“Abschlag Schule” project: how students should break down prejudices when playing golf

ll Sassenhausen / Bad Laasphe. “Sport of the rich”, for the over 60s who wear jersey vests or polo shirts and the nose is always a little higher – hardly any sport is so cliché and characterized by negative pegs as golf. 18 students from the Bad Laasphe municipal gymnasium have now experienced that the reality is very different, at least to a large extent, on the panoramic golf course of the Wittgensteiner Land Golf Club in Sassenhausen. As part of the “Tee School” project established by the German Golf Association (DGV), they were allowed to collect their clubs in full sun and, in addition to the correct starting technique, also practice the famous “putting in”.

“On the one hand, the project is about gently introducing children and young people to the sport of golf, but on the other hand it is also about demonstrating that golf is not the prejudiced, snobbish and elitist sport it has always thought it was,” explains Joris Pfahler, a teacher of English and geography. The 38-year-old plays golf himself (handicap 29) and has been a member of the Wittgensteiner Land golf club for four years. His stated goal: to found a golf club at his long-term school.This requires at least eight students who are also After this practice day, you want to continue to sink the ball with a hard plastic shell and a rubber core. hard or multilayer in the hole with as few strokes as possible.

Students practice running, posture and swing

To ignite the excitement, Joris Pfahler received active support on the lush green that day: while Ralf Bierbaum, as a professional golf coach, teaches the 18 students in classes 6 to 12 the correct club position and first swings, manager Sascha guid Jürgens introduced children and young people to the art of “putting”, that is, the shot that is colloquially called “putting”. Students are divided into two groups based on age. The little ones can go first to the practice area, the so-called “Driving Range”. After a brief theoretical introduction, Ralf Bierbaum allows students to start and try things out for themselves. He checks exactly how the children stand towards the ball, whether the club hand position is correct and how the swing is performed when the ball is hit.

At first, the students find it difficult. But despite some different air pockets and “lawn care”, you can tell they are thrilled. “Giving up is not an option,” 6a Leonie tells her classmate. The 11-year-old has never played golf before and is fully motivated. Lo and behold, the hit pattern increases. Sometimes the white ball rolls only a few meters, but every now and then the golf ball really flies high in the air. Teacher Joris Pfahler also doesn’t sketch and shows a couple of successful shots. When he answers a question from an astonished student who has been playing golf for four years, he nods in appreciation and says, “Whoa, then I think I need 12 more.” The secret is hand-eye coordination, reveals the teacher. “But don’t worry, it doesn’t always work for me either,” he adds with a laugh.

Strength and coordination play an important role in golf

Less wild, but no less concentrated and enthusiastic, he can be found a few meters further on Sascha Jürgens’ green. Here the older group practices putting. “Now we get to work,” says the 48-year-old, explaining that about 70 percent of all golf strokes take place in this area. He clearly explains to the students that they should also rock the club as much as possible when they get-with-feeling, of course. “You have to imagine it as an old grandfather clock”, symbolizes Jürgens. When it comes to golf, 30 percent is strength / coordination, 30 percent technique, 30 percent brain and 10 percent luck, as the Sauerland native knows. For him it is above all the versatility that fascinates him about golf. Everyone can practice sport as they wish: alone, as a couple or in a group. Young or old, beginner or advanced – everyone is welcome at the golf club. Addressing the students, he says, “A beginner can take a world-class shot, just as a world-class player can take a beginner’s shot.”

Teacher Joris Pfahler also didn't suck and sparked enthusiasm among the students with some successful shots.

Most of the students on this day are beginners. Not so Lorenz from 6a: he has been playing golf for seven years. However, if it had happened, he would have taken part in the AG. “You can always learn something new,” says the 12-year-old. According to Leonie, she also wants to continue playing golf, so Joris Pfahler is quite confident at the end of the day: “The students were excited. I think we should be able to do that.”

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