The Sports Pundit, a long hitter, was aided by the terrible weather on the weekend, with high winds and prolonged rain, which made the course very difficult to play for nearly everyone, especially the shorter hitters. The photo below shows the 575-yard par 5 signature 17th hole at the GolfClub Cochem par 72 championship golf course:
A long and accurate tee shot has to carry a biotope ravine so deep that the fairway can only be reached by going around the biotope on a horseshoe path through woods to the left (that path is not visible in this photograph as taken from the GolfCochem.de website). There is an out-of-bounds to the left about 10 meters from the edge of the fairway, all the way down the fairway to the green, and deep impenetrable rough to the right. A gigantic fairway sand trap (bunker) to the right catches long drives that try to cut the corner too sharply. The fairway slopes uphill all the way to a large elevated green fronted by a sand trap and there is almost always a strong prevailing wind in the player's face, making this hole almost impossible to reach in two, even for the strongest players. The Sport Pundit birdied this hole during the tournament.
The rough can look like this (taken from the GolfCochem.de website):
The 27-hole Mosel Golf Club in Cochem opened nominally for play on October, 2006. This year, in 2008, the course is in good condition for championship play. Especially the greens are already in excellent shape, given their very young age.
The 18-hole par-72 championship Mosel Course as well as the 9-hole Eifel Course were designed by two of Germany's leading golf architects, Christoph Städler and Dirk Decker.
The photograph above is taken from the GolfCochem.de website and shows the green of the 166-yard par 3 11th hole, with the 160-yard par 3 9th hole in the background above it - both severely uphill.
That same hole 11 is shown in the photo below looking down from green to tee, but that is a different sand trap than the sand trap at the right front of the green in the first photo (one can, from the left, also see the 16th green, then part of the 10th green and then the 17th fairway):
Below, the Sport Pundit is shown in a photo (by Hoffman) hitting a sand shot:
The story was reported in the Rhein Zeitung (RZ-Online, 16 September, 2008) and the print version also carried a black-and-white photograph by Hoffman of all of the championship winners [update: that photo is now shown in full in the original color at the top of this page], of which we show only a large scan of yours truly (pardon the garb, which is a fleece jacket with a hood, but we had rain and wind, and we were pretty matted down at the end):