Forty years of dedication and passion went into this garden…
When I checked my emails recently and found an email by Porsche in my inbox I had to look twice. Would you like to go on a road trip with us and experience the new Porsche Cayenne S while stopping along the way from Leipzig to Amsterdam at some unique locations to play cross golf? I didn’t even have to think about it… Of course I want to join them on the road trip, I love road trips and then driving a Porsche (!) instead of my tiny, slow car- I mean hell yes. I would have probably even payed money for that experience. I checked if I was free on the dates they where organizing the driving event and luckily I was off work. It did mean though that after coming from my flight from Denver, I would need to fly directly to Leipzig the following day. But that was an easy sacrifice to make for this amazing opportunity. My little sister was also able to join on this trip and in fact it was the first time that we ever went on a trip together- just the two of us. Of course she does follow along on instagram and sees the trips I do through social media, but being part of it is a different story.
I mailed back right away and a few hours later, I received the booking confirmation for my flight to Leipzig. I was going on a road trip with Porsche. Definitely one of my highlights since I started blogging almost 5 years ago.
But what was cross golf actually I wondered? I think I heard about it before, but still needed to look it up on google. Cross golf is golf outside a regular golf course. You choose a location where you want to cross golf, select a target and simply start playing. No green fee or fancy equipment needed. Cross golfers play everywhere where it is permitted and they aren’t endangering people or traffic. The golf balls are slightly lighter and softer. Cross golf is relatively new, however they do have their first world cup happening in Paris soon. Cross golf doesn’t want to exclude anyone, it is for all genders, races and age and not an elite sport like regular golf.
It all did sound interesting, but since I never golfed before I was very curious how this was going to work out for me. However I am always interested in trying new things, so why not cross golf? I am open minded for new sports and have tried a fair share of sports in my youth from gymnastics, to baseball, squash… until I discovered my love for basketball and sticked with that for 8 years. Unfortunately with my job as a flight attendant it is almost impossible to do a group sport. So maybe cross golf is going to become a new hobby after this Cross Golf experience. Let’s try it out. Maybe I am even good at it. Who knows…
The evening before the road trip started I met my sister in the hotel in Leipzig. I have never been to Leipzig before and actually wanted to take an early afternoon flight but due to bad weather I missed my connection and arrived late at night. So no time to discover Leipzig on this trip- definitely need to go back soon though.
Day 1 of the roadtrip: Leipzig to Hannover- Off road driving at Porsche Leibzig and playing Cross Golf Castle Wernigerode
Early in the morning we got together for the first time as a group. The next following days we were going together on this road trip with Porsche and competing against each other playing cross golf. The group was small with a nice mix of golfers, influencers, photographers and the Porsche marketing team. I was the only girl and a bit worried at first if I am going to fit in or whether I will be surrounded by car and golf experts for the next couple of days. However all my worries where resolved when I met the group, this will be a fun couple of days filled with adventure and new experiences.
First stop of our tour was the Porsche Leipzig Center. When we checked out of the hotel we already got handed to keys for „our“ cars. A brand new Porsche Cayenne S, a a mid-size luxury crossover sport utility vehicle. The first-generation Porsche Cayenne was produced from 2003 to 2010. A plethora of notable changes came in 2015: The V8 in the Cayenne S was replaced by a turbocharged V6, the Hybrid was replaced by a plug-in hybrid, and the Cayenne Turbo got a 20-horsepower boost. The suspension was also retuned for better ride comfort. The Turbo S and GTS took a year off, returning in 2016 with more power.
I was a bit scared at first to drive the car to be honest. To my luck it is a fully automatic car with a lot of nice extras that make driving more easy like a back camera etc. I was simply a bit worried at first to crash the car. After that initial fear past, I was actually falling in love with the car and this completely new driving experience. I was used to drive basic cars that would get me from a to b, but the journey in itself was more of a necessity and never fun. Driving the Porsche Cayenne S however was a completely different league. I would actually be sad when arriving at the destination because driving this car was so, so much fun. Comfortable and thrilling. The German motorway got a completely new meaning for you when you can really test out how much power this car with 440 PS has. Speeding up to 100 km/h only takes 10 s and driving 240 km/h still feels extremely safe and is easy to reach with this kind of car.
The Porsche Center in Leipzig is one of their main production sites and an experience in itself. Along with a small museum, they have their own race track where you can really test out the full potential of those cars and an off road track that allows you to test the car in difficult conditions. Together with a former race driver we went out on the off road tracks, through a radio we received instructions what we where supposed to do and what kind of settings we needed to select for different kinds of surfaces. I always thought Porsche was simply a luxurious car brand that was all about great design and fast cars, functionality however seemed more of a minor thing to me. However the Porsche Cayenne despite its lavish design, is actually made for off roads and the outdoors and we where going to test it out on a former military practicing site. Driving up a steep hill of 35 degrees- no problem for that car, driving through a river- easy, steep curves or different surfaces- not a problem at all. At the beginning I was once again a bit scared, but soon gained trust in the Prosche Cayenne S and its abilities, got more confident driving it and actually was thrilled to test what it can do.
After our driving experiences we had some BBQ at the driving site and got to know the other members of the road trip a bit better. Afterwards it was time for our first cross golf lesson together with the vice-European champion in cross golf Claudio Orlik.
