No Serious Injuries Reported

(Although sporadic reports of minor headaches)

ROUNDS 3 AND 4  – Golf4Fun Hits Bad Bellingen

This year’s trip to Bad Bellingen was more akin to a UN general assembly, with a host of nations represented. A sizeable chunk of this was down to group Robertson with representatives from Scotland, the USA, Germany and the Philippine’s. Also adding to the international flavour was the welcome return of Casper and his son Daan, who had made the trip all the way from the flatlands of Holland. It was also good to see Ron, Nata, and Hein, Tessa and Tony as well as a few others who had so far not been able to make it to the previous tournaments of 2017.

Some of us had managed to get some time off from the day job, and travelled up on the Friday morning to get in a sneaky round on the Quellenhof. Not wanting to exert ourselves too much, Dawn and I rented a buggy at Euro 35 for the round and Euro 5 back if you returned it back intact,  and  I am happy to report that this was the outcome .

As I mentioned above, we were fortunate to be having long time G4F supporters Tessa and Tony staying in the area this weekend, taking time off from their exhausting time spent as retirees. So with Tessa today on dog minding duties, Tony, Dawn and I spent the next 4 hours or so, bathed in sunshine ( albeit on the breezy side ) enjoying the course. The bunkers were as always, builder’s rubble, and best avoided around the greens, which I have to point out, were a lot better than usual with the putting surface consisting mostly of grass for a change.

A swift one at the club house, then down to the hotel for a change of clothes etc. and to sample the areas white wine. Sitting on the hotel terrace, we could witness the arrival of more and more competitors and it was not before long that our numbers had swelled to around 20. By 8.30 the old blood sugar levels were beginning to move into the amber zone, and my stomach was crying out for some solids. Eventually we got to sit down and dined on Chateau Briand and a rather dry but delicious red, made  slightly unusual in that it was created from an Italian grape called Nebbiolo, a variety normally found gracing the vineyards among the hills of Piedmont, but this was from Germany. (Isn’t Wiki great?)

After dinner, a few of us retired to the relative peace of the terrace, and managing to resist the delights of the Himbeergeist digestive, plumping instead for another bottle of red. Then it was off to bed for a good night’s kip before round 3.

After a fine breakfast at the Markushof, it was up to the course to ready myself for an 11.28 tee off on the 1st of the Quellenhof.

There was a change today from the normal starting set up, as with just over 60 players and another tournament out on the same course we were to be split starting on the 1st and the 10th, but with both tees close to each other the logistics caused little problem.

Goodies collected from Collette, courtesy of Stamford, Ultra sun and Focus water, and having local rules etc.  delivered to us by Andreas we were ready to go.

The weather by this time had cleared up considerably, allowing the wearing of shorts, and in the case of Mr Trousers the Times crossword. Some of that Ultra sun factor 30 applied, but the wind was beginning to strengthen.

Bogey to start, but happy to walk off the opening Par 5 with 2 points, just before I smashed a well hit 6 iron into the water hazard on the right of the Par 3 second.  BLOB!!

Today I was fortunate to be paired with the other half of the old TCL partnership, and together with Tessa, we had Robert from Munich making up the third. A man that certainly did not struggle for length though it took him a few holes to match distance and direction.

On the fourth there was a memorable moment as Tessa, coming off a lovely drive, shanked her second and it looked destined for the long stuff, but instead, cracked into a distance marker to rebound back into the middle of the fairway

The incident certainly helped break the ice, and with everyone relaxed, the next few holes slipped by with some nice golf being played and we finished the front nine in an upbeat mood.

Mid round snack on boarded, and time to tackle the back nine with the wind beginning to pick up a bit more. Cloud cover was also increasing and for a couple of holes the water proofs were on.

Longest drive, was a monster already, however Robert boomed it down there passing the marker. Unfortunately he was playing 3 off the tee. There was some talk of money passing hands and the inducement of free beers, but I am pleased to say honesty won the day. Jenny S and Michael R went on to win the honours here.

The 17th and hole- in- one time. Sadly once again Raleigh’s E bike found no takers, and was peddled round to the 13th on Kapellenberg for Sundays round.

Round completed, and by the 18th a nice cold one kindly supplied by Mark B who was playing today — Good to see you back Mark and cheers.

