Whoever visits the Mieminger Plateau northwest of Innsbruck enters a unique scenery of experience in many respects. Here, landscape, movement and recreation come together so subtly that one can hardly help but willingly surrender to the pleasurable temptations. But because I have already been able to enjoy wellbeing and culinary delights here in detail, this time I have committed myself to a particularly unusual adventure: Golf. And one thing I learned right away: it's a relaxing extreme sport.
The Sonnenplatzl near Innsbruck
The most beautiful sunny spots are often well hidden and difficult to find for strangers. The Mieminger Plateau can be reached from Innsbruck, however, very easily by bus. Front door to bus stop Post in a good hour, with the car you would be here just as fast, in the bus you have your hands free. On the way, I read up a little on golf so that I'm not completely lost at the course. Who would have thought that Scottish shepherds once used sticks to push stones into rabbit holes and that's why people play golf today? Or that the average golf ball travels over the green at a speed of 150 kilometers per hour? The fact that golf has even been played on the moon is hardly surprising; there, by the way, the ball flew several kilometers. As I walk in Mieming towards the golf park, there is no trace of the moon. But the sunny plateau once again lives up to its name: I'm thirsty.
The little golfer
I am intentionally early and introduce myself in the clubhouse to the manager Simon Knabl, a tall gentleman with a winning smile in neat golf clothes. I confess to him right away that I had been on a golf course near Nancy in northern France a good 16 years ago, but that I can only remember the painful sunburn. Simon laughs heartily, holds out his sunscreen and recommends the Greenvieh for a cool welcome drink. His most experienced golf coach will then pick me up and show me the greatest secrets of golf. The manager winks promisingly, I croak dry thanks and shortly thereafter enter the Greenvieh golf restaurant and bar across the street. There I am immediately served a "Little Golfer", grapefruit, lemon and soda in a glass, wonderfully refreshing and rich in vitamins. As I am examining the lawn in the garden for golfing qualities, Rupert holds out his strong hand to me: You must be the little golfer!
The great golf school
We stroll leisurely to the 10,000m2 practice area, and in the golf school Coach Rupert is in his element. With only a few decades more experience than me, he calmly and thoughtfully guides me in putting. Secure stance, correct grip technique, stable rotation, concentrated movement, he makes it all look so easy. On the putting green there are many holes with gentle topography, here it's all about absolute sensitivity. You approach golf from behind, my golf coach lets me know. If you don't have control in the small, you don't even need to try on the big fairways (holes). So first hit the hole from a short distance before venturing farther. Definitely easier said than done, because every little nuance in the movement is traced by the ball on the ground, nerve-racking millimeter work. I drip, Rupert hands me a bottle of water and shows himself satisfied. One in ten, not bad for a start.
It's all in the head
A few steps further on, two other gentlemen are trying their hand at teeing off into the distance, I squint out of the corner of my eye and try to internalize the motion sequence of the driving range. Rupert now pulls another club out of his golf bag and switches from a putter to an 8-iron. The maximum of 14 clubs differ in grip length, material (iron, wood and hybrid) as well as tee angle of the club head. The flatter the angle grips under the ball, the higher the subsequent parabolic arc of the golf ball. Rupert paints everything vividly in the air in front of me, I nod in understanding and also take an iron.
About 70 meters in front of us, a small hilltop carries a large-format target, Rupert takes a swing and hits with youthful ease. I take position, let my patient golf coach set me up, and complete awkward swings, how did it look so loose on him? I hit one, two, three fist-sized pieces of golf turf into the sky, we change position. No power, it's all in the head, my teacher admonishes me, let physics work for you. A deep breath, no thoughts, I take a swing, let go, the shot hits like I've never done anything else. The sound is beautiful, the parabola almost perfect, my ball bounces joyfully off the far edge of the target. Frustration is followed by barely comprehensible joy, the rush is good, not bad at all for a start.
The next level
We pull through a few more balls together, so slowly the thing starts to be fun. I hardly let myself notice and try to sweat secretly. But before my unavoidable mistakes become too much of a habit, Rupert puts me in his golf cart and shows me the park courses, the actual golf paradise. 9 holes downstairs, 18 holes upstairs, yes, you need a cart for that and about five hours for the really big golf course. Back there is the club's own Stöttlalm, for refreshment in the meantime while playing. I'm amazed and have to hold on tight, Rupert obviously enjoys the terrain. Now and then I may get out and take photos, but only if we do not disturb any other players.
A fairway is divided into four tees of different difficulty, the putting green with the target flag, and the fairway in between. An obstacle is called a hazard, a curved fairway is a dog leg, and sand pits are bunkers. How many strokes it takes to reach the hole is noted on the scorecard, and the players check each other and never play alone. In order to be allowed to play on the courses at all, you need to pass the course entrance exam, and after a five-day course you are successfully certified. Actually, everything is quite relaxed, I think. When Rupert finally takes me to the bus, I have long since promised him that we will meet again. Such a trial training course can be booked here in no time at all. I learned one thing above all else today: golf is actually pretty cool.
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A small "scribbler" with huge passions. Born, raised and refined in Tyrol. Loves to read and can cook almost as well as his grandma. At his happiest when out and about and searching for new horizons.