Golfers Delight: October 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005

Golf TV weekly, week 45

Monday, 31. October
22.30 CNN: Living Golf

Tuesday, 1. November
04.55 rbb: rbb regional, Golf in Poland, a report on the new resort in Slubice.

Wednesday, 2. November
21.00 Eurosport: European Tour "Volvo Masters in Sotogrande (ESP)"

Saturday, 5. November
17.30 n-tv Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Priceless

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 Lutz?

Friday, October 28, 2005

You know you're a golf nut

... when you get up earlier on weekends for a round of golf than on weekdays to get to work. My tee time at Marriott Hotel Treudelberg Golf & Country Club in Hamburg tomorrow is 08:00. Which means getting up at 06:00 on a saturday morning. I must be joking. I'll probably chase some korean or japanese guys that started even earlier. Sound like fun!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The mental game

Just read some good advice from Michael Campbell over at BBC. Let me think about these things on the next round:

1. Stop your mind wondering

Sometimes it's hard to stop your mind playing tricks during a round of golf. You think, 'If I make this shot I've only got an easy putt to make a birdie'.
That's when things go wrong. You need to stay in the present. I do this by focussing on something like a red shirt in the crowd or a really beautiful tree.
That might sound funny but it makes you think what is happening right now. Not what went before or what is going to happen.

2. Do your homework

To give yourself the best chance of a good shot you need to do your homework before you even hit it.
That means knowing what club to use, what shot to play or how the wind is blowing.

3. Breathe easy

A tree can help you focus in the present
It is easy to get nervous when you step onto the tee.
What I do is take a couple of deep breaths to get rid of all the negative energy and breathe in the positive stuff.
When your muscles lack oxygen they tense up. What you want are nice, relaxed muscles to get the most efficient swing.

4. Stick to your routine

More than anything you need to have your routine. Next time you watch Tiger or Ernie look at their routine. That's their way of feeling comfortable.
I walk up to a shot and look where I want it to go. Next I take a practice swing. Then I cock my club back, once looking at the target, then two more times.
It's then that I'm relaxed and ready to hit the shot.

5. Don't even think about it

Last of all when you play your shot don't think about it. Just hit it.
If you've done your homework and your practise you should be fine. Standing over the ball is not the place to think about your grip or your swing.
Do your thinking on the driving range.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Volvo Masters

Colin Montgomerie and Michael Campbell clash head-to-head in a compelling end to the European season at this week's Volvo Masters at Valderrama.
Montgomerie leads New Zealand's Campbell by 153,487 euros (£103,707) as he chases a record eighth European Order of Merit title in Spain. With South Africa's Retief Goosen having pulled out with injury, Campbell is the only man who can beat the Scot.

Venue of the tournament is the Club de Golf Valderrama, ranking as one of the finest courses in the world. Advances in club and ball technology mean it is no longer quite the monster it was back in the late 1980s but the par-72, 7,005-yard layout still offers one of the sternest tests on the circuit.


From the first to the 18th, barely a hole on the 1997 Ryder Cup venue offers a straightforward birdie opportunity with heavy woodland, wickedly switchbacking fairways, water and tricky greens ensuring the entire elite field have to plot their way round. Last year's event, won by England's Ian Poulter in a play-off, featured only eight players under par.

Check out the Tee Times for the first round and the news section or check out the European Tour Website for more information.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Michelle?

Is that you?

Sarah Kuttner goes Golf


So I watched Sahra Kuttner making her first steps with golf on Fit for Fun TV. I don't think she got the hang of it. But she looked awfully cute on the green!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Golf TV weekly, week 44

Monday, 24. October
22.30 CNN: Living Golf

Tuesday, 25. October
04.25 VOX: Fit For Fun TV: Das erste Mal - Cross-Golfen mit Sarah Kuttner!

Wednesday, 26. October
21.45 Eurosport: US PGA Tour "Funai Classic in Lake Buena Vista, FL (USA)"
22.45 Eurosport: European Tour "Mallorca Classic in Pula (ESP)"

Saturday, 22. October
17.30 n-tv Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Druids Glen Golf Club

Watching the report about Druids Glen Golf Club on n-tv I can only state that the grass really is greener in Ireland! Wow, what an impressive course!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Blog Maintenance

Finally I had the time to make some amendments to the sidebar of this blog. There is a new category called "Tournament Watch" with direct links to the tournament schedules of the European and American Tours. This gives you a quick overlook of what is happening:
  • European Tour
  • PGA Tour
  • LPGA Tour
  • Ladies European Tour

    Then I had to add two more links, one to the ESPN Golf site and to The Golf Blog, two resources that I just recently discovered. And last but not least I owed a link to my fellow golfers over at the Hubert Cup. Go check it out and find out what this is all about:
  • ESPN Golf
  • The Golf Blog
  • Hubert Cup

  • Monday, October 17, 2005

    Nice Birdie


    (via Hooked on Golf Blog)

    Seen from above

    I was playing around with Google Earth lately and found a new pastime: spotting golf courses.

    Augusta National, picture courtesy of Google Earth

    As the satellite imagery is best in the US, you will find the best results there.
    But also here in goold old germany you’ll find your favourite golf course, but in a little lower resolution. The picture material isn’t the newest though, searching for the Stolper Heide GC I only saw wide meadows instead of the golf courses. And they have been around for some years.

