50th German Cobigolf Championship in Essen-Stoppenberg
26 Aug 2012 at 02:25 | Published by: mindthegap | Views: 15199 | News search
Dustin Raffler and Gerno Grapengeter (Photo by Karsten Hein)
The 50th German Cobigolf Championship took place in Essen from the 16th to 18th of August. Essen has got two Cobigolf courses, in the districts Vogelheim and Stoppenberg, each with a club. The Championship was held on the course in Stoppenberg, located at the edge of a park. In contrast to the Championships in July the weather was very nice this time. No rain and quite warm, temperatures up to more than 30 degrees. As there are lots of trees on the course you could almost always hide in the shadow, so the weather conditions were quite comfortable.
If you want to learn more about Cobigolf, a special minigolf system in Germany, please follow the link to last year's championship with more detailed information about the system:
The Championship was very well organized. The course owner Hans-Jürgen Walther and his helpers spent hundreds of hours to prepare the course and make everything as comfortable as possible for the participants. The catering was also very good. Willi Hettrich, responsible for public relations in the North Rhine-Westphalian minigolf federation, together with Lothar Homey from the club Essen-Vogelheim did a great job to promote the tournament and publish news letters every day. On the first day a WDR TV team was on the course filming for a short report (follow the link below).
On the bottom left of the photo you can see the painting from the tunnel lane (lane 9) which was created especially for the championship and depicts the "Zeche Zollverein" in Essen, a former coal mine, now belonging to the world cultural heritage. On the bottom right you see the poster advertising the championship, which is a copy of a painting by Sigrid Eilert (a participant of the championship). On the top left you see Dustin Raffler, the winner in the men's category, and on the top right Gerno Grapengeter, the winner in the senior men's category.
Even if it was a relatively small group of minigolfers playing the championship, there were some excellent sports performances and outstanding, actually unbelievable scores.
Samir Barke from Essen-Vogelheim won the male kids category with 316 (ø 31.6) followed by Jan van Eickelen from Essen-Stoppenberg with 337 (ø 33.7) and Fabian Gregorszewski from Hamm with 357 (ø 35.7) who came 3rd.
The junior boys category was won by Jeremy Reinhardt from Essen-Vogelheim with an excellent total of 281 (ø 28.1) in front of Phillipp Lange from Castrop with 292 (ø 29.2).
The only senior women II, Ingeborg Schmitz from Essen-Stoppenberg, played 298 (ø 33.1).
Just to mention that, the senior II category in Germany are the senior players aged from 58 on.
The fight in the senior mens II category was more exciting. Klaus Mildenberger from Grötzingen was the leader at the beginning. After 4 rounds Winfried Lüttenberg from Witten took the lead to lose it again after round 7, but in the 9th round he won it back and kept it in the final round. So he was the champion with 281 (ø 28.1). With a strong 24 in round 9 Wolfgang Schlenstedt from Grötzingen tried to take away the 2nd place from his club mate, but Klaus could defend it in the final round and came 2nd with 283 (ø 28.3). So Wolfgang Schlenstedt ended up on the 3rd place with 285 (28.5).
Things were more clear in the Senior women's category as the favourite Heike Spiekermann from Essen-Vogelheim fulfilled the expectations and won in a convincing manner with 303 (ø 30.3). After winning 4 shots in the 9th round, Karin Exner from Bergisch Land was keen on winning another 2 shots in the final round to conquer the 2nd place, but Dorothea Preuß from Hamm defended the 2nd place with 321 (ø 32.1) and Karin Exner came 3rd with 324 (ø 32.4).
The most exciting fight for the champion happened in the Senior men's category. With an outstanding new course record of 22 in round 3, Gerno Grapengeter from Bergisch Land set himself on the top. But in the next round he lost the lead against Willi Hettrich from Castrop and couldn't win it back. With a lead of 5 shots for Willi they started the final round. Things didn't work out for Willi, so Gerno caught up to him shot by shot and equalized at the hammer lane (lane 12). At the end they were equal and the champion had to be decided in a sudden-death play-off. Willi started with a two on the first lane but Gerno made an ace and was happy to win the Cobigolf Championship with 275 (ø 27.5) for the first time after ending up on a 2nd place so many times. Karsten Hein from Bergisch Land started very badly, but from round 4 on he won place by place. Being on the 4th place after 8 rounds he conquered the 3rd place and the entry ticket for the final round with a 25 in the 9th round, after a hard fight against Ralf Schmidt-Hess from Grötzingen, who even was in front of Karsten for a short time in that round. So Karsten ended up on the 3rd place with 285 (ø 28.5).
