The practical round of the golf license exam is almost complete. It didn't go well, but not so badly that I had to set myself up for a repetition. Now I'm standing on the last green, with exactly one stroke left to pass the golf exam. The upcoming putt is not impossible, but also not easy to make. Full concentration is now the order of the day.
I'm sweating. Amazing, because it's still not really warm on this spring day. But also not amazing, because the mental pressure is enormous right now. The putt has to be sunk, if I don't manage that, I won't be allowed to hold the longed-for certificate in my hands today.
Of course, if I fail, there is the possibility of "cheating away" the theoretical excess stroke. If I need more than allowed, I don't have to write it down. I am quite sure that some people will do it this way today, because we are not really monitored closely.
But I don't want to start my "golf career", should it really become one, with a lie. That's why I don't want to get into the situation of having to think about whether I'm being honest or not. So: in with the putt, that's what I think and wish.
I am still standing on the green, trying to collect my thoughts. I address the ball, look to the hole, again to the ball, again to the hole. I take another step back to briefly practice the pendulum motion from my shoulders again. Back and forth, the club swings like the perpendicular of a grandfather clock.
Now it's time. I step to the ball. Addressed - and off it goes. It runs towards the hole, bounces a little over a bump in the turf, a brief moment of shock and: sunk! I've done it. Spot landing. Exactly the maximum number of strokes I was allowed to have. I refrain from shouting out my joy because of etiquette. But a Becker fist is allowed and must be. Now first a drink in the clubhouse, before it goes in the group to the theory examination.
By the way, the rules test is not only very humane, but also based on real life. Means: also on the place may be spoken about rules, so also now. In addition, the rule book may be used.
There is a catalog of 30 questions to answer, 15 of which deal with the rules of golf, 12 with golf etiquette and 3 with golf in general. We have 30 minutes for this. No witchcraft, we quickly discover, discussing one situation or another in order to be able to resolve it according to the rules. But most of the questions are easy to answer without help.
For example, we need to know what is meant by "handicap" or "pitch fork," how one should behave during a thunderstorm, how long a ball may be searched for in the rough, or even what happens if I hit the flag with a ball played from the green.
We have to explain what the red stakes on the course mean or how to behave if the ball is accidentally knocked off the tee while addressing it.
Finally, we are asked whether foliage may be removed from the green, the maximum number of players in a playing group, a flight, and the maximum number of clubs in one's bag.
After a short tension of all participants at the beginning, relaxation soon spreads. As Nick told us in advance, no one is likely to fail this test. And we quickly realize that. It is to be created, the practice was for most the clearly higher hurdle.
Finally, after a quick review of the exam sheets by Nick, almost all participants could receive their golf license certificate. Only one did not. He had taken two too many strokes in the practical test and had noted them down truthfully.
And although some shook their heads on this occasion, there was only one thing left for me to say: Respect for so much honesty. I don't know if I would have had the courage to do so.
By the way: After an additional practice lesson with Nick, this golfer also received his certificate a few days later. He did not have to repeat the entire exam. The additional money for the trainer lesson was certainly well invested and didn't make a big hole in his wallet.
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