"Am I on the starting list? "
So in 1986 I stood in front of the infoboard in my then home club GC Burg Overbach in Much and asked the members about my starting time. The members also gladly gave information to the "little one". As the youngest participant of the "SONY Young Master 1986", I was just 6 years old, I had a handicap of 36, but I couldn't read if I was on the starting list.
The golf course and the bunkers were my home, whereby the driver was always the biggest thing for me........, try everything, shorten doglegs over the trees - take a risk. "no risk no fun" that was my motto early on and is still part of my game today.
Golf is the only sport where all players can compete with each other, regardless of age, gender or playing preference. As the youngest I had to fight not only with the club and the ball, but also with the tricks of the older players. The rules of golf were a natural part of my game from the beginning.
I played in the club teams of the GC Overbach Much, the GC Köln Refrath and the GC Bergisch Land. My goal was once to win the German team championship, but unfortunately I was not allowed to do so. The sporting competition within the teams in NRW was legendary and we all had a lot of fun. This joy of playing was the foundation for some real friendships.
Although golf is not really a team sport, the national and international competitions were always the highlight of each season. I am still grateful for the support of the former board of the NRW Golf Association. As a member of the German Junior and Men's National Team, I have been able to gain international experience which has made my start as a professional golfer easier. The DGV made it possible for me to prepare myself perfectly for the Golf World Trophy 2000 in Berlin by including me in the sport promotion company.
The German Golf Association hosted the 1st Men's Team World Championship in 2000 in Bad Saarow, Berlin. The big goal of our team was a TOP 3 placement, we were a strong team with Michael Thannhäuser, Tino Schuster, Jochen Lupprian, Kariem Baraka and others and we reached the 5th place. This was the best result at a world championship ever achieved by a German men's team. After the World Championships in Berlin I finished my amateur career with the best handicap in Europe of +6. And then the stress started, because nothing was like it used to be!
Amateur golf and professional golf are two completely different things. Playing on the TOUR is another world. It's all about results! Every week in a different country, it could be a different continent, but in any case a different hotel or bed. As a golfer you are a lone fighter and on your own, it took some getting used to and it took time to establish yourself.
But even as a teenager I was sure that I wanted to play on the tour. I love my job, who has the luck to make his hobby to his profession!