BECOME A GOLF PRO IN FOUR YEARS
Reinhard-Karl Üblacker trains with golf pro Denis Prössel at the Bad Griesbach golf resort
Bad Griesbach, 14 October 2021 – Is that even possible? This question comes up automatically when you hear the plan from Reinhard-Karl Üblacker from Mühldorf. The 50-year-old Austrian (born in Amstetten/Lower Austria) wants to become a professional golfer – within four years. However: He only started playing golf about a year and a half ago. Now he trains every day for his goal. He will be supported by Denis Prössel, pro at the Quellness & Golf Resort Bad Griesbach and himself a former tour player.
The sky is grey, it’s damp. German winter. There is not much going on at the driving range of the Golfodrom®. But Reinhard-Karl Üblacker tirelessly hits the ball. Again and again he tees up the ball, gains momentum and hits. The 50-year-old Austrian is highly motivated. He has to be too. Because he has a noble goal: Within four years, the sportsman from Mühldorf and born in Amstetten in Lower Austria wants to become a professional senior golfer. So not a golf coach, but a tour player. According to Wikipedia, these are tournament players, also known as playing pros or tour professionals, “who make their living exclusively from income from tournament operations and possibly from advertising contracts”.
Reinhard-Karl Üblacker must achieve a WHI (World Handicap Index) of 0 or better in order to switch to the professional camp, must not be ranked higher than 1800 in the amateur world rankings or must have a full category on a 3rd Level Tour, explains PGA of Austria Secretary General Alexander Rueber. “The player was looking for a very challenging goal and of course I’ll keep my fingers crossed for him. If he achieves his goal, he will cause a stir and I would certainly be one of the first to congratulate him.”
These are strict specifications. Especially since he only got his handicap in June 2020. “I’ve been training regularly since my first golf lesson. At first two to three times a week, now every day”, says the social media marketing expert. Yes, he still has a job. But he can also do that at night and before and after the training sessions, he says. Reinhard-Karl Üblacker knows from experience how many sacrifices one has to make in competitive sports: He was active in Austrian lane golf (minigolf) for ten years, was one of the top 3 players in the Alpine Republic, was Lower Austrian champion several times – “unfortunately only fourth at the state championship”.
Reinhard-Karl Üblacker is convinced of himself and his potential. “I am extremely meticulous and highly motivated. When I do something, I do it 100 percent. All my friends say, if anyone can do it, it’s you!” says Reinhard-Karl Üblacker. Last year he played almost 30 different courses and took part in 16 tournaments. He also calls himself “Hole-in-One Reinhard”. Because he has already done that: a hole in one. “That was on 24 April in Pleiskirchen on hole 13, 164 meters.” Now it’s time to play the game consistently – and reduce the handicap. He currently has 8.7.
After a golf course at the Quellness & Golf Resort Bad Griesbach, which was led by pro Denis Prössel, he stayed right there and then took a private lesson with the golf instructor. The idea of a personal challenge quickly arose. “When I set Reinhard a task, he fulfils it quickly. He’s fit and can swing the club really fast. I think he can do it!” says Denis Prössel. The two train together twice a week. Of course, that costs money in the long run. That is why the resourceful sports enthusiast has come up with a contemporary way of financing his passion and his goal: He has registered on the GoFundMe website and is collecting donations. He spends the money on pro hours and analysis procedures. So far he has collected more than 4000 euros.
Everything now revolves around golf for him. For example, he also has an Instagram account (hole.in.one.reinhard) and a homepage (www.hole-in-one-reinhard.com). Here he regularly reports on his progress. “I think golf, play golf and dream golf”, he says and pushes the ball towards the flag in the drizzle. Training is the be-all and end-all – no matter what the weather is like. And as the months pass it will become clear whether it is really possible: to become a golf pro in four years.