The result of the ladies category was again clear. The favourite Stefanie Tomkowitz from Baltrum won in an absolutely convincing manner with 285 (ø 28.5). Claudia Unterleitner from Illertal came 2nd with 316 (ø 31.6), followed by Melanie Faros from Baltrum with 318 (ø 31.8).
The men's category brought the best performance of all. One of the favourites, Sebastian "Brezel" Heine from Wesel reached the 2nd place with 265 (ø 26.5), an excellent result on this course, followed by Andreas Grzeski from Bergisch Land only one shot behind. They were very close together from the 3rd round on. Sometimes Andreas was in lead, but lost the lead after few rounds. He could catch up to Brezel but couldn't equalize, so ended up on the 3rd place. Dustin Raffler from Essen-Vogelheim was also seen as one of the favourites, but most of the participants thought that Brezel would win again. But with 3 marvellous starting rounds of 24 - 23 - 24 he set himself on the top and never lost the lead. With two scores of 22 (equalized course record by Gerno) in rounds 5 and 10 he actually increased the lead. With an unbelievable total of 249 (ø 24.9) he won the championship in an absolutely convincing manner from the start. Half of his scores were below 25, which are rarely played scores on that course. As I know this course very well I must admit that I think that even the Erlbruch brothers might not be able to play much better on that course. Maybe the Bundesliga stars will have the chance to prove the opposite as the club Essen-Stoppenberg already had an enquiry from the Bundesliga to hold a league match there.
The men's teams were dominated by Essen-Vogelheim with Dustin Raffler as their top player. They were in lead from the beginning on. Wesel started a catch-up race from round 6 on but couldn't catch up. They reduced the lead of Vogelheim from 33 to 9 shots. So Essen-Vogelheim won with 991 (ø 27.5). The fight for the 2nd place was more interesting. Wesel was on the 2nd place after the 1st round, but from round 2 to 7 Bergisch Land kept the 2nd place and were 1 shot ahead after round 7. Bergisch Land then lost 7 shots on Wesel in round 8 and couldn't win them back in the last team round. So Wesel came 2nd with 1000 (ø 27.8), only 2 shots ahead of Bergisch Land.
The senior's teams Grötzingen and Bergisch Land fighted for the champion in their category. After being equal after round 2, with a marvellous team round of 75 (ø 25.0) Bergisch Land won 21 shots on Grötzingen. The Bergisch Land team may have felt save with that comfortable lead, but Grötzingen came closer and closer from round to round. In round 8 the lead changed to Grötzingen and they even increased it in the last team round. So Grötzingen won with 771 (ø 28.6) followed by Bergisch Land with 780 (ø 28.9). Hamm came 3rd with 809 (ø 30.0).
The Championship was finished at the closing ceremony at a nice brewery in Essen-Borbeck, the Dampfbierbrauerei, on Saturday evening.
Links to results, reports, photos and a TV broadcast, all in German language:
»TV broadcast WDR Lokalzeit Ruhr
»Newspaper article NRZ (Neue Ruhr Zeitung)
»Photos of the course (Start the diashow!)
»Introductory press release by Willi Hettrich
»Preliminary report by Willi Hettrich
»DM newspaper release 1 by Willi Hettrich
»DM newspaper release 2 by Willi Hettrich
»DM newspaper release 3 by Willi Hettrich
»DM newspaper release 4 by Willi Hettrich
»DM newspaper release 5 by Willi Hettrich
»DM newspaper release 7 by Willi Hettrich
»DM newspaper release 8 by Willi Hettrich
»Final review by Willi Hettrich
»Photos from the Championship
»Photos from the presentation ceremony on the course