Yes, such is the purchasing power of G4F that even the financial markets have begun to sit up and take notice.

If only this was true –it would certainly make my job a lot easier –although the 30 odd golfers and helpers etc. who headed up to Steisslingen for a second time this season certainly poured some Euros into the local economy. Dawn and I, as usual, headed up to the venue on the Saturday and this time managing to get a practice round in on the 18. The weather was hot and humid, and so elected to take the buggy option to ensure our combined 113 year old legs were still able to carry us round the next day.

First thing we did was to grab a spot of lunch, sitting outside on the attractive sun terrace of the clubhouse overlooking the 18th green. I chose the melon and Rohschinken, beautifully presented and a good portion for my Euro 7.50, whilst Dawn opted for a bowl of prawn soup which was also, I am assured, delicious. We were not the only ones up there from the tournament field, as some familiar figures appeared coming off the ninth. Greetings exchanged we took ourselves off to the practice area for a quick warm up, before heading out to the first.

The course was looking in great shape, and with all the rain we had been having recently, thanks to some pretty spectacular thunder storms, the grass was green and lush. Also noticeable was the rough, which was benign in appearance, but if one hit a ball into it, it proved very difficult to find. Obviously some new hybrid flora, introduced by the green keeping staff, which I have christened Ballus Swallowupus.  One other addition was the sand in the bunkers, which was soft and receptive and a mile away from the builder’s rubble that we had been subjected to when playing rounds 3 and 4.

After spending a pleasant afternoon on the links and managing to get all the appalling golf out of my system, it was back to the hotel and a fine evening dining al fresco enjoying the company of friends and a bottle or two of the grape as well as a highly calorific cordon bleu –Perfecto! Sunday morning, and it looked like it was going to be a scorcher. Ultra sun factor 30 today, with an added layer of insect repellent, which I will expand on later.

Colette was on hand at the starters hut, handing out the goodies supplied by Stamford, Focus water as well as Ultra Sun. There was also some chocolate up for grabs though this player declined on the grounds that it is very difficult to drive the ball after eating a melting Snickers bar –it looks quite unpleasant too. Giving us the local rules etc. was Peter Fuchs, as he took a break from tournament golf for the day, thus allowing Nora to take part in the action going out in the first flight before transforming into our Siren of Celluloid.

10.08am and I was in the second flight out playing with Kenny and Jürgen. All three of us placed it down the middle, which I hoped would be a good omen. Sometimes though omens turn out to be false ones, and the power of the occult failed to make it as far as the second tee, with a poor approach leaving me with downhill lie in thick grass on the bank of a greenside bunker— Double Bogey.

The next seven holes went by, and at least I was playing with the same ball that I started with, and managing to post a not too disastrous outward Nine. My flight buddies were also fairing ok. As for pace, I believed we were doing ok, but the ladies had obviously packed in some of that Focus Water, as they were streaks ahead of us by mid round snack time. Speed Golf!

Colette was up by the club house to hand out the fuel required for the second nine, having very sensibly moved it indoors under cover to ensure we were not sharing it with the insect world.

10th Tee – Longest drive —into a bit of a headwind —-I gave it my best Mcilroy whip and it ended up the fairway in a position that required me to actually write my name on the sheet. I was under no illusion though being only the first male flight out and with some big hitters to follow behind.

The 12th –Hole in One —Raleigh bike still unclaimed —-Pin position not impossible for a change, but the increasing breeze meant that there were no takers and it moves on to the first at Gruyere –What a Hole!! And hopefully in a couple of weeks’ time I will be writing– What a result!!

14th Tee –Nearest the Pin — As far as I recall not one of our flight actually hit the green, so all credit to Daniel T. Meier for winning it with a 4 meter 80 cm effort to a tricky pin placement.

Then it was down to the 15th and that insect spray was definitely required today, with one or two nips already on my legs and with blood having been drawn on my arm by one particularly nasty critter. Now though we were moving into bloodsucker central, with the resultant Steisslingen hop competition getting under way as the frisky blighters caused the victim to jump around and slap themselves to discourage the bug world receiving a free lunch, the resultant moves would not have been out of place at a John Travolta master class.

Managing to walk off the 17th, with the minimum loss of red corpuscles, it was the climb to the 18TH and to finish my round with a bogey.

Once again a cold beer was waiting at the finish thanks to Mark Broughton –very refreshing. Nora our siren was there busy snapping away and taking photos at the same time. Those ladies had sped round in 3.75 hours compared to our pedestrian 4.5 hours.

As the field was smaller than usual, it meant that the last finishers and required administration finished earlier and so Apero and prize giving could also move up the time frame.

Another great spread from the kitchen was supplied and warmly received.

Today’s Brutto champ was Nicole and she was also winner of her handicap category in the Netto competition. Bob and Myriam were the winners in their respective handicap categories, meaning team Schmidli walked away happy (Peter especially) with a litre of Engine gin. It was good to see so many new names in the winner’s enclosure, and I hope some of them will make it with us to Gruyere and if not to the season finale at Waldkirch on 17rd September. This year Stamford are sponsoring an upgrade to a sit down dinner at the event in place of the usual Apero Riche, so don’t miss out on that.

Next up birdie pot —- As it turned out an all-time record was achieved, sadly not in the number of birdies made but by the monetary value of each one. Today each birdie was worth a gobsmacking CHF 160!! And the lucky recipient was the person who managed to shoot one hole under par – Nicole – Brilliant!

Now remember the longest drive? Well I couldn’t believe it but yours truly took the prize for the men, and a CHF20 voucher from Von Fass in Zurich will be put to good use next week on a nice bottle of red with the very likeable manager Thomas no doubt persuading me to purchase more. Nicole was the ladies longest hitter today. Maybe I should have retitled this blog to– Nicole wins everything —-It was certainly her day.

So with round 5 completed while Mark Robertson is starting to draw away on the brutto front, it’s tight at the top on the tiger’s leader board and a close competition running amongst the rabbits (or should that be hopping?) Ouch.

Off to Round 6 then and the delights of Gruyere – See you there with wine sponsor Fin Bec throwing their usual wine degustation event as part of the apero

Peter Martin, Hopeful Tiger 2017