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.

golf on tv: the avengers (1966)

today, i came home from work, made myself comfortable on my couch and was zapping through the channels on tv. normally i start over again when reaching channel 20 or so, but today i made my way through all special-interest stations and finally reached arte. it’s a german-french culture station that is normally not my first spot to look for interesting tv stuff. but today, two men playing golf in monochrome awakened my interest.

it turns out that this was an episode of “the avengers” of 1966 that is called “the thirteenth hole”. john steed (patrick macnee) and emma peel (diana rigg) are playing and investigating on the golf course. for golf fanatics this might be quite an enjoyable amusement – exciting and funny at once!

The idea of Hole 0 – The Mulligan-Hole

Yesterday I’ve read some online golf stuff and was informed that we have a new “Best New Course of Germany”. First, I was surprised because in may I’m going to play Budersand on the island Sylt which was course #1 so far. So I was a bit frustrated that I’m going to enjoy the second and not the first best course of Germany. Then I was pleased that the new #1, Winston Links golf course (the newest of the 45-hole resort), is again a northern Germany course with a huge links characteristic.

After that, I tried to find some more interesting courses in the north-eastern part of Germany (keeping in mind that I already enjoyed playing the courses at Lake Fleesensee). I came across another course that is quite new in the golf circus and looks gorgeous as well: I’m speaking of the new Baltic Hill Golf Club on the island Usedom. It seems to be beautifully set into the island’s landscape and fits perfectly to be another golf highlight in northern Germany.

But what I really like about this club is, that they have a “Hole 0”. I never heard about it and had to look twice. They call it “warm-up-hole” or “mulligan-hole” and it’s a full-length par-3 on the way from the club house to the first tee box. Playing this hole or just walking it is completely optional. It’s not on the scorecard, there’s no need for pressure, it’s just to get the right swing to the right time.

I really like the idea and I’m curious when the next club is offering such mulligan functionality and is presenting the next 19-hole course!

why ebay is not the right place for me!

it happened not only once, not twice… i can’t count it anymore: i find something perfect on ebay, a real bargain or just some stuff i looked for and couldn’t find somewhere else. i log in, i keep an eye on that specific product, i place my bid, i wait day-in day-out for the very last minutes and start climbing my bid just to 30 seconds before the end, then i insert a bid that is much higher… and always lose just by cents!! that is so mean!

today i wanted to win the auction for a brand new set of beautiful titleist 710 CB irons. i was ready for the rally, entered my bid into my iPhone much higher, just to wait for the others to come after me. when somebody outbid my price, leaving one single minute on the clock, i throwed 50 more EUR into the bargain and waited the last seconds for the success… just to get the information that somebody bid 1,55 EUR more than me in the end!!

i lost the auction for my dream irons just by 1,55 EUR… i hate it! and i guess i won’t ebay for quite a while now. i’m totally exhausted with losing all the time! i’ll better play golf with my 10-year old clubs and get a better feeling than losing some stuff in the internet. i’m done!