U.S. Army golf in Wiesbaden

rheinblick-wiesbaden-logoFirst tournament of the year 2019 and I sensed this was going to be a bit special when I checked the website in order to collect some further information about the course.

The Golfclub Rhein-Main in Wiesbaden is a German golf club which shares the course with the Rheinblick Golf Course, a U.S. military facility.

Wiesbaden is a fairly big U.S. Army command base and in that capacity they own the golf course (one of three 18-hole courses in Germany) to provide additional service to the soldiers, military staff and families.

The U.S. Army MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) Division of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command signs responsible for the property and the management of the course. It is therefore no surprise that you have to pay your cash greenfee in dollars, that all staff is American and that the parking space in front of the club house offers enough room to park your Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Suburban or Lincoln Navigator. First thumbs up.

Insta Post Rhein Main

You step into the club house, into a different world. There are Army generals framed in the hall, and adverts of the local car dealers offering their military sales programs.

In my personal tradition I tried to buy a logo ball in the pro shop which was impossible as they only sell goods (balls, clubs, clothes, etc.) to people holding a U.S. military ID card. The only thing I was allowed to buy was a token for the ball machine. That was all—much appreciated though. I was looking for some coins in my wallet and the American pal in the Golf Channel cap said I had to pay in dollars or by card, no Euro cash allowed. He also joked that has something to do with taxes and if it would be allowed, Donald Trump could be the next German Chancellor and how he’d like the idea but most likely Germans wouldn’t… I had no smart comment in that moment (not even a stupid one) and left the pro shop with one ball token, paid by credit card. That was a premiere, too.

It was raining cats and dogs when I warmed up, spent a good amount on the putting green getting soaked and finally met my playing partners at the first tee to kick off my 2019 tournament season.

Another premiere: There is a guy acting as a starter, announcing the next group to tee off. What he’s actually doing; When it’s time, he’s getting out his microphone, toc toc toc, and says something along the lines of “Good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is the 10:30 starting time of the Deutsche Bank tournament. On the tee: [followed by the names of the people in the group]. Fire away and have fun!”

It was a slightly awkward feeling being announced over loudspeakers but quite cool nonetheless. Definitely something that other clubs should consider, really getting you in the tournament mood!

The course is a proper parkland course with rich tree lines on all holes. Back in the 1950s, after WWII, when this area was converted to a golf course from a military training area, there were no trees whatsoever. This has changed dramatically and it actually looks beautiful nowadays.

The property is quite hilly too, and due to these ups and downs you tend to have great vistas and magnificent views over Wiesbaden and the Rhein-area. It’s called “Rheinblick” (Rhein view) for a reason.

The course condition has been excellent and the architecture is indeed interesting and challenging. There are some tricky doglegs which cost you if you don’t have local knowledge, which I had not.

The pin positions were really tricky today, I mean US Open-Sunday tricky. We joked that this was done on purpose because Deutsche Bank recently released some Donald Trump tax papers to the authorities in relation to the Mueller-investigation and that this was their answer to the Deutsche Bank people to see them suffer. We laughed about it but maybe not a good idea to tell that joke to the U.S. boys in the pro shop…

Three hours in, the sun came out and we could concentrate on pure golf and and look forward to the famous hamburgers in the restaurant after the round. Then shock, the restaurant was closed… WHAT?!

All in all a great course, beautiful setting (one of the nicest in the area), fantastic course quality and a very special touch with all the military atmosphere there. I will definitely be back soon, when it’s sunnier and warmer, and I will carry some dollars with me—I desperately need that Rheinblick logo ball. PM me if you know somebody who could help.

A gem near Frankfurt: Golf Club Main-Taunus

This course is just a stone’s throw from my place, it’s a mere 15min ride on the Autobahn but still I have to say I rarely play this course. And after another tournament recently, I have to say, I have no idea why I don’t play here much more often. It’s such a nice course, offers challenges to all levels of players and still isn’t overly tricky.

During the tournament I had great company, we chatted along very nicely, had some drinks afterwards and my playing partner even won the trophy. So we were in a good mood, the atmosphere was great, weather held up and it turned out to be a great golfing day. I played 32 net points so my handicap went up 0.1 again. Didn’t care much.

Again, no idea why I don’t play here more often. Highly recommend it if you are in the area.

Ball Showcase: Golf Club Main Taunus

ball main taunus

On the weekend I was reminded of the nice rounds I played at GC Main Taunus last year. My wife and I we are currently looking for a house outside of Frankfurt and we had an appointment with an estate agent in Delkenheim, near Wiesbaden. The house was just a stone’s throw away from the golf course and I remembered various nice rounds I played there with some colleagues.

Main Taunus is a decent course, was never crowded, at least not when we played the sundowners on weekdays. The club definitely benefits from the ideal location between Frankfurt and Wiesbaden and features a great restaurant as well. We were told that on weekends the halfway house is a mandatory stop for all golfers.

Seek shelter from thunderstorms

Last week I planned to play a nice little after-work round with a new colleague. Luckily he’s keen on playing golf as well so we managed to get to a course I haven’t played before not far from our office, paid EUR 40 for a sundowner at 5.30pm and off we went.

The weather was good, not too warm and not too cold, t-shirt and long trousers. We enjoyed being out there, playing golf having left the office a bit earlier than normal. But after some nice holes at Golf Club Main-Taunus in Wiesbaden-Delkenheim we realised that we probably wouldn’t make it to the 18th as we saw some dark clouds gathering.

5 minutes later it got darker and darker, another 5 minutes later the wind was picking up just before we heard thunder in the distance. We just finished the 12th and were at the most outbound point of the course, when we decided that it would be safer to end the round immediately and quickly head back to the club house. A wise decision as we saw lightning flashing over the course again and again. Seconds after we returned to the club, heavy rain arrived and wouldn’t stop for hours!

Getting wet is one thing, but suffer from a lightning stroke is another. Always remember you are walking in nature, most probably surrounded by huge trees, you have some clubs with metal shafts in you hand which quite frankly would do the rest… I remember an incident not long ago and not far from here in which 3 golfers died on a golf course because they took the wrong decisions.

Always play save! You only got one life after all!