Donnerstag, 26. März 2015 | Felix | Permalink

The best place in the world right now

It is the night right after the NSGG Open 2014, about four in the morning I guess. I am riding passenger on a bicycle that Holger is propelling through Nijmegen and it is in this very moment it occurs to me that this is probably the best place in the world to be right now.

NJ14 Zaun

The Netherlands are proud of their impressively long benches that they call hek.

First of all, yeah, let’s get the obvious one straight out of the way. I’m nicely wasted at this moment, with the emphasis on nicely. It’s the sort of drunk where you already know before you get to bed that everything will be fine in the morning – not this Oh my, tomorrow will be hell to pay. Not that one.

NJ14 Eröffnung

Alex is kicking off the NSGG Open 2014 and…

NJ14 Auswertung

…scoring it just a few hours later.

And to be honest, how couldn’t you be drunk? We just left St. Anneke, which is hands down my new favourite pub. Once this place is on temperature it feels like 110% of the people in it – both guests and staff – just want to have a great time. Which is what they do. Everyone is just laughing and smiling all the time. And if the music or something else gets you and you just need to release some positive energy into the night, punch one of the lams dangling over the bar and let them swing around a minute or so. Sounds funny? Well, everyone is doing it. Constantly. First I didn’t dare. Then I had another beer and joined. It’s such a tiny gesture, but when it comes from the heart, it just feels incredibly good to do. As a result, most of the time the place looks a bit like that bar from that Harry Potter movie only during an earthquake caused by extensive euphoria.

NJ14 Gebäude

Outside players quarters

Second, we’re on our way to one of the most welcoming players quarters ever provided on the Unigolftour. During the last years we’ve stayed at the most peculiar sites. There were seminar rooms, sports halls, a basic hunting lodge, even a casern – and for obvious legal reasons I will not mention the midnight Göttingen pool session at this point. What all these locations have in common is that they are free of charge, we are incredibly welcome and every single night in them sparks hilarious stories and unique memories. But in terms of hospitality Holger simply takes the biscuit.

NJ14 Max

Inside players quarters, Max getting ready for the night.

Holger is a member of the organising committee for the NSGG Open and has generously booked the common room of his dorm for us to stay there. Well, he pinned a note on the board stating it was his for the weekend, thank you. The room is on the fourth floor and the view is inspiring. You look down at quite a stack of facilities that you simply don’t find on every other campus back home. Basketball court? Maybe. Soccer field? Maybe. Tennis courts? I don’t think so.

NJ14 Lasse

The morning. While Lasse is already getting into gear and Clarissa is getting out of the shower (sporting the classic Unigolftour onesie), …

However, it wasn’t until the first morning I found out about that view, since Holger had blacked out all the windows for the night – temporarily with some fabric since they didn’t sport regular curtains. How grand of a gesture is that? But the moment I realised that and was genuinely impressed, he already upped the ante. In he comes with orange juice, cheese and those awesome weekend bollen. It’s enough for every Unigolftourist in the room, and there are quite a lot of them in there. Some just waking up, some already trying to get their sleeping bags back into their pockets (besides, why are those always too small) and some still asleep. As for me, right now I’m just being seriously thrilled having a host like Holger.

NJ14 Atrium

…others are not.

And yes, that’s the same Holger who is riding the bike right now. It’s just unbelieveable.

NJ14 Bahnübersicht

This is a special at GC Het rijk van Nijmegen. It’s the home club of Robert-Jan Derksen, so whenever you are unsure about how to tackle the next shot or having doubts about your choice of club, you can scan the qr code and…

NJ14 Helikopter

…Robert-Jan Derksen will arrive by helicopter to assist you. (Yes, you get advice from him once you scan the qr code. Yes, that is the helicopter he came with that day. No, I’m not completely sure about the connection of the two.)

There’s a third thing on my mind that moment. Martin is feeling better. That may sound rather unspectacular, but about 24 hours earlier he was in hospital. Which in Nijmegen turns out not to be such a bad thing after all since they do provide free coffee in the waiting room. Martin is more focused on his knee (forgot which one, but yeah, one of the two available). It hurts. It started hurting Friday evening at St. Anneke. He had just arrived, eager to play the tourney. A few beers later I asked around if anyone’s seen Martin. Turns out not since he left for the hospital. The what!? The hospital!? Sure thing we get there and check up on him – despite being under the influence. I actually forgot how we got there, but we did. The photos are proof. But it’s really not a cool thing seeing a Unigolftourist on a treatment table, I tell you that. He lacks colour but otherwise seems okay. Martin, not the table that is. Sure he isn’t happy about all that, but it could be worse (e. g. no free coffee). He got in touch with his parents earlier, now everyone is waiting for the morning, a few more test results and a recommendation what to do. We pat his shoulder once, twice, and leave for the players quarters. Time to get, let’s see, yeah, about two to three hours of sleep. Nocturnal hospital visits and early tee times are – pardon my French – a shitty combination.

NJ14 Golfcart

Believe it or not, while I enjoy my free coffee at the hospital, I also enjoy being informed about golf-related issues. Here the hospital celebrates itself for employing golf carts on their campus.

So back on the bike the next night I know Martin’s better. He actually showed up at the golf course on Saturday to pick up his car. Not in the highest of spirits, but hey, if you missed a Unigolftour tourney for some pain in the knee, a treatment table and a few cups of free coffe, would you?

NJ14 Unigolftouristen

Happy Unigolftourists…

NJ14 Teilnehmer

…at the NSGG Open 2014.

So all that (and more, but I guess you have to prepare for some exam or are about to leave for the range, so I’ll come to an end) is going through my head as I’m on that bike, about to spend the second night at Holgers common room – and it completely thrills me. The weekend isn’t even over yet, but my internal hard drive is already full of new experiences, curious moments and weird stories. So many interactions, so many impressions, so much to process. And you know what? I haven’t even touched playing golf yet. Yeah, that happened as well. We had a funking blast we had! I’m simply about to burst with plain happiness. I call this Unigolftour mode. It’s addictive, but I still highly recommend it.

I love it. And I can’t wait to get back into it. Soon.

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