    Golf TV weekly, week 43

    Tough premiere for Michelle Wie at the Samsung World Championship as she was disqualified for dropping closer to the hole and then not declaring it in round three. Well, we won't be abloe to see it on TV as there will be no coverage (except for CNN sports updates, where they showed some pics from round one). Here's the rest:

    Monday, 17. October
    22.30 CNN: Living Golf

    Saturday, 22. October
    17.30 n-tv Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Samsung World Championships

    Well, this is the week Michelle Wie will make her debut as a proette at the Samsung World Championship at Bighorn Golf Club, Palm Desert, California. Let’s see how she performs after all the fuzz about her turning pro and her big sponsorship deals with Nike and Sony. Wie is playing via a sponsor exemption at the event.

    But it is also an event to look out for Annika Sorenstam, should she win this tournament it would be her fifth win at one event, something that even she hasn’t accomplished yet. Sorenstam won the Samsung World Championship in 1995, 1996, 2002 and 2004. A win this week would tie her with the legendary Mickey Wright for most all-time at a single event. Wright won the Sea Island Open five times (1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1963) and is also one spot and 19 victories ahead of Sorenstam on the all-time wins list with 82-career victories.

    See the real time scoring here, or visit the official website.

    Update Day 1: Wie makes solid debut

    Update Day 2: Grace Park leads, Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer and Annika Sorenstam 2 shots off the lead tied for second

    Update Day 3: Annika Sorenstam makes a very clear statement

    Update Day 4: Wie disqualified in Sorenstam win

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Golf TV weekly, week 42

    No coverage of the American Express Championship this week except on Premiere. Damn, I'd love to see the playoff between Tiger an John Daly. Here's the rest:

    Monday, 10. October
    22.30 CNN: Living Golf

    Saturday, 15. October
    17.30 n-tv Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    You know you're a golf nut

    ...when somebody asks you the directions to the next café and you answer him "It's a good par 4 in this direction, dogleg after 220m, it is protected by a bunker (playground) on the right side."

    Well, I actually never said this, but I was thinking it! ;-)

    Natalie Gulbis

    The name Natalie Gulbis didn't tell me much until I noticed her on the Solheim Cup. The 22 year old from Lake Las Vegas, NV plays on the LPGA, didn't win any tournaments yet but has something other proettes don't have, her own calendar:

    To be honest, I'm happy that not all proettes do this.

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    Today it was a good day

    It' a hectic day, appointments on short notice, concepts to write, calls to make. A friend calls the afternoon: "It's a perfect sunny October afternoon, get your ass out of the office. Nothing could be more important than to use such a perfect afternoon for - a round of golf!" So my day ended up playing the back nine of the Stolper Heide East Course. Not the worst of things to do!

    Michelles Diary

    "Dear diary,
    Only 6 more days until my 16th birthday -- I can't wait, I can finally drive legally. Oh, and today, before I go to high school, I've decided to call a press conference so that I can announce that I'm turning pro. At the press conference (2 pm ET) will be my sponsors Nike and Sony, who have agreed to pay me $10 million making me the highest paid female athlete in the world. Pretty cool, I haven't even won a pro tournament yet. I'm being represented by the William Morris agency -- they represent Clint Eastwood and John Travolta. I don't know what the big deal is, but The Golf Channel will be airing my announcement live.
    Hello world!

    Michelle"
    via The Golf Blog

    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    Golf Nut Society

    Yes, since yesterday I am a member of the Golf Nut Society. Why?
    Because a) I am nuts about the game and b) this is probably my only chance to be in one club with Michael Jordan.

    Check out the website, it's full of fun stuff and fun people!

    Golf TV weekly, week 41

    Damn, I am late this week with the TV dates, sorry. Here we go:

    Monday, 03. October
    22.30 CNN: Living Golf


    Wednesday, 05. October
    22.45 Eurosport: European Tour "Dunhill Links Championship in St. Andrews (SCO)"

    Saturday, 08. October
    17.30 n-tv Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

    That's all folks. Coverage is getting smaller week by week. Does somebody want to force us into buying a Premiere Decoder or what?

    Sunday, October 02, 2005

    Now that's what I call a bunker


    (picture courtesy of BBC SPORT)

    Saturday, October 01, 2005

    Small Philosophy of Passions

    Plenty time to read when you are on vacation. This time I read a small and highly entertaining book called "Kleine Philosophie der Passionen, Golf". Funny and interesting stories around the game of golf. Order at Amazon.

    Golfresort Wittenbeck

    During our short vacation on the Baltic Sea we played the Golfresort Wittenbeck situated between Bad Kühlungsborn and Heiligendamm.

    Currently, the resort features a 9 hole course, but in the near future an 18 hole course will be added.


    The course is only a couple kilometers away from the sea and a strong breeze is always present. The landscape is pretty hilly and every hole goes either uphill or downhill or has a sideways slope. The course is in a very good shape and has an interesting layout. On thing that struck me though we're the microscopic greens. Especially on the third and eight hole they weren't bigger than 5 x 7 meters.


    Altogether it is a cosy small golf course and feels very familiar. And if you are staying at one of the partner hotels, you get reductions on the already cheap greenfee.