You just might want to think twice of playing in Germany. Unless, that is, youre not a hack.
For some 40 to 50 years now, playing golf in the country has required a license, much like that of driving an automobile.
Called a Platzreife, a would-be golfer who wishes to tee it up in Germany must first pass a series of tests in the areas of driving, chipping and putting ' they are required to drive the ball a minimum of 110 yards within a width of 75 yards, chip adequately from 22 yards and putt from some 11 yards away from the cup.
Should they demonstrate proficiency on the range, then its off to the course, where they are required to play 18 holes with no more than 108 strokes on their card.
If that werent enough, upon completion of this right-of-passage, the individual is required to pass a written exam of the game based on its rules. Miss more than six questions out of 15 and youre out.
When it is all said and done, obtaining a Platzreife could end up costing one an average of $870, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Supporters of the system have always claimed that it is good for the game. They say that it protects golfs integrity and keeps courses from becoming cluttered with those who dont necessarily understand or appreciate the game.
However, with the great influx of new players becoming involved in golf, its gotten plenty of people mad.
Its also sent them to neighboring Austria, as many hotels in the area offer golf-getaways in which you can obtain a Platzreife in the process.
The catch is that the tests in Austria are reported to be a breeze.
Certainly a good alternative for the bad golfer, but it has become a situation which has caused a bit of tension between the two countries.
In case you were wondering, the name Platzreife is derived from the two German words for place and ripe, meaning basically, that a player must be ripe enough to get a place on the golf course.
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