A tally up, and for this golfer a sense of excitement as it finally appeared that in a tournament I had scored well enough to get my handicap below the magic 20 (Well 19.9 !!). A teenager for the second time in my life, and the first time had nothing to do with golf. The recently purchased attire in the PGA Open colours courtesy of Adam and Thomas at the golf centre in Wallisellen, had inspired me –One very happy golfer.

Meantime, with no official photographer today Nora was maintaining her keep fit routine by running between the 10th and 18th green as flights completed their rounds. Click Dash, Click Dash. But the calorie loss and the results were both impressive.

Back down to the hotel and tonight was gala night with Family Speck supplying a fine salad buffet followed by both a tasty main and a refreshing pud. 80 people for dinner in one room certainly pushed up the decibel levels, but great fun. Prize giving and birdie pot (Euro 25 for a birdie, and I had one!!) Then outside for a spot more of the grape before retiring around midnight to prepare for round 4.

Sunday morning welcomed us with cloudy skies, a stiff breeze, and rain, but the weather apps, the hotel daily bulletin and Michael Fish all told us it was going to improve. So I ignored Mr Fish as usual and wore trousers.

Up to the club house, having had another delicious breakfast countered by the pain of settling up ones bar bill over the last two nights. Not too painful as it turned out and so no need for the customary oxygen or opiate medication.

Today, we were playing Kapellenburg and again flights were to be split, this time paying off the 1st and 11th tees. I was off the 11th and by this time the weather had begun to improve. I had obviously failed to factor in the reflective qualities of my golf shirt. It had not looked that bright in the shop when I purchased it. Luckily though I had not been partnered with Jay and Hein as the resultant colour coordination effect could possibly have put the O Zone layer in jeopardy.

Teeing off the 11th Par 3 was a pleasure today, as the usual Beaufort scale force 6 blowing into ones face was absent, which meant for once I wasn’t short in the bunker.

Next the 12th and longest drive, after having taken our mid round snack and briefly taken in the views over the Rhine, it was time to test out the big stick. Not Bad —I was fully expecting our Tim, who normally stamps his mark on this one, to win it, but alas it was only his second hole, and he wasn’t fully warmed up.  In the end today it was to be the efforts of another Robertson, this time Mark for the men and Jenny S for the ladies and her second longest drive victory in a row.

The 13th was the hole-in-one competition, and once again no result. This E bike must be the most travelled bike around that hasn’t actually been ridden by anyone. Off it goes to Steisslingen for round 5 on July 30th.

Our three ball was getting round the course at a fair old lick, and my playing partners were having a good round whilst this golfer was being too inconsistent. A brief moment of glory would be afforded to me on the par 3 eighth, though, with a birdie. (5 points! But boy did I need them )  Then, with Nicole having picked up a birdie earlier on, Freddie was on the par 4 10th for two –Could he do it? – Nicole and I stood there, lifting our heads to the sky and praying for divine intervention, muttering incantations — YES!!   It was in –Birdie for Freddie — his first ever –GREAT MOMENT!!

Round over and down to gather at the 18th where courtesy again of Mark B a cold one awaited. As we came off the course there were a few light spots of rain but nothing heavy. We had been lucky though with the course having been surrounded by storms all afternoon.

This evening’s meal was to be provided by the club and was a BBQ buffet, truly excellent and served with no dramas as seen in previous years. Big thanks to the entire club staff there.

Prize giving and today it was just Euro 14.50 per birdie a testament to the fine golf played today. The competition is heating up at the top of the tiger’s board with a three way split now between Dario, Sergio, and Siegrun with Carlos hot on their heels, after carding two great rounds and having his handicap cut twice over the weekend. As he said to me “it’s going to get tougher out there for us “.  

A huge thank you to Family Speck for hosting us, the club of Drei Thermen golf resort and the Sekretariat. To Nora for all the organisation and photos, to Colette for her cheery help, and to everyone that contributed to make this a superb round 3 and 4.  Looking forward to taking those new handicaps out for a spin at the next tournament? So am I ——– ROUND 5 STEISSLINGEN — JULY 30TH 2017 

Peter Martin, Hopeful Tiger 2017