In just a few weeks, the third round of the Falkensteiner Golf Cup will take place. The tour passes through Italy, Austria, South Tirol and the Czech Republic before the Grand Finale at Nassfeld. To get in the mood, we met with the Falkensteiner Golf Ambassador, Markus Brier, for an interesting chat.
Mr Brier, you have played on many different golf courses during your career. Which of them are your personal top 3 and what makes those courses so special?
That is a really difficult question. Every golf course is fascinating and special in its own way. For me, the layout and the maintenance of the greens are of particular importance. My personal ranking of the top 3 courses worldwide:
Number 1: Real Club Valderrama in Spain. The course is always well maintained, the greens are super fast and heavily undulating, the fairways are narrow and the cork oaks do not let any ball through. This course is really hard to play.
Number 2: Kingsbarns in Scotland. A great “youngster” and richly-varied links course, super greens, many different holes (long-short, doglegs, …). If it is hard and dry in the summer, then it is links golf as it should be
Number 3: Royal Melbourne in Australia. Huge greens, fast and hard, partly wide fairways and then again constricted. This course has everything a good golf course needs.
Do you have special rituals before your first tee at tournaments? How do you mentally prepare for tournaments or, in other words, are you still nervous despite years of routine?
I always try to go through the same routine before each round: 30 minutes of play, 30 minutes of chipping and putting and then 10 minutes for other and unforeseen things. This gives me peace of mind in my preparation.
In addition, I play through the whole course in my head (usually the night before) and work on my target images and swings. I am not nervous at all, rather positively tense, but that is the way it should be.
You already started playing golf in the years of your youth. Today you are a trainer for young Austrian golfing talent. What challenges are there for today’s children compared to the time when you were starting, when golf was still a marginal sport? What advice can you give to young talented players who are looking for a professional career?
Nowadays training is organised much more professionally. Which means that the opportunity is there to commence a successful career. The biggest challenge, however, is to consistently follow your own path. The competition has grown bigger and stronger, so everyone has to work harder to attain the summit. Talent alone is no longer enough today – consistency and a professional environment are part of being successful.
In recent years, much has happened in terms of material development – be it clubs or clothing. With the start of each golf season, there is an even better driver and trousers that can breathe even more easily. Do you have the impression that this is putting the actual type of sport into the background? How do you think golf will generally further develop?
The material development is already enormous, but especially in golf, the human factor is still very crucial. Golf is so diverse and the material is only part of this giant puzzle. As the courses cannot be extended in an arbitrary fashion, I hope, as far as the material is concerned (especially the balls), that the development is a bit slower, so that the difference between professionals and amateurs is not too large. The game itself remains difficult enough despite further technical developments.
Apart from the actual goal of completing the round with a great score, what do you think are other assets when playing golf?
The most important thing about the golf course is clearly humility. You have to learn to accept bad swings – this happens to every player.
Furthermore, self-assessment should remain realistic. You should only try what you really can do and have trained for.
And also very important: Have ONE goal. Exaggerated expectations are dangerous because you can be frustrated very quickly and often. This then results in poor swings.
What does your perfect holiday look like? Does a golf course have to be nearby or do you leave your irons at home?
I do not even think about golf on holiday and my clubs stay at home. Family time, a nice hotel and much rest are the ingredients for my perfect holiday.
And last but not least: Do you prefer to play on a links course or a mini-golf round with your children?
This question is mean! I love links courses but I also love a round of mini-golf with my kids just as much. I simply do both. You have to make time for it.
Thank you very much for speaking with us. We look forward to welcoming you personally at the Grand Finale of the Falkensteiner Golf Cup in Nassfeld.
The pleasure is all mine, thank you very much. I am really looking forward to a great end of tour at Nassfeld.