Jack Nicklaus’ Heritage Course at the London Golf Club

Sometimes, from time to time, I’m a lucky man. Well, I’m healthy, live a proper life, have enough money for traveling, have a great girlfriend, an interesting job and basically everything to be lucky. But sometimes, as I said, I’m even a bit luckier… and I really appreciate it!

Yesterday I was invited to take part in a corporate golf tournament at the famous London Golf Club. No doubt, I was totally excited and couldn’t wait for the day. The weather is not very good currently but I didn’t care: this was supposed to be the day when I was about to play the Heritage Course, that Jack “The Golden Bear” Nicklaus had created, and I loved the idea – with rain or without.

Getting to the course was a bit of a marathon, but I don’t own a car and I guess that’s the fair punishment. Using the M20 and M25 would take 30 minutes from where I live but the train (plus taxi for the rest) took me nearly 2 hours to get me out of the city… but that’s London, you can’t complain, you knew it better.

Anyway, I got to the course, entered this famous club house and knew: that’s gonna be a beautiful day! And it was! The other people who were invited as well and the hosts, managers across-the-board of a well-known big bank, were very nice people and we all together enjoyed the joint breakfast in one of the club’s old club rooms.

After a short period of preparing clubs, clothes, accessories and a bit of practice, we were heading to the first tee of the Heritage Course. There is another course, the International, but I was told that the Heritage is much nicer and is the “member’s only” course. Plus, it is a European Tour venue and whenever there is a professional tournament, they play the Heritage. I was playing together in my group with two other guys, one with handicap 12, the other with handicap 28.

The course is a real beauty! A nice combination of open field, heather and parkland character, nice undulations, many deep bunkers and lots of water! I haven’t played much in the past months so I was a bit rusty I have to admit. In the end I lost at least 6 or 7 balls, had one bunker where I needed 5 strokes to get out and I had way too many double-bogeys. Shouldn’t be an excuse, but playing a course that you don’t know with rental clubs that you don’t know, is never an easy endeavour.

We all were really lucky because the sun came out the time we went to tee no 2. I totally enjoyed being out there, didn’t care about losing balls in the rough because it was Wednesday and I was playing golf in one of the finest clubs of the country, and you bet looking for some balls in the rough is far better than sitting in the office the whole day, I can tell you!

Have a look at these impressions of the course. Isn’t that gorgeous?

The bank that invited me to the tournament has a corporate membership here and all of their staff can play how much they want. I’m thinking about quitting my job… :)

It was a beautiful day, as you can imagine. After a 19th hole beer and the following dinner I went home and am still dreaming of it. Here is a short video that outlines the setting of the last 4 holes of the course.

Next week I’ll play another upperclass course, The Grove. I keep you posted.

sad golf year so far…

in november i moved from germany to england, for business, but keeping my passion in mind, i planned to really bring my golf game to the next level here. in england golf is sport for everybody, so many people are playing, so many courses are out there… so practically everything should be set to be my golf eldorado.

but what happened? nothing. my clubs are still in germany, i found nobody in my office who’s playing or has at least a bit of interest in this sport (and a car to take me to the courses). so quite disillusioning i’d say. i haven’t even seen a golf course yet! can you imagine that?

in addition, currently i haven’t the time nor the setup for watching golf on telly. my weekends were quite blocked lately and i haven’t opted for the sky sports package – that would have meant another 40 GBP per month on top. the only golf i see currently is some youtube videos from past tournaments. you can’t imagine how this is p*** me off.

but it gets even worse! this year somebody decided to schedule the masters on the easter weekend. the guy should be hanged in my opinion! in the end i see myself not having one single minute watched of the masters tournament, normally i hardly miss a minute!!

but the year started bad golf-wise and it seems to carry on that way. no clubs here in london, no possibility to get to a course, no time on the weekend to play, no time to play after work, and – guess what – that’s not all: in may/june i’ll be in the US with my girlfriend, performing the big german loop through california, nevada, utah, arizona, etc. it’s a tough plan with a strict schedule but my dream was to play a round of golf in the desert, preferably in palm springs or la quinta. but when i look at these days, i don’t see myself playing to be honest. i see myself sitting in the car for 7 hours every day, driving on route 66. which is nice, yes, but playing a round of golf on PGA west or another arnold palmer course… that’d be different and for me as well unforgettable like the grand canyon.

so future will tell whether my situation improves or not. yesterday i started to think about buying a new set of clubs on the internet. but what for…

i’m back!!

you won’t believe it; i’m still alive! and i know some of you missed me, some of you certainly didn’t, but i had to get some things done and can make a fresh start into 2012 now! by the way; happy new year!!

the reason for my absence – and i don’t want to apologise – is a combination of some things that made me think about other stuff than golf. firstly i had huge back problems in autumn and couldn’t finish the golf year as i had planned. secondly i moved permanently from germany to the united kingdom and that caused some additional effort as well. still i have no internet in my new appartment but i know – that shouldn’t be an excuse…

all in all too less golf in that period!! so now living in london with a bunch of interesting and prestigeous golf courses around, we all can start into a new fascinating golfing year that’s ahead! 2011 was an amazing golfing story and i will recap parts of it when i find the time but let’s look at that what’s in front of us!!

luis oosthuizen won the first tournament on the euro tour in east london, south africa, and steve stricker currently tries to stay on top of the leaderboard at the hyundai tournament of champions in hawaii. for sure, the year could have started much more fancy but trust me, we will see some amazing golf this year!!

that said, all the best for your own golfing endeavours in 2012 and i wish you and me a happy golf year!! stay in touch with golficiency and spread the news! that’s much appreciated!!

p.s. my sky sports package is expected to arrive later this month… #golfallnightlong