Ralf LaubscherClaus Geiss, Golfclub St. Leon-Rot

Teeing off for success

She was five years old when she drove a golf ball over the green of St. Leon-Rot for the first time. Today, at the age of twenty Karolin Lampert from Sandhausen is one of the best female golfers in Germany. We met her during her training session and talked to her about her new life as a professional golf player, her sense of what home is and her anticipation of this year’s biggest sports event in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region – the 2015 Solheim Cup in St. Leon-Rot.

Karolin-Lampert7_Foto-Claus-Geiss

At nine o’clock in the morning Karo Lampert’s working day begins – on the athletics court of the St. Leon-Rot Golf Club.

 

Were you disappointment not to have been nominated for Solheim Cup 2015?

The twelve best European lady golfers were nominated against the US, and it is extremely difficult to play in this top league. I am very glad, though, that the most important ladies golfing tournament took place here at our course. At the 2013 Junior Solheim Cup in Denver, I played quite well and that really was a crucial experience for me. The 2015 Solheim Cup was just great for all of us – for the fans, for the St. Leon-Rot Golf Club, the region and, very generally, the image of golfing.

What kind of image does golf have today?

For many people it is still a typical activity for the old boys. When I tell other people that I am a golf professional, only a few can imagine that golf is the kind of sport which you have to train hard for to achieve the inevitable physical fitness.

What does a day in the life of a professional lady golfer look like?

Preparing for a tournament I train six and a half days per week. I start at nine o’clock in the morning with a warm-up programme, exercises for coordination and stabilisation. This is followed by strength training after which I go on to the driving range, before I finally enter the course to actually drive the balls into the holes.

“The St. Leon-Rot Golf Club for me means being at home. It is a great feeling when everyone knows you and greets you.”

What does your new life as a golf professional feel like?

I am now in my second year and the beginning was tough. It is not so easy to earn your living golfing. As a young player you have yet to find your place especially if you speak your mind like I do. At first, I couldn’t really do my training because of a torn muscle. My physicians told me that this was caused by stress. And then I realised that I actually put a lot of pressure on myself and that I was prone to injuries. Now it just has to click sometimes. And I have to remain patient.

Zwei, die bei jedem Wetter auf dem Platz sind: Karolin Lambert und Greenkeeper Pasquale Vitale

These two are on the course in all weathers: Karolin Lampert and greenkeeper Pasquale Vitale

What stresses you out – and what relaxes you?

When I get nervous I pay even less attention to my fellow players than I normally do. I rather observe how the clouds are drifting across the sky or how the leaves are shaking in the wind. When I am really nervous I use breathing techniques that my mental coach of the national team taught me.

 

You grew up at the St. Leon-Rot Golf Club. What role does the club play in your life?

This club for me means being at home. Here, I was introduced to golfing by my grandfather and my parents, and my brother Moritz began his career as a professional golfer here. I have known everyone in this club for many years now – from the greenkeeper to the professionals. It is a great feeling when everyone knows you and greets you. When I order a coffee, the bar staff already knows how I prefer it.

   

What does being at home mean for you?

Being at home means for me returning to this region after being away for a long time and immediately feeling comfortable. My friends come from here, I went to school in Heidelberg-Kirchheim and I played football here in the local football club in the past.

Ohne konsequentes Fitness- und Krafttraining ist der Weg an die Golf-Weltspitze nicht zu schaffen. Karolin Lambert bei ihrer täglichen Aufwärmübung.

Without a disciplined fitness and strength training programme it is impossible to become one of the top golf players worldwide. Karolin Lampert performing her daily warm-up.

 

When you are not on the golf course: Where could I meet Karo Lampert?

I love to hang out with good friends at the riverfront park in Heidelberg called “Neckarwiese”, to watch the river and look at the castle while talking to my friends until late at night. When I am not out and about in Heidelberg you might encounter me shopping in Mannheim or drinking coffee in one of the cafés at the “Schlossplatz”, the square at the palace in Schwetzingen, – or you might find me in the Palatinate region. My father is a Palatinate and his cousin runs a restaurant near Grünstadt. This is why I appreciate a good bottle of Palatinate wine.

“The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region has a lot to offer for golf players – we have clubs here situated in unique scenery.”

 

Is St. Leon-Rot the most beautiful golf club in Germany?

Although there are a lot of restrictions for the creation of a golf course, our course boasts a very beautiful scenic landscape. With regard to youth support, and with its great training facilities it surely is one of the best clubs in Europe. The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region in general has a lot to offer for golf players – we have clubs here situated in unique scenery. I have already played in Mannheim-Viernheim, Heddesheim, Wiesloch, Oftersheim, Heidelberg-Lobenfeld and Sinsheim.

 

As a golf professional it is easy to become world-famous very quickly. Is this notion scary for you or rather fun?

I would be very glad – not least because I would then no longer be perceived only as Moritz Lampert’s the little sister. To get the right impression you have to know that my relationship with my successful brother is excellent. It would be nice, though, to be seen differently. When I had a bad match it is easier for me to accept his advice. He is a mentor for me. Little gambling sessions on the putting green are on between us from time to time – we then play for a coffee.

 

Is it true that golfing is dangerous?

When I was eleven years old, I hit someone with my golf ball hard on the elbow. That was quite a shock for me. I was recently almost hit by a ball on my head at a tournament in Strasbourg. You then take a deep breath. Unfortunately this can happen in spite of being very cautious.

 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself in America on the LPGA tour then. I want to find a permanent place there.

 

You know “your” course inside out. Do the players of the Solheim Cup need special know-how to be successful in St. Leon-Rot?

This very much depends on the wind conditions and from which tee box the shot is performed. Not long ago, I played an 18 hole-round with the vice captain of the Junior Solheim Cup here, and he said that one should have better knowledge of this course. But – (laughs) no-one rang me up yet!

 


 

Facebookseite Karolin Lampert: facebook.com/karo.lampert

 

Golf Club St. Leon-Rot: gc-slr.de

Golfclubs in der Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar: Karte