by Edward Kiersh
Forget all the hocus pocus remedies about overcoming this malady. There is a cure—and it’s not found in pills, sleeping strategies, or the “Jet Lag Rooster” app.
If flying to dynamic Frankfurt, Germany, the gateway to Reislingland, charming Heidelberg and the Black Forest, wonder-working renewal comes in a curious mixture. Part John F. Kennedy at his boyish, flamboyant best; a sun-soaked, hotel atrium where relaxation means watching blond-haired frauleins; and a golf course where it’s easy to unwind.
Only 15 minutes from the clamorous airport, the Frankfurter Golf Club offers the perfect parkland course to get back into the swing of your natural rhythms.
Founded in 1913, and a genteel bastion in a city known for its energetic financial scene, the course has challenged the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer.
These legendary figures were tested right from the start, as the first two holes are narrow 400 yard-plus par 4s that are heavily bunkered and terraced with several elevation changes. Don’t stray right or left. Thickly wooded slopes spell instant doom!
The par 5 5th, a 538-yard dogleg right, is equally treacherous. Its’ menacingly-placed fairway bunkers gobble up even the best of drives, and the elevation changes force blind shots to a small, devilishly-placed green that sits alongside a canopy of unforgiving trees.
Presenting an even greater blitzkrieg of trouble, the uphill 417-yard 8th and 430-yard 9th are not just lengthy tests of precise tee shots that must skirt numerous bunkers. They demand deft approach shots, as both greens are severely contoured, and are tucked precariously close to overhanging trees.
Though the Frankfurter Golf Club is located in the city’s tranquil “green zone” known for its gardens, walking and horse trails, the back 9 offers more duels fraught with trouble.
Particularly demanding, the 399-yard par 4 12th winds tightly through several clusters of trees and forces a blind, uphill shot to a tiered-green flanked by three huge bunkers.
The 15th, 17th and 18th, three holes with numerous bunkers, dramatic elevation changes, and sharply-inlined slopes that punish even the best of drives, conjure up images of relief—a few iconic German beers in the elegant, very hushed clubhouse (the photos of all the great golfers that have strolled through here are well worth a visit).
But if other pleasures are a priority, the luxurious, 1901-built yet totally contemporary Villa Kennedy hotel, with its’ calming garden and 4-level spa, makes all bad golf shots a distant memory.
Here the walls are lined with whimsical, colorfully-hued photos of a frolicking John Kennedy, neatly juxtaposed alongside a sexy, bounteous Marilyn Monroe—and further emphasizing their jaunty revelry, the Villa’s bar is just the place to let fantasies run wild.
If those racy images of Marilyn and the Villa’s nightlife buzz haven’t alleviated that jet lag, there’s always sleep. The sumptuous accommodations here, especially the deluxe suites overlooking the lush gardens, will only lead to one good ending.
Either another round of golf, this time at Frankfurt’s other jewel in the woods, the Golf-Und Land Club Kronberg.
Or just enough rest to tackle the Autobahn, and to head for wondrous parts unknown.
Golf and travel writer Edward Kiersh has written for such publications as Golf Digest, The Robb Report, SPIN Magazine, and Cigar Aficionado where he wrote about resorts and golf course designers. He also wrote a golf feature for the New York Times Sunday Magazine section, and a best-selling baseball book, ‘Where Have You Gone, Vince DiMaggio?’
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