We got some golf sticks and a little piece of „grass“ to put the ball on. Claudio explained us the basic rules and how to hold the golf stick and how to hit the ball. I tell you, it does look easy, however it is really difficult and took me numerous tries until I actually managed to hit the ball and not only the grass.
This was just our first trial, the next stop on this roadtrip was going to be our first cross golf location, where it was getting serious.
We got back into our cars and to our surprise the Porsche Marketing team equipped us with some nice road trip snacks and drinks. So let’s start hitting the road. This was actually our first part of the road trip where we where driving a longer distance with the Porsche Cayenne S. Of course the car has its own board computer where you can select your route, change the settings of your car for example to sport or off road mode, connect your phone or simply listen to a song on the radio.
The longer I drove the car, the more confident I got and actually was brave enough to see how fast I can go. To see the car speed up in just a few seconds was a thrilling and unknown experience for me and to be honest despite my heart beating super fast, a hell lot of fun.
We arrived at Castle Wernigerode, our first stop to try out cross golfing. It is a beautiful location and if you are in the Harz area I can only recommend you to visit this place. A really fairytale like location. We parked the car and got instructions from our European cross golf champion,
Our targets where the castle wall, the fountain and a sign in the castle’s courtyard. I was in a team together with one of the professional golfers and while he was able to give me some good tips, it was still a bit disappointing to see him hit the targets with only one trial, while I needed at least 5 times. But let’s not forget this was my first time playing golf and I had to google what Cross Golf actually is the day before. When I managed to hit the last target with less attempts then him I was actually celebrating myself like I was the new Tiger Woods… haha sorry about that…., but I just got a little bit too exited at last.
Day 2: From Hannover to Möchengladbach with a stop at Expo Hannover and Halde Hoheward
After a lovely breakfast we started the second day of the road tip. Our first stop was the Expo,where we where going to continue our cross golf competition. Our first stop was the Expowhale close-by to Hannover. We had some challenging targets and got a new team to play with. It was a challenging but fun experience and thanks to some tips I actually managed to improve my golfing skills and hit the targets sooner. I might have cheated a little bit by saying the wrong number, but shhhhhh… just kidding 😉 or am I not?
My highlight was to shoot the ball as far as possible in the lake at the EXPO. The ball was actually biodegradable and filled with food for the fishes. Super cool, however I didn’t really success in hitting it far.
Next stop was the incredibly beautiful sight Halde Hohenward close-by to Mönchengladbach where we played some more cross golf and saw the sunset. A Porsche Cayenne S as a golf cart- you can call me fancy 😉
After some nice food at our hotel, our cross golf experience continued with some glow in the dark golf balls at night. Together with a beer crate we walked around and tried to hit the targets, maybe not entirely sober.
Day 3: From Mönchengladbach to Amsterdam with a stop at Zaanse Schans:
The last day of our road trip and unfortunately also the last day of driving the amazing Porsche Cayenne S started. Unfortunately I had to return the keys of “my car” back to the Porsche team at the end of this road trip ;(
We were going to drive from Möchengladbach to Zaanse Schans close by to Amsterdam. A journey of roundabout 2.5 hours. Zaanse Schans is popular among tourist as it is close by to Amsterdam and you can see a „typical Dutch village“ with windmills, cute houses, cows and sheeps. Of course there is a museum how to make cheese, pottery, chocolate, stroppwaffels etc. We had a really nice lunch at Restaurant d’ Swarte Walvis, if you are in that area I can definitely recommend you to stop by for food or some drinks and started our last round of cross golf. Zaanse Schans is a bit of a cliché wharf foreigners think Dutch culture is, however it is pretty and worth a visit.
In fact in the two years that I have lived in the Netherlands, I have never visited and Zaanse Schans is probably 45minutes away from where I live in Rotterdam. Still more to explore in my new home country. After our last cross golf tournament and a last photo session it was time to return the cars at the airport in Amsterdam Shipol. While my sister was driving the car, I actually already got ready for my next on duty flight Rio de Janeiro. And then it the moment already came, we unfortunately had to return the keys. You say what, they don’t let me keep it? And also say goodbye to the group as we were flying to different destinations.
I can not thank the Porsche team and all the participants of this Porsche Cross drive enough for this amazing experience and actually trusting me driving this rather expensive car despite my history of unfortunate car accident 😉 I might have not mentioned that prior to the trip, but thanks anyway for trusting me to drive this incredible car.
To see a short video of our Porsche Cross Drive experience and some more information, click here: https://newsroom.porsche.com/de/sport-lifestyle/porsche-cayenne-s-crossgolf-outlaw-golf-sport-golfkart-claudio-orlik-crossdrive-roadtrip-16068.html.
Otherwise I can totally recommend you to try out cross golfing, I definitely got a new hobby and will try to play it again regularly in Utrecht, Netherlands or while flying around the globe- because in fact all you need is a golf ball, a golf club and a target and you are ready to go… Hole in One! It was a fun experience playing cross golf at all the different awesome destinations.
I can not thank the Porsche Team enough for inviting me on this trip and I certainly wouldn’t mind to join you again. In fact I am even more keen to drive the 911 or the Panamera after this trip and also a big thanks to all the participants that I got to meet for a fun couple of days.
Traveler’s Little Treasures was invited on behalf of Porsche, however, my opinion remains my own.