ club – that’s what you realise when you drive through the parking lot and your car is basically the smallest and oldest between all these brand new Porsches, BMWs and Audis. Membership costs you 30,000 EUR I was told later!! Absolutely crazy, but unfortunately very common in and around Frankfurt. But anyhow, the people I met were very friendly and the club/course was in very good condition – and that’s basically what we were after that day.

The tournament was played as a Texas Scramble. Two of my playing partners I already knew, the other one was a colleague which they obviously knew very well and hence we had great fun right from the start. Right from the tee box 1 to be precise, where we started the round with a sip of Whiskey.

The nice thing about a Texas Scramble is that you think and act as a team, you discuss course management strategy, putt lines and approaches. You feel a bit more pressure on the one side because your effort counts for the team. On the other hand, if you don’t sink that putt, there are three other guys who might. That was really the best part of the tournament.

Golf Club Hof Hausen vor der Sonne is a very nice venue and worth the play if you are around. The practice areas are huge, the course is not overly spectacular but far from boring and the restaurant serves German, Italian and Indian cuisine – a little weird but delicious combination.

After all it was a great day. In the end – the last 4 holes I’d say – the weather got worse and we had to get out umbrellas and rain gear, but we had loads of fun. Score-wise we scored a 5-under par for the team, 6 birdies, 1 bogey. That were 41 gross points and would have put us on top of the leaderboard, but as it was an amateur tournament the net points counted and there we ended up 3rd place with 57 net Stableford points. Not too shabby at all!!

I can’t wait for the next Deutsche Börse Golf Day!