Explaining Golf In Switzerland

13 04 2010

Hi all

I recently played in a ‘Bring a Friend’ tournament at my club in Switzerland, my friend being Tamara Tremp. The idea behind this kind of 9 hole tournament is to introduce people to golf by taking them on the course with you in a controlled environment. Now to most people out there in the big wide world this is an alien concept and one that makes no sense at all. Let me try and explain just how difficult it is to play golf in Switzerland.

You need to get something called a Platzerlaubnis or a Platzreife, directly translated a place permission or place maturity!!!! Having asked the experts at my club all the necessary questions as to how one gets this we were informed that the first step is to do a Rules and Etiquette course and examination. This is exactly what you think it is, you go to class and learn the rules and etiquette of golf, then write and exam and if and only if you pass this may you go onto the next step which is an extended course of golf instruction by a qualified PGA Professional. These consist of  a week of lessons and a week where you are allowed to go onto the driving range and hit balls by yourself. Once you have completed the required amount of tuition time you may then attempt to get your Plazerlaubnis or Platzreife which is playing 9 holes under the watchful eyes of the Pro. Should you get 6 stableford points you get Platzerlaubnis and 9 points you get your Platzreife. One of these, never quite certain which, allows you to run amok on the golf course……..  I was also told that this process lasts about one season. Can you imagine doing this for an entire season before you are allowed to even play! Man talk about complicated. I am certain I will find a shorter route.

But back to my tournament with Tamara. We’ve spent the last few weeks practicing at the range and teed off at 10:10 Saturday morning. The weather was not the best but then again we are in Switzerland and as the Swiss say, April,April er macht was er wil or somethiing like that!

We were put into a 4 ball and our playing partners were Ivonne and Helene. We later learnt that Ivonne had only picked up a club that morning for the very first time. Of course Tamara was nervous, she says she wasn’t but even I was. We had a good laugh on the way and I really enjoyed the determination of Tamara and the enthusiasm of Ivonne who was fascinating to watch. As a team we played 3 over par and came tied third out of 9 teams so not bad at all.

On Sunday I shot 4 over par in really icy conditions (9 holes). On the round it was so cold, or I was a softy, that I had to put on my thermal underwear by the 4th tee. I practiced afterwards for a few hours and feel that the swing is good, in fact very good, need to start converting this to good scores. Anyone keen for a round just let me know and I will happily join you.

I will be adding some photos soon of the  different courses that I play in Switzerland and will update you on my handicap progress. Currently playing off an 8 and intend to reach 4 by end July.

Cheers for now.

Geoff

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