A good day for golf… and for me!

Yesterday I met a colleague to play a nice and sunny round of golf. Nothing special about it. But two things I’d like to mention here. First, the guy I was playing with hasn’t played a round of golf for 9 years. He played quite regularly as a youngster, then focussed on a tough job and on family later. Golf was never possible these days.

We met over lunch couple of times and chatted after business meetings. We talked business and we talked golf, I don’t really know why. He told me he once played, I told him I’m absolutely crazy about the game and one led to the other. He thought about golf more and more and decided to get his clubs out of the basement. And so we played a great round yesterday. Of course his score wasn’t good but we had fun, he started to feel the golf-bug again and decided to start play golf more regularly now.

Another happy golfer back on the course!

And it showed something: usually I don’t talk about playing golf so much when I’m with others. But when I do see some interest in the topic I praise the sport big time and keep it rolling. He’s not the first I convinced to play more golf, probably to join a local club to play more often in order to fully enjoy this beautiful sport.

Let’s grow the sport again. Play with some you hardly know, meet up and talk about golf and how cool it is. Because it really is! Give those a little guidance, golf hand holding if you will. It doesn’t take much to spark the interest in those who already had contact to golf in the past. As yesterday showed it’s super easy if you are open and willing to help others get access, fun and ability again.


And there was another reason yesterday was a good golf day, a good golf day for me at least. I shot an 81, a +9, my best round so far and even scored an eagle, my first ever! I was absolutely over the moon. On a par-4 with a 100m pitch onto the green, and it rolled, and it rolled and in it went. For a split second I wanted to do the Jimenez dance but I just threw away my wedge and the cap and screamed out loud. Golf is great! One step closer to #Break80 and #Project12. And you know what, I only hit irons, not a single driver, 3-wood or hybrid shot. I carried a 2- and 3-iron to be fair. 

I obviously played quite well (for my handicap) but could have saved even more shots, there were some nasty 3-putts on my card later and I’ve been in bunkers at least 5 times. Anyway, a good round. It had over 30°C all the time, we both were carrying our bags, the course is quite hilly in parts and the clubs I used yesterday are 15 years old, yes 1-5. Really interesting round… more of those please!

Finished second, got new handicap, life is good

This year is is very unusual for me – golf-wise. I’m in golf mood all the time, follow the action on the professional tours and would love to play more often but since I moved to London 9 months ago I was barely playing.

That’s a pity, I know. The only two occasions I got on the course were business-related and tournaments with or for customers. Yes we’ve been to quite posh places and yes it was fun but 2 rounds in 9 months… that’s ridiculous.

Yesterday was the third time I was playing a complete round for the mentioned timeframe. I’ve been to Frankfurt from Thursday to Monday and managed to book a spot for a local tournament. Feeling not very trained (which I wasn’t) and not very sure about the weather (at least in London it was horrendous the last weeks) I made my way to the (newly renamed) Idstein Golf & Country Club.

I played here several times before and know the course quite well, so what could go wrong? It didn’t really go wrong. It wasn’t the best round I played, by far, but for playing only the third round this year, no other training at all, I was kind of satisfied. I had nice drives, nice approaches, very few three-putts and we were playing under blue sky with sun all over the place.

The outcome was a second place in my handicap class and a sunburn. Both wasn’t expected because I have to admit I had some lousy shots in between as well. But in the end I managed to earn 39 stableford points and a new handicap of 16.2. It isn’t the world, but hey, you’ll never know what happens later on this year.

Having the bad shots and penalty shots in mind, I’m sure I can reduce my score by at least 6 further strokes when I’m concentrated and at least a bit trained.

What was really on the upside is the bunker play. I can remember at least 5 situations being in the bunker and scrambling the ball back into play – dead at the pin, one putt, hooray. That’s what makes you feel really good and gives you a lot of confidence. It’s not the short putts, nor the drives, it’s good scrambling outcome and beautiful iron shots into the green that create a smile on my face.

