Bad Godesberg Whilst other people are preparing for Easter, the Trimborn family’s spring clean begins at their miniature golf course in the Marienforster Tal. Play has been possible again since 10 March. There are also new plans for the course in the Rheinaue park.
When the pandemic started, the mini-golf course also had to close its doors in March 2020. Once more was known about transmission, however, manager Alfred Trimborn was quickly able to reopen. During the traditional winter break, he had already prepared the holes for new games at the beginning of March.
“The groups here are spread over 4,000 square metres of space,” explains the pensioner. The rented equipment is disinfected after every game, and the sanitary facilities every two hours. Groups must keep a distance of five metres from one other. Within the groups, people from two different households are allowed to play at a distance. “Always adapted to the respective regulation,” Trimborn explains. The small restaurant at the golf course is not allowed to open, he says, but ice cream and coffee in the fresh air can certainly be offered to visitors. The visits can be traced using the entries in the obligatory visitor lists. The authorities have not yet made any enquiries to the family business. Trimborn interprets this as a sign that the precautionary measures are working well.
Repairs can take up to a week per hole
Each season, the wind, weather and heavy use leave their mark on the surfaces of the course and some of the obstacles, so Trimborn renovates some of the 18 holes and many obstacle details every year during the winter break. Depending on the course design and the pending repairs, the 70-year-old can work for four to seven days on one hole. “Sanding, filling, priming, actually hundreds of manual operations,” the former civil servant describes the work involved. Visitors usually notice the final painting of the course holes first, but “that is the minimal effort,” says Trimborn. On average, he prepares each hole like this for the next season of play every two to three years. Since 10 March, the first players have been enjoying the start of the season on the 18-hole course.
His daughter Meike Krott also works at the course. “We are lucky with our business,” she says. Unlike others, the business has only ever had to close briefly, she explains. In the last lockdown, the closures mostly coincided with the winter break. “We are pleased to offer people here a bit of distraction from their worries," says Trimborn. The regulars were particularly relieved when the doors opened again after the winter. After all, the course, which in 2021 has been in existence for 65 years, is widely known among mini-golfers. “The West German Championships have taken place here," says the operator.
Rheinaue mini-golf course to be completely overhauled
There is much more work to be done at the miniature golf course in the Rheinaue. Together with his operator, tenant Dirk Dötsch has big plans. “The course and the holes were getting outdated, so we decided to upgrade and overhaul the entire facility,” explains Dötsch upon request. A mini-golf course will be set up again, but more in the direction of an “adventure mini-golf”. “Here the landscape is the course, and the obstacles are integrated,” explains the tenant, who also runs the Rheinaue park restaurant. It will remain the same size, as this is dictated by the fence. It is only a matter of modernisation. “Actually, we wanted to be ready for operation by early summer,” says Dötsch. However, it could be delayed, as there are a lot of requirements to be met and a building application might have to be made for the flooring. The golf course will be transformed in close consultation with the Office for the Environment and Urban Greenery and the Heritage Protection Authority of the District Government in Cologne. This is because the entire Rheinaue park has been under heritage protection since December 2017. The capital investments are made by the operator.
The mini-golf course is located at Marienforster Promenade 1. It is currently open from 1pm to dusk Monday to Friday, and from 10am at weekends. During the Easter holidays, games can be played daily from 10 am to 8 pm.
(Original text: Petra Reuter and Silke Elbern, Translation: Caroline Kusch)