And the winners are…

All went well. The big golf event at work last week drew lots and lots of media attention. From newspapers to TV-reports, from livestream on the internet to a mention on the nation-wide Saturday night news – downright crazy. For a sport, that otherwise holds no media attention at all. Over here in Europe there is no such thing as a golf channel or the like. Around 10 to 11% of the population play golf in the States, Canada and Britain (decreasing numbers there). In Germany we still struggle to hit the 0,8% mark. Even if I up this figure to 1,5% (to compare numers, this is necessary, because the other countries count everyone who plays 10+ rounds of golf a year as official golfer, whereas in Germany only members of the German Golf Associtation, i.e. golf clubs, are counted and the average “just pay-and-play a round on holidays” player is not) too few people play the game or are interested in following it on media, to make it wortwhile for reporting.

No wonder, our Head Golf Professional hat to rake up really huge amounts of sponsor money to pay for all the camerawork and filming and crews. We are talking six digit numbers here. But he pulled it through and earned a lot of respect for it.

I am happy, that all went so well. Spectator numers were larger than expected (although nowhere near American standards). But still – a couple of hundred people turned out each day. And they behaved – keeping distance and other hygiene measures. Same has to be said from the players.

They were a lovely crowd, I have to say. Young people displaying exemplary good behaviour. Of course, most of them are also part of their respective National Golf Teams, so they have to be. But still…

Esp. the French stood out: The leading World Amateur Girl Golfer (WAGR1) Pauline Roussin-Bouchard is of such a natural charme and exudes a radiant smile that is infectious. Her boyfriend Justine-Alexandre Sale, also teeing up for France, is a bit more on the quiet side, but also very nice. Pauline was obviously the odds-on favourite, but we also hoped for our own Polly Mack to maybe stand a chance on her home turf. She did not do so well, unfortunately. Maybe all the media bahoo and expectation of us all were too much pressure on the girl – she was not able to hold her score together. Also some of our young boys were qualified to compete. And one – David Rauch, was actually running third after two rounds Unfortunately, he blew it in round three. An excellent fourth round was not enough to catch up to the leading guys. But at least another German boy won: Fredrik Schott from Düsseldorf Golf Club. And I am so happy, that Pauline came in second and her also very charming team mate, Lucie Malchirand from Marseille won the event.

All the attention has done our place a world of good, I hope. Despite the golf business being such a local business, it is great to be on the map.

Lucie Malchirand and Frederik Schott – winners of the GTGA Invitational 2020 – picture by Tagesspiegel – Mike Wolff