The alarm clock goes off at 06:30. Normally, after only five hours of sleep I drag myself around in the morning, but not this time. I'm off to play a round of golf and I've been looking forward to this all week.
Getting a tee time in golf clubs in Hamburg isn't the easiest of things. Almost all clubs allow guests on weekends only in accompaniment of a member. Those clubs who didn't held a tournament on saturday. So I called somebody who knows somebody who was able to give me a tee time at Treudelberg Golf & Country Club
: 08:00 wasn't exactly what I planned, but this time it was take it or leave it. And I took.
The reason why I was looking forward to it so much was that for the first time in weeks I had a good feeling about it. Two weeks ago this was totally different. I played the most disastrous tournament in my life, 21 stableford points in 18 holes. After this experience I was close to throwing my clubs in the next nearby pond. Well, I didn't do it but left my clubs standing in the corner for two weeks. And suddenly developed a positive attitude about my game. And this had to be proofed.
I left the house in total darkness at 07:00, it still was pitchblack dark when I parked the car at the golf club at 07:30. I wasn't sure if I would be able to see anything at 08:00 but as I was warming up on the range the first sunlight touched the sky.
08:00 at Tee 1 a group of three people already about to make their opening drive, it was the 08:10 threesome trying to make an early start. But it was my turn to deflorate the course. This morning was exactly what I needed to get my game back. Being the first one on the course, playing alone, no one but me to leave his tracks in the morning dew covering the fairways.
My start was mediocre, shooting 6 - 6 - 5 on the first holes (2 par 4's and a par 3), losing a ball in the pond on the second and third.
But then I loosened up and took more confidence in my game. My drives were straight and accurate, I didn't take anything bigger than my 5 wood off the tee. But it was good for 200m almost every time.
After 30 minutes, I was already at hole number 5, the first par 5 of the day. I gained momentum with bogey, bogey, par, bogey on the next holes. The course offers a good variation in the lenghts of the holes. Whilst the fourth hole is a 412 meter par 4, the sixth hole - also a par 4 - is only 275 meters. On the one you have to struggle for bogey, on the other you go for par pretty relaxed.
After 1:15h into my round, the front nine were finished and I was really into a good rhythm. On the next holes a good portion of luck was on my side as my drives all missed the fairway bunkers by only a fraction. By now the sun was out on a clear blue sky and my body was producing endorphine like crazy. Almost everything went smoothly except for my problems on the par threes, I wasn't able to make any green with my first shot.
But then I had my feet put back on the ground on the par 4 seventeenth, I got a little too cocky and was punished with a 10! A couple of deep breaths later I stood on the teebox of the 18th and had to bring my focus back together and positioned myself well within 90m of the green of the 485m par five after two good shots with my woods. The pitching wedge got me onto the island green and in my mind I already had noted a par for this one on the scorecard. This made me not concentrate enough about my putting and I fourputted for a seven. Dammit.
But I was grinning all over my face as I had experienced one of the best rounds in my golfer career. A beautiful sunrise, an interesting course, alone with the wildlife on the course, I regained trust in my game and I set a new personal record, playing 18 holes in only 2 hours 45 minutes.
Does that give me extra points for the Hubert Cup