Late bloomer Reinhard-Karl Üblacker (52) is on his way to becoming a professional – An interim assessment

Bad Griesbach – In 2020 he completed his license to play, and in 2021 he created his mission: Reinhard-Karl Üblacker from Mühldorf wants to be on the Legends Tour within four years. The Legends Tour is the current name of the European Senior Tour and is the official tour for players over 50. The native Austrian will soon be halfway through his planned time on the way to becoming one of the best golfers over 50 – including 76 torn gloves.

Where is he now? “I think I’m further along than I originally thought I would be at this point in time,” says the 52-year-old. He has just taken another step. Because that’s it: one step at a time. And sometimes one back. Just like at a tournament in Mallorca in February. “I played really badly there. Everything went wrong, even though my coach was there. I was really depressed and had to deal with it first,” says Reinhard-Karl Üblacker. But that is part of it. The 52-year-old is still in the early stages. His body and brain must first process what he has learned. Ups and downs are completely normal, even if the ambitious Austrian finds it difficult to accept them. “There have to be setbacks if I want to progress. That’s part of it.” But things are moving forward again, thanks to a full day of training that brought his entire team together. Because that is also new: the team. Aside from the significant improvement in his golf game since he started intensive training with Pro Denis Prössel, something else has changed: Reinhard-Karl Üblacker has been able to win some sponsors such as tyre manufacturer Vredestein, Munich-based Optik Söhnges, the Parkhotel Bad Griesbach as well as the Quellness & Golf Resort Bad Griesbach and works together with a whole team: Reinhold Gruber is a neuro-athletic trainer and takes care of physical health and movement processes. Silke Lüdike is a trained mental trainer and accompanies competitive and professional athletes. She has been working for Golf Team Germany since 2015 and is responsible for the professional area there. Artur Frank is a sectoral naturopath and sports physiotherapist. He looks after the golfers on the European Tour worldwide, and has already worked with Bernhard Langer, Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer, among others. Pro Denis Prössel, with whom Reinhard-Karl Üblacker trains at the Quellness & Golf Resort Bad Griesbach, was a member of the Playing Pro Team of the PGA of Germany and active for several years on international professional tours (Challenge Tour, European Tour, Tear Drop Tour USA).

Together they are trying to reach the goal of the Legends Tour. The first day of training together, for which all supporters had come to the Golfodrom in Bad Griesbach, was promising. “The day was super worthwhile. We worked so well technically that something really changed in my swing. I’m about to turn pro,” reports the 52-year-old enthusiastically. His swing is now faster and more efficient. “I have construction sites in my body that we have to work through. It’s impressive to see, for example, when the neuro-athletic trainer pushes a vibrating stick between my teeth, it affects my spine and I can twist myself 25 centimetres further.” The result: The ball flies 10 to 15 meters further. Now the ambitious athlete is working hard on his technique, but above all on his mental state, on empathizing with the shots and putts. “For me, the most important thing is that I’m not results-oriented,” he says. Mental trainer Silke Lüdike teaches him just to train, to practice, to learn. “The result then comes naturally,” he says. His World Handicap Index is currently 10.0 – but that’s just by-the-by… The team has drawn up a training plan for the coming period, which is now being followed meticulously. 27 hours of golf training per week, 3.5 hours of neuro-athletics, 10.5 hours of mental training. That alone makes 41 hours a week. There is also some yoga for relaxation. Because time is ticking. “Hole-In-One” Reinhard, as he calls himself, wants to take part in the Legends Tour Qualifying School as early as January 2024. That is the goal. And of course a big dream.