Having missed last year’s double header, due to a clash of diary dates, I was looking forward to this year’s battle at Bad Bellingen, to be played over two days, on the Quellenhof course for round 3 and with round 4 to be decided on the Kappellenberg.
With our young ones (or maybe not so young) having flown the nest last year Dawn and I, like a number of others, decided to make a weekend of it. So while the financial markets grappled with the disaster that was unfolding in the Hellenic state, I left it behind and set off on the short car journey into southern Germany.
That is to say it should have taken around an hour, but I had failed to compensate for the terror of the Gubrist tunnel on a Friday night and its consequential traffic chaos. This resulted in us arriving shortly before dinner and with a slightly raised blood pressure. Dawn and I were still talking, at least.
Systolic equilibrium was quickly restored, however, with the aid of a glass of local white and a delicious repast of Château Briand, a specialty of the Markushof Hotel where we were based for the weekend.
The next morning fortified by an excellent breakfast buffet, supplied by the kitchen of the Quellenhof annex, we drove the short distance to the clubhouse where I warmed up on the driving range and putting green.
As is synonymous with Golf4Fun events these days, the weather gods had supplied us with balmy conditions allowing every possibility for the field to maximize their scoring.
Up at the first tee there was a hive of activity, with goody bags and local rules being handed out, with Nora, Dawn and Nicole officiating. Added to the array of bounty, and for the less temperate among us was a selection of beers supplied to us by our new sponsor for this year the International Beer Bar in Zürich. The hop and this golfer however, do not mix and can be a fatal combination, especially at 10.00 am, and so I resisted, although in hindsight it might have been better if I had not.
Saturday`s round started well, gleaning three points off hole one. Alas, that was to prove the highlight on the front nine and it was a relief to get to the halfway house where one could enjoy the mid -round snacks, courtesy of the golf club caterers.
The second nine proved to be a mixture of highs and lows and the resulting 28 points was a little disappointing. My visits into the variety of bunkers had not helped, especially as this year the sand traps seemed to have been sponsored by Holcim, adding to the difficulty tariff. Still, there was a glimmer of hope for Sunday`s outing.
And so, to Saturday night`s grand dinner back at the hotel and with around 70 people for dinner it was certainly a catering challenge, not quite a 5 loaves and 2 fishes event, but a challenge nevertheless. The staff, however, were up for it and, albeit a little light handed, they came through with honours.
Sunday morning, awoke with a slightly fuzzy feeling, mainly caused by the previous night`s attempt to partially lower the level of the great Australian Shiraz lake. The breakfast, though, quickly rebalanced the sugar levels and it was back off up to the club to tackle the 18 holes on the Kappelenberg.
Another beautiful day, by that I refer to the climatic conditions and not my golf game, which had been left on the shore of Lake Shiraz and was needing CPR, as over the four and a half hours I succeeded in losing enough golf balls to supply our generous sponsor TCL with around a year`s worth of free advertising as I sprayed their logo liberally over the links, courtesy of my driver. 21 points – Ouch! I think a lesson with our pro Brian at Golf Point, Urdorf might be in order.
Having gone out in one of the first flights, I had some time on my hands and so could return to the clubhouse to collect a cold beer and deliver it by means of a club car buggy, up to our Ron on the 18th who was snapping away. (Didn’t spill a drop in transit!!!).
The rest of the field was coming in, and were treated on their arrival back at the clubhouse to a plate of ham and potato salad, which was included in the tournament package. Groups of golfers chatted enthusiastically about the day’s events, whilst enjoying a cold drink. The staff though were feeling the heat and were somewhat challenged by the scale of our golfers` thirst – which led to some rather amusing moments, which in the interests of good club relations and to avoid receiving a lifetime ban I could not possibly comment on.
Prize giving was soon upon us and with my birdie water flask untouched in two days my 10 euro investment was to be spread amongst more worthy golfers. As to any silver ware, my chances were well and truly out of the picture, but congratulations to all of those who had a good day.
Two days of competition were at an end, and as the weary golfers returned in the evening sunshine to their respective abodes, Dawn and I slipped back to the Markushof for a last evening, spent in the company of Nora, Daniel and the ever enthusiastic Casper, who had made the journey all the way from Holland and is hoping to return to next year’s event with his sons and we look forward to that!!
As always, thanks are due to all the organisers, helpers, sponsors and naturally our hosts without whom these events, on such a scale, would not run as smoothly as they do.
And finally a brief thanks to Stamford for the little blue note books, in which this blog was formulated and scribed.
Steisslingen next on July 26th and I remain, as ever, a hopeful, albeit with a few less stripes, 2015 Tiger.