Oct 25, 2017 - Marianne Blomberg for SoGerman
The World Junior Girls Championship of Golf brought 60 of the top 18-and-under female golfers from 19 countries to the Canadian capital in September. We’ve met with the German team in Ottawa and had to throw overboard all of our golf stereotypes immediately. The three down-to-earth ladies told us about what it takes to be a professional golfer.
Thinking about golf, the first thing that comes to mind is the cliché of a rich, old, chubby man. Your team doesn’t fit into this cliché at all. How did you get involved with playing golf?
All of us found their passion for golf through our parents. Most of us just tagged along out on the court and tried it, even at home with plastic golf clubs. As a child you learn very fast and we had a lot of fun playing golf. All of this is very motivating to continue training.
How did the tournament go for you?
The tournament went really well for us! We are very content with being ranked as the sixth team and we all achieved very good individual ranks. Our strong point was that everyone played constantly very well.
Are you regularly on the road as a team? Where do you usually play?
Yes, we’re on the road a lot. During the winter we often train abroad or in St. Leon-Rot, South Germany, where the central training center of the German Golf Association is located. Starting January, we’ll have our first tournaments of the season in the south of Europe and in April the German season will finally start. We all play a lot in Europe – this year for example in Portugal, Spain, France, Scotland, Ireland, Finland or Sweden – but usually not outside of Europe. The tournaments we usually go to are individual tournaments, but we still travel as a squad, also because there are additional team-tournaments between the countries. Of course there are also tournaments that are designed as team-tournaments, like the team European Junior Girls Championship or the World Junior Girls Championship here in Ottawa, to which we all travelled together as a group.
Do you hang out privately as well or is it mainly a professional bond?
We all get along very well and since we spend so much time together, sometimes even more than with our families or friends at home, we’ve developed very good friendships.
How were you chosen to play for the German team?
We were chosen by our rankings in two different lists: the German youth ranking and the world ranking.
Did you have the opportunity of getting to know the other teams? If so, how was it?
Contact to the other teams differed. We know the Europeans from other tournaments and so we tend to know them better than others. Some really good friendships between the teams have developed. But even teams that hadn’t known each other before get along very well. We always play in mixed flights of three, a group consisting of three players, and that way get to know each other a lot better. In this tournament we got to play with people from Sweden, Korea, England and the United States.
What did your typical day here look like?
We always started between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. To have enough preparation time for the daily tournaments, we had to get up around 6:30 a.m. We usually played until 2 p.m. and then we had lunch. In the afternoon, we had time to practise to be best prepared for the next day. After that, we either had free time or participated in official events related to the tournament, for example, the opening ceremony. We usually went to bed very early because of the jetlag and because the days were pretty long and exhausting.
Did you have any free time at all? What did you guys do after you finished playing?
We had free time almost every day starting at 4 p.m. During that time we did a lot of different things like going to the gym, schoolwork, going out for dinner or visiting downtown Ottawa. It was also important to our coach that we use our free time to recover from the game.
Do you have fans in Germany who follow the results of your games?
Yes, we do. Our biggest fans are of course our families, but also our friends, teammates and coaches who show their support while we’re away. They often follow the online live scoring.
What do your friends and classmates say when they hear you’re jet setting to Ottawa?
Most of our classmates are already used to the fact that we’re gone for a good part of the school year. But of course it’s something special playing somewhere so far away from home. Some are a little jealous and believe we’re mainly on vacation, but most understand what we do and support us wishing us luck and success.
Which prejudices would you like to get out of people’s minds once and for all?
That golf isn’t a real sport or that only rich, old, chubby men play it. And that golf isn’t exhausting and that you don’t need to be physically fit.
What pops into your head when you think about Canada?
The first thing now is of course the World Junior Girls Championship, which we participated in. In general, certainly a lot of forests, bears and snow. We also noticed a lot of similarities with the United States.
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