Anyone who writes about a topic and operates a website on it should already be familiar with the subject matter - and ideally still have a pronounced passion for it. How else can you justify your desire to communicate with the world?
Kai is clearly responsible for the topic of golf. As a technician and non-golfer, I stand in the background and cultivate other passions. So I can take care of the website and don't have to reconsider my prejudices.
However, this ignorance would not be completely sincere in the long run. In addition, there was also a certain curiosity about this terrain. And so came what had to come: Today is my first time on the course!
The conditions are excellent: a weather like you rarely see in April, a beautiful 9-hole golf course for everyone and almost no traffic. In addition, my personal golf instructor Kai, who also provides all the material. Our house and yard photo pro Uwe takes the opportunity to document my dilettantish beginnings for the net.
Since I certainly don't plan to fall prey to the golf virus, I didn't invest anything in equipment. A comfortable pair of jeans will do (quel affront!) and white jogging shoes look similar enough to golf shoes and offer some support. Only a golf glove is needed. An investment, which is probably actually alternativlos.
To begin with, it's first off to the driving range, which offers an unusual scenario at this particular club with a lake as the target area for the practice strokes.
A brief introduction to the club position and off we go with the 7 iron, to which one supposedly builds up an intimate connection. The first contact between us, however, is a bit underwhelming. The first few strokes leave the ball completely untouched. Sporty movement in the fresh air takes place anyway. Eventually I do hit it, but sometimes too high, sometimes too low, sometimes to the left, sometimes to the right - but of course not in the way I wanted. As the ball basket empties, I even manage a tee shot that reaches the lake 20 meters away.
Now it's finally time to hit the course: 9 holes, eight par 3s, and a par 4 at the end. Of course, I tee off with the 7-iron, because I haven't tried anything else yet. Several air swings* later, the lift-off is successful, but once again it's played from the top; I don't want to ruin the expensive turf. After all, the ball bounces roughly from the tee towards the flag.
*Supposedly, these shots count for the scorecard, even if they don't touch the ball at all. Crazy idea. Well, golfers.
Little by little we approach the first target and suddenly new, different clubs have to be used. I guess you can't use the 7-iron for everything. A clear strategy by Big Golf to sell more equipment! But not with me. With mini golf (*flash! thunder!*) one is enough! I can also play the ball from above with a sand wedge, I won't be tricked that easily. I do, however, put up with the putter. The golf bag has to be good for something besides drinks.
The courses feel longer, even if the par number doesn't increase. Why? Well, a good reason to try out a new type of club: the hybrid! Whatever a hybrid is, I don't care. Important: it's bigger, so it's easier to hit the ball. Just what I need. Why am I only getting this now?? And it's true, at least for me as a complete beginner: I hit the ball reasonably well, the distance is greater than before, top.
Halfway through the course comes a highlight: the tee shot from hole 7 has to go directly over a lake. Here, no dachshund killers are possible. The first shot has to be right or the ball is lost and you have to play again with a penalty point. And - what can I say: my tee shot sits! It fulfills my complete checklist of wishes: very roughly in the direction of the flag and not into the water. Perfect.
By the way, this is where another club comes into play: the driver. Quite a behemoth compared to the previous cutlery. Again, the same impulse as with the hybrid: nice big face, long "shaft". It's a great way to give the ball a good acceleration without having to make a big effort. Proper "response" of the ball and a suitable swing provided, it actually fulfills this purpose. Super thing!
Of course, the choice of club overwhelms me, but that's why I have my caddy, sorry, my flight buddy Kai. He patiently answers my questions and hands me the right club. At the end of the day, I learn that we were actually on the road in this way highly illegal and collect a hefty fine per hole! Because: For the question for help there is just as 'nen penalty point as for the answer! Who thinks up something like that? Of course, the golfers.
The etiquette itself gives - as expected - cause for regular eye-rolling.
One rule that quickly becomes apparent, however, is the "Fore" shout. For whatever reason you stop in the middle of a word and don't finish shouting it, you probably run out of breath halfway through "Fore!!!" or it's too late anyway.
Anyway, Kai actually missed one and warned loudly accordingly. However, the ball landed in a small pond. No danger to other players. I just hope the fish ducked fast enough after the warning call!
Another time a foreign ball came up quite close to me. There I would have liked to have heard the "Fore" as a warning. But the other player - when confronted - was not aware of any fault, because the ball had landed on his fairway. Only I was standing too close to it. I probably would have had to yell something myself, because I had come too close to his fairway. I'm sure you learn these subtleties over the years.
Not all my clubs stayed on the fairway, many went happily beyond it. I guess I'll have to practice the shots from the vegetables (they call it "rough", I think) more often. Also, the narrow ridge between the air swing and the ground swing is a balancing act that I haven't mastered yet.
By the way, when putting, the golfer gets grumpy quite quickly, unyieldingly and repeatedly. At least if you're like me, always crisscrossing greens. Allegedly, I would have crossed some putting line and compacted the ground in the process. Impudence - I'm not that heavy at all. So much for golfers and their alleged etiquette!
Unexpectedly we came across a barbecue hut between hole 4 and hole 5, I was looking forward to a snack. But unfortunately it was only a rain shelter. What is the bell for? There can't be a local round here. I learn: the bell is only there to let the next team (called "flight") know that you are done with the course. Here, the view from the tee directly onto the green is blocked. So you are allowed - no - you are even supposed to ring the bell.
Faster than expected, my first round is over after 2 hours. I still have the energy and desire for more, but I can also warm up for a small lunch in the clubhouse.
After that, I'm freshly strengthened for the second round. I improve by a few points at the beginning and can already see a successful golf career in my mind's eye. But the final result shows that the results of the very first holes were simply subterranean due to the new arm extension (vulgo: club), which improved to acceptable normal-bad afterwards.
As you can see on the scorecard, we even forgot to note down the results on two courses. Poor Kai as the man at the pencil was probably so busy with all the questions that something slipped through his fingers.
If I had written down all the air swings, I would certainly have ended up with a three-digit result. But we "generously" left them out of the equation, and so the result was - as I was told - very acceptable. But how transparent is this maneuver? After all, one only wants to add another member to the sect, so easy flattery is of course cheap and right.
My conclusion: there is no need to be afraid or in awe of golf. "Sport" I still wouldn't call it, even though the sore muscles the next day convinced me that it no longer belongs in the same category as chess. It is rather a nice walk with a competitive element. Nice company and good weather provided, of course.
After all, I think this was not my last "walk with ball accompaniment". So on the wish list now is minimal equipment. Maybe I'll start with the shoes. There we have something in the store. With which I can finally go back to my very own terrain