It was the third round of the 2017 Porsche European Open when Marcel Siem produced one of the highlights of the tournament’s history. On the 17th hole of the Porsche Nord Course at the Green Eagle Golf Courses complex near Hamburg, he sunk his tee shot from a distance of 156 metres – earning himself a spectacular prize on the par 3 hole: a Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo.
“That today was my third hole-in-one on the European Tour,” said Siem afterwards. “Once there was a handshake, once there was a bottle of Champagne – and now finally something decent.” It was the fitting crowning glory for the German, who celebrated his 400th tour appearance at the Porsche European Open. After his ace, Siem received a symbolic oversized key for the 550 PS Porsche – which appropriately has space for several golf bags – from Oliver Eidam, head of Brand Partnerships and Sponsoring at Porsche AG.
Such fortune has failed to shine on the many other golfers during the last five years of the Porsche European Open, despite their fame and talent. Martin Kaymer, Patrick Reed, Charl Schwartzel, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau or Paul Casey – they have all missed out on an ace at the right hole.
2015 – a double premiere
In the first year of the Porsche European Open in Bad Griesbach, the Dane Lasse Jensen managed a hole-in-one, but it came on the second hole. It was a reason to be pleased even though there was no Porsche as the prize.
Had he achieved the feat on the 17th hole, he would have walked away with a 911 Carrera Cabriolet in Graphite Blue Metallic with twin turbo charging (370 PS), fresh from its launch at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt (IAA) the week before. That year marked the first time in the history of the European Tour that a Porsche would be up for grabs as the hole-in-one prize. “My fellow players have already been taking the mickey out of me,” said Jensen afterwards, “because I’ve done it yet again on the wrong hole.”
The title sponsor nevertheless still wanted to recognise the achievement: Jensen went home with a two-wheeled Porsche – a high-tech Porsche Bike RX with carbon frame and hydraulic disc brakes from the Porsche Driver’s Selection programme. “It’s very nice of Porsche,” said the golfer at the time. “I live in Copenhagen where cycling is popular. I’ll definitely be using it.”
2016 – a chance for spectators
The highlight the following year was the new Porsche Panamera 4S with its new Porsche Advanced Cockpit, trendsetting display and operating concept. Not only could the luxury sports saloon be seen up-close a week before the official presentation at the Paris Auto Salon, but the Panamera 4S was up for grabs on the 17th hole: a prize that could be won by both the world class golfers and spectators.
For the 2016 competition, the first pro to hit an ace during the Porsche European Open would go home with the keys, while the Porsche Public Hole-in-One competition gave every spectator over the age of 18 the same opportunity, with an evening shoot-out offering the same, beautiful prize.
But there were to be no aces in 2016 – at least not on the “right” hole. When Welshman Phillip Price sunk his tee shot on the 14th hole of the Beckenbauer Course in Bad Griesbach, he didn’t go unrewarded, though. The stunning shot earned him the highlight of the “Chronotimer Collection” from Porsche Design: a “Chronotimer Series 1 Deep Blue”.
2018 – not every dream comes true
After the big celebrations in 2017 for Marcel Siem and his new Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo, things remained quieter in 2018. Neither pros nor spectators came close to driving off with the prize on the Porsche Nord Course’s 17th hole – which this time around was a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The athletes therefore missed the chance to live up to the motto of the tournament at the time: “There’s a place where big dreams can come true”.
The 550 PS Cayenne (Cayenne Turbo: Fuel consumption combined 11.4 – 11.3 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 261 – 258 g/km (as of 09/2020)) was considered at the time to be the sportiest representative in the SUV segment – and the first sports car for up to four passengers. Thanks to the innovative lightweight chassis and the all-wheel drive that comes as standard, it combines the dynamism of sports car with the comfort of an executive saloon with full off-road competency. No wonder, then, that players often had a look of deep regret when their tee shots on the 17th fell short.
2019 – an electric athlete becomes the main attraction
The last hole-in-one car to-date caused quite a stir. Shortly after its world premiere, the brand new Taycan made its debut before the general public during tournament week. Perhaps it was down to the pros not always being fully focussed when passing the special sports car, but no golfer would hit the shot that would earn them the prize of the all-electric Porsche.
“We golfers should always concentrate on the next shot, but the Taycan did actually distract me. It looks really good, I’d love to have one,” said US star Xander Schauffele. And the Englishman Paul Casey, a Porsche fan and the eventual winner of the tournament, added “I’m very impressed by the new Taycan. I really like its look. The colour is pretty cool, the wheels are good looking. And of course, I look at the car from the point of view of a father, too – there’s ample space for my two children in the back seats. It’s pretty impressive.”
With a Porsche present to turn the heads of the golfers on the tee, the number of happy hole-in-one hitters since 2015 remains at one.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Porsche European Open will unfortunately not be held on the Porsche Nord Course belonging to the Green Eagle Golf Courses near Hamburg from 3 - 6 September. During the week, we will instead remember some of the key events and people from the long-standing tournament’s history.