Golf – more than a creative time-out

Golf gives us at zai, just like many others, the opportunity to have a regular creative time-out – however, golf is more than that. zai’s Coach Mario Caligari, Head Pro in Bad Ragaz, lives for the sport and tells us more about his fascination for the game.

Mario, why is golf so fascinating to you?

Golf requires skill, perseverance and hard work. A good golf swing is complex, a technically sound and stylistically confident golf swing though, leads automatically to a good result. Nevertheless: the result counts, and there are also some unorthodox golf players with excellent results.

Golf, just topped by pole vaulting, is one of the most challenging sporting discliplines ever. Golf also requires a lot of concentration; certain tournaments, the Senior Open in Ragaz, for example, include 18 holes daily over three days – this is tough and demanding.

In the old day, it was more of a game – gentleman-like…

How did the sport change?

Golf as a sporting discipline has developed a lot in the last years. First of all, it is no longer a sport for only privileged classes. Everybody can learn how to play golf these days. Secondly, the sport has become more dynamic. On a professional level, golf players are “thoroughbreds” these days. Thirdly, there is technological progress. The computerisation allows us to analyse and provide more targeted teaching and coaching.

How important are materials these days?

Materials have become more professional over the years. The golf clubs are simply better than the ones in the old days. You had your own experiences at zai, and dared to make changes. This is the beauty of the new products: they are more forgiving when it comes to technical errors. Professionals can achieve better results; however, the forgiving nature of the material helps us amateur athletes – we have even more fun!

Despite athleticism, many say that putting is important. Why?

(Mario laughs) “Driver for the Show, Putting for Money”… that still applies. On the 18-hole course, about 45% of the swings are putts among good players!  A good putter unites forgiveness, technology and feel. But in the end, it comes down to the constitution of the golf player.

The same rules apply: it is all about the combination of skill, perseverance and hard work. Simply fascinating… zai’s Benedikt Germanier spoke with Mario Caligari

Mario is the National Coach of the Liechtenstein national team since 2013. For 12 years, originally from Ragaz, he was the head of training with the Swiss PGA and, thus, helped to professionalise the sport in Switzerland. It was the goal to structure the training course in such a way that it complied with the European PGA standard. Mario Caligari’s golf career started already in the 60’s, when he spent his summer holidays in Bad Ragaz, back then, still as a caddy. He qualified as golf teacher at the Golf Club Bad Ragaz and works in his profession for now 47 years.