The golf license has been passed, the membership has been completed, and the DGV card has arrived. Now nothing stands in the way of my golf career. With all my freshly acquired knowledge and skills (a big word for my bungling on the course), I wanted to quickly improve the club target of 54, which is not officially called a "handicap" until 36. Easier said than done.
I soon realized: golf is like driving a car. You may have the permit in your pocket, but you can't really speak of skill yet. Especially since I had to realize that my strokes were much better before the golf course than now, with the certificate in my pocket.
What did Nick the Pro teach me there? Could that be right? Nothing worked anymore. I had to start all over again. It was a tough start. Fortunately, a colleague who had taken the course with me had caught fire for the sport as much as I had.
So we quickly agreed that in the future we would go out on the course together whenever the opportunity arose. That makes it easier, at least in the mind. You're not alone on the course or on the driving range, where you quickly get the feeling that you're being ridiculed by the others.
And I was soon able to learn that there are certainly also people in golf who have little understanding for beginners, who really show malice for the failed attempts to hit the ball reasonably far and just as straight.
But most of them are different. Much like motorcyclists who greet each other when they meet on the road, golfers display a sense of community. This starts with the friendly greeting on the club grounds and doesn't stop with the first-name salutation. Unfamiliar, but not unpleasant.
I am actually a rather shy type and tend to avoid playing with strangers. But when it somehow happens that I go out on the course with people I have never met before, I am always pleasantly surprised - even today - by their friendliness and willingness to help.
I often get a pep talk when I miss another shot. Anyone who plays the sport confidently and with pleasure (which one should assume) remembers his own first attempts at walking from hole to hole in such situations. And everyone has to admit to himself that he, too, did not fall from the sky as a master.
And so flight partners practice patience when the beginner slows down the game a bit and things don't progress as quickly as originally planned. It takes time if you don't play the course with straight and long strokes, but instead move the ball from left to right and back to left, because you don't have it yet.
That's why there are so many tips for me, the rookie, from others. Even today, a good ten years after my golf license, I had to take a break for a good five years for various reasons. It wasn't until the season before last that I had the time and leisure to take to the course with the silverware again.
And in the meantime I'm enjoying being part of it. And this good feeling has nothing to do with elitism. Rather, it is the knowledge of being among equals. Hierarchies, often as unavoidable as they are sometimes unpleasant in everyday life, are non-existent on the fairway.
Whether it's a "Mr. Doctor" or a "Ms. Garbage Disposal" (I know examples from both areas) who goes out for a round, it doesn't matter. The common goal of getting the ball into the hole with as few clubs as possible unites the golfers, regardless of whether they have arrived in a luxury car or a small car.
Since my new start two years ago, I have been trying to get to the driving range at least twice a month and then go for a round. On average, that works, but it's not enough to see significant improvements in my game.
It's also due to my impatience. I admit it: I hardly warm up on the range, hit the first balls quickly, but at the beginning with slowed down power. In general, I spend too little time on the practice area and too much time on the course itself. This is in contrast to my initial idea of playing down the club target as quickly as possible.
It's true that I'm no longer standing at the club with the 54, the handicap that everyone receives with their golf license. I have three points less. So on the card is a 51, which I was able to achieve by playing an EDS round. With EDS rounds, you go around with a second player who counts, writes down and certifies with signature the score, which is then submitted to the club and verified.
But even though I would still like to reach 36, because on more and more courses you are only allowed to be a guest player with it, I no longer see it as doggedly and seriously as I did years ago.
For me, it is important to have fun and enjoyment on the round, to forget everyday life and to talk shop with my golf partner, but also to joke around. That is worth more to me than the target number on the club card.
Nevertheless, I want to get better. And there's one thing that helps above all else: you should get training from a pro. So a few lessons should be booked so that swing errors can be recognized and eradicated. So that the foundation is renewed, on the basis of which one's own game can then develop and improve.
And then all that remains is: practice, practice, practice.
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