What do you do when things at work get stressful? I have my own method: There’s always a golf ball in my blazer pocket. If the stress level rises, I put my hand in my pocket, turn the ball between my fingers, close my eyes for a moment and stand on the golf course. That’s the in-between method. The real knockout against deadline pressure and heart palpitations comes after the working day ends. That’s when I get into the car and drive out to WINSTONgolf. At least once a week, and preferably every day. I park the car and switch off daily life when I stop the engine. Time for my passion; golf. I’ve been playing since childhood and I know a few courses. But nowhere is like here. Let’s visit it together. Then I’ll show you why.
The Driving Range: How I begin the game
At work I need to be forward-looking. On the driving range, I just look at my ball and am pleased with how well and far it flies. Most of the time, anyway. Here I always experience this wonderful mixture of sporting ambition when teeing off, and contemplation amidst the peace and vastness of the landscape all around me.
Today the sun is shining, but I really like to be here in any weather. And now imagine the “clack” of your ball as it takes a wonderful trajectory, and a second ball flies alongside behind it, hit much further and more professionally. You look to see who it was. And suddenly there he is – Bernhard Langer. That’s more or less how I experienced it during the WINSTONgolf Senior Open, where golf legends from all over the world tee off together. But there’s also an opportunity to meet Bernhard Langer here. He has been a WINSTONgolf brand ambassador for many years. And by the way, so has Johannes Veerman. You know him, the likeable player of the DP World Tour. Although I haven’t met him yet.
WINSTONlinks: My “outgrowing myself” course
Are you fit for the next round? Then up onto WINSTONlinks and into a real challenge. I must admit it: I failed miserably when I played the course for the first time. Driving into the wind, missing the fairway on the first tee shot, and off into a bunker. But I still felt like a winner. Because this course is also an experience for the eye: Wind-whipped dunes with gorse and sea buckthorn curve up to ten metres high into the distance. Deep sand traps in between, as if from volcanoes. And a buzzard soars in the skies above me. Cranes have also been watching. Maybe they would applaud me if they could. Because by now I’m really good and have mastered this course designed for professionals. No wonder champions love it, and they’ll be spending time on it during the Legends Tour in September. If you’re here for the first time or the next time – go ahead and take its challenge. You’ll find it worthwhile.
Do you love a change as much I do? Then the WINSTONopen course will inspire just as much as WINSTONlinks. Classic, challenging, with well-guarded greens and putting characteristics at their very best. A real championship course. And the view across a masterpiece of nature is included free of charge.
The quality of the courses is also a masterpiece. As if the greens were pure velvet. It feels great and plays that way too. This carries on through to the WINSTONkranich par 3 course, where I like to hone my short game. It’s a great place to warm up in before playing some really serious golf. Like on the WINSTONlinks, which I’m playing right now – in a happy mood to send the ball straight into the 18th hole.
We made it! And only 5 over par. I really must congratulate myself. Of course, it’s nicer when praise comes from someone else. From my friends, for example, who sometimes accompany me. Or from people I meet by chance on the course, and who love golf as much as I do. They come here from all over, and have a wide variety of tastes. But they are all the same in one respect: they are all relaxed. Especially after a successful round. Or after a good meal. Speaking of which: are you hungry? Then follow me to the clubhouse.
The golfing clubhouse: Open Sesame
Off the green and into enjoyment. Although in fact everything here is green. The people here are highly environmentally conscious. Exactly my wavelength. My car, for example, recharges at the e-charging station in front, I scarcely see any plastic, and my mouth waters when I think of my burger with organic meat from Jersey beef directly from the region.
Hello golf clubhouse! Did you ever see such an entrance door? So red and so big, but without making me feel small. And the automatic Open Sesame. The only thing missing is a red carpet. They wave at me from reception and I wave back. We know each other, and I feel at home. Slow down. The hustle and bustle are far away. I’m not surprised that WINSTONgolf has already carried off so many prizes. Certificate here, certificate there. “Golf Post Community Award 2023 – Number 1 in the ‘Course Condition’ category”, and alongside them various first places in different rankings. I feel it’s all in very good taste. Incidentally, also in the choice of my favourite restaurant – the RESTAURANTkranichhaus in the clubhouse.
A relaxed community
The sun patio is especially popular again today. At least one seat is still free, although there are already three guests sitting at the table. Maybe they were waiting for someone just like me. And lo and behold, I win a triple smile. The trio is from Cologne. A man around 40, well-tanned, chin beard; a woman, similar age, freckled and sympathetic; the woman’s sister, blond plait that wiggles amusingly when she talks. Cheerful Rhineland folk who are up here for the first time, and rave about the romantic wilderness of the north every bit as much as about the WINSTONgolf courses. The husband says they’ve already played them all several times, you can’t tear yourself away from the course, and there’s still so much to discover in Mecklenburg. His wife adds that this is true, and fortunately she, who doesn’t play golf at all, has plenty of time to explore. Her sister, like me, loves variety. The tension of the game during the day and relaxation in the evening.
They have two rooms at Kaarz Castle. Each room has its own style there, and the sister would love to move into a different one every day. And the park with redwood trees – a dream.
I tell the trio that I often forget time there at weekends, and that there’s a similarly beautiful place right next to the golf course: VORBECK MANOR, WINSTONgolf’s golfing hotel. With a fireplace in the foyer, the rippling river Warnow outside the window and a charming little café called HerzensGUT, which has the most delicious cakes just like my grandmother used to bake.
The woman with the freckles says she knows right away where she’s going tomorrow. Meanwhile, the man lets his gaze wander over the WINSTONopen course in the evening light, watching the last flights coming down the eighteenth hole, and seems to be working up an appetite for tomorrow.
The RESTAURANTkranichhaus: Meets my taste entirely
But for a moment, the delicious evening meal satisfies our appetite. Our table turns into a burger paradise: pulled beef with smoked bacon twice here, ground beef with bacon jam there, and black bean patty with cashew sauce over there. Simply delicious! The 3 Rhinelanders are also delightful, with their well-balanced holiday spirits. Talking about golf or putting the world to rights, we chat a while longer. I often meet people like that here. They simply make time stand still here, enjoy the moment and forget about tomorrow. Just like me. My everyday life seems far away, as if on another planet. Back to work the next day? Never mind. WINSTONgolf is not far away. And just in case, I always have my golf ball in my blazer.
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