Bottom line: new handicap, new confidence, better situation for the future… imagine I had new clubs! What would have been possible! :)

no race to belek… yet!

last friday, i was playing the MLP golf jounal trophy in idstein, near frankfurt, germany. the lucky folks that can win a handicap class get the chance to fly to belek, turkey to play in a kind of world final.

this trip to belek is a “must-win”, when i ask a friend of mine. he’s attending this final the 4th consecutive time and to be honest: i want to go there too!

so the only thing to do is to win a tournament… a word and a blow, normally the course is very suitable for me, but winning is not easy i can tell you. take last friday for instance: i was feeling pretty well, was confident not only in my iron play but as well in the woods, which i practiced a lot in the last weeks. shotgun-start at the 8th hole, first drive, boom… shot in the bushes on the right… new ball, penalty, some more shots and you can imagine how bad that went on. next hole: quite the same. aaahhhrrrgghh!

bottom line: i left my woods and hybrids in the bag, played only with my irons, had some more bad shots on the round and ended as 22nd of 34… not that kind of result i was hoping for!

but there are some more chances left. these tournaments are played all over germany and i will play at least one more, i.e. in leipzig golf & country club in july. we will see how my performance is improving till that time.

game’s on! golf journal’s ‘race to belek’

i got talked into this, believe me! but now i’m so much looking forward to these tournaments… the heat is on! let’s fire it up!golf journal is one of the biggest german golf magazines and together with MLP, a big financial advisory company, they host a series of tournaments that are played all around the country. as i was told, everything’s perfectly organized and huge fun to participate.

but the reason i was persuaded to attend, is that the winner of each of 3 handicap classes gets the chance to play the big final in belek, turkey, later this year. so the only thing to achieve is winning one of these tournaments in my class! then flying to turkey’s golf mecca, playing the amazing gloria golf courses and just have a great time with other golf-enthusiasts. is there any better?!

i enrolled for 2 events up to now. first is played at my loving idstein south course (on june 17) and the second is hosted by the leipzig golf & country club (on july 8) where i will be traveling with 3 mates. i hope that’s enough possibilities to take the trophy and the travel voucher!

keep your fingers crossed! i will keep you updated…

tournament won, new handicap, good news finally!

good news guys! second tournament this year and finally a sense of achievement, partially at least. real good news is that i won the idstein season opening tournament in my handicap class at idstein golf club. i shot a 86 (+14) and gained not less than 45 stableford points (44 with CSA). in my case that’s leading to a new handicap of -16.6.

that’s put me on the top of the leaderboard in my handicap class and 10th in the overall (male) ranking. i think that’s not too shabby and i’m quite proud of myself to make such good improvements such early this year. my self-defined “project18” (reaching a handicap below 18 in the course of 2011) is hereby fully concluded. which is great but i now have to find another challenging one. “break80” (scoring a 72par course with less than 80 strokes) seems be the next logical one. i had that target in mind already, but only for next year. so we’ll see what’s possible.

the reason why i’m so positive is because i didn’t touch a wood or hybrid at all in the mentioned tournament yesterday!! i just played with my irons and used my 4-iron as a driving club. still, i was able shoot the ball a bit further than my group mates with their drivers! so when i’ll begin to constantly hit the ball straight and far with my driver, woods and hybrids, i think the score could drop some bit more. nevertheless it was quite a good day and i shot some real nice tee shots. the greens however were in terrible condition and i think i lost 3 or 4 stokes through this.

anyway, i’m proud to have my handicap lowered a bit and i’m pretty confident that this year could be my year! the weather was brilliant (up to 28°C), my group mates were fun and all the people in the club, including guests, seemed to be really nice people. i like the course, the training facilities, the sun terrace, the people out there… i really should consider a membership! :)

i think i well deserved the BBQ afterwards with some friends in frankfurt! great day!!