Bundesligaprofi Luca Waldschmidt: „Für mich geht es eher um den Vibe als um den Platz“

Bundesliga professional Luca Waldschmidt: “For me it’s more about the vibe than the pitch”

Golfers Interview #3 Christian Schwarz Reading Bundesliga professional Luca Waldschmidt: “For me it’s more about the vibe than the pitch” 10 minutes

Golf Post: A standard question to get you started: How long have you been playing golf and how did you get into it?

Luca Waldschmidt: I thought now the question would be what handicap I have. (laughs) I started in Freiburg. That would have been around 2019. I started with a few boys from SC Freiburg and then two or three of us got our licenses. But that also came from Leon, who is now also part of Grab Perfect, and also through my sister. They were always golfing and I was at home. “Come with me,” they always said. I have to admit, at the beginning I wasn't keen on it, but the boys on the team also pulled me along. In addition to the golf license, you will also find two or three golfers on each team with whom you can play.

Golf Post: How did someone who said “I don’t feel like going to the golf course” become a passionate golfer who also owns a company in the golf business?

Luca Waldschmidt: In general, it's difficult for me to start a sport and have to say to myself that I can do it, but I also can't do it. That's a little bit my motivation. It's difficult for me to be on the pitch with five men and I'm the worst. I actually always want to be the best. This is of course not possible because time often doesn't allow it. It worked out quite well with football that I wasn't always the worst. I'm not the best either, but yes... Accordingly, I demand that I keep getting better and, as time allows, I try to work on it step by step.

Golf Post: Do you train regularly with a coach or are you someone who only plays on the course?

Luca Waldschmidt: Lately I've been training a little more because the weather is good. Every now and then I visited my coach here in Wolfsburg. I was just back on the range hitting a few balls to get the feeling. I often play with Yannik Gerhardt here in Wolfsburg. Then the two of us are either on the range or sometimes on the course, completely different. But, I think it's important that I try to hit the balls correctly every now and then.

"A discussion that I often have with my coach"

Golf Post: Would you classify yourself as any type of player? Are you someone who plays aggressively, are you someone who just does it for balance, do you watch every PGA Tour event or are you an equipment nerd?

Luca Waldschmidt: This is actually a discussion that I often have with my trainer. I'm more like football. It's better to have less violence and more technology and that's how it is with golf. I'd rather be 10-20 meters shorter, but straight and somewhat where I wanted to be, than to hit it hard and have the ball just fly somewhere. Hence my motto: technique first, hit cleanly and in the right direction. Of course, equipment is also part of it; I recently bought new clubs. But I'm not one to have all sorts of bells and whistles in my pocket.

Golf Post: Which Bundesliga club has the best golfers? You only started in Freiburg in 2019 and didn't have that many comparisons, but maybe there were already really good golfers in Lisbon.

Luca Waldschmidt: They were very few and far between in Lisbon, I have to say.

Golf Post: There are so many great golf courses there.

Luca Waldschmidt: To be honest, I don't know anyone on the team. I also asked once, but of course communication wasn't that easy there. It's hard to say... I think there are a few jumping around in Dortmund who hit the ball quite well. I think Niko Schlotterbeck often plays with Gregor Kobel and Niklas Süle. At Bayern Thomas Müller, we know that. I know of a few from Freiburg. Michael Gregoritsch hits the ball quite well and so do Philipp Lienhart and Benjamin Uphoff. You could set up a small golf league. Each provides three golfers.

Golf Post: Even the Bundestag organizes a tournament for golfing politicians every year, why not professional footballers too?

Luca Waldschmidt: You see, we already have the next idea.

Golf Post: Do you have a favorite place?

Luca Waldschmidt: That's difficult to say. I have to admit, I'm not that into it. I couldn't say which places are really cool. I was in Mallorca playing in Son Gual last year, but the vibe was there too. The sun and the beautiful weather play a part. That was just cool. It was just relaxed. You're out for a walk, which is part of the whole thing. That was last year with my colleague from Grab Perfect Leon and Renato Steffen. Nice weather, cool conversations, you hit the balls... That's quality of life somewhere. For me it's more about the vibe than the space.

The idea for Grab Perfect, the glove that helps

Golf Post: Where did the idea for your own company come from? Why do you think we still need a glove?

Luca Waldschmidt: Gloves have been around for a long time, that's part of it. The beginning came when I was at home and playing there and I was still very shy after getting my license to play. I then played a lot with Leon and Finn. They are both significantly better than me and of course the question arises as to why my ball always flies to the right. It's called a slice... At some point it has to go straight, I thought to myself. Then the two of them looked at my handle. Like golf instructors, the two of them put the club in my hand and then the balls went straight. Then I asked myself: “What do I do now when I go back to Freiburg?”

That's how it all started. The two of them said we could try drawing lines on the glove as a guide. We then tested that. This made it much easier for me to orient myself. The two of them also worked in golf clubs and were therefore confronted with this on a daily basis and yes, we expanded on it and said that there are so many people out there with the same problems and many would be grateful for a tool like this. Everyone has a glove anyway, so why only help me and not several others.

Golf Post: Great approach. What exactly can this glove do and how does it help?

Luca Waldschmidt: The glove is a normal glove, except that it has markings on the inside and outside. They are marked at the top of the fingers so that you can orientate yourself when you pick up the club. If you look at it from above, you can theoretically no longer see black. If you open your hand too far, you can see the marking above the fingers or knuckles and vice versa. It's a good idea to have a neutral grip.

Golf Post: Are your co-founders of Grab Perfect, Leon and Finn, golf instructors?

Luca: No, no golf instructors. But Leon's handicap is around zero and Finn's handicap is around six. So they're not trained golf instructors, but I think they know what they're doing.

“Of course I also put my face behind it”

Golf Post: What roles do you have at Grab Perfect?

Luca Waldschmidt: In the first instance, significantly less than Leon and Finn, you have to say that. The two of them know a lot more people in the golf business. It's also important to network with golf pros and instructors. Of course, we also wanted to get feedback from them on exactly where the lines should be located and also secure ourselves with their expertise. Also to ask whether they would work with such a tool and generally what they think of the idea.

Finn and Leon are very active in sales and organization. We have a call once a week in which we exchange information and update on various things. I try to connect with people on certain things. Of course, I also put my face behind it, which helped right from the start and gave me a bit of confidence. There is someone behind it who can be classified.

Luca Waldschmidt: Exactly. It is therefore difficult to say exactly how this is divided. When it comes to clothing, for example, I always try to bring in my ideas and creativity. As an example: We have just redesigned our packaging and we sat together and did a bit of crafting and drawing ourselves. We all exchange ideas and usually find a good solution.

Golf Post: Is it the case that the three of you come up with the products yourself, design them yourself and then have them produced according to your ideas?

Luca Waldschmidt: We always get help or just ask. There was nothing extravagant about the design of the glove, but rather it was designed to be more functional. But of course, we also get feedback from professionals when it comes to clothing and otherwise you can find out the trends for the summer quickly. Finn and Leon are even better when it comes to golf clothing. What you like to wear, what feels good. We want to appear a little more youthful and fresh and not in the way that we now know from golf etiquette. A bit more relaxed and stylish, but still suitable for golf. We also have a polo in our range.

Golf Post: What other items do you carry at Grab Perfect, it obviously doesn't just have the glove.

Luca Waldschmidt: We are currently in the process of launching a range wear collection that is intended for the range, but of course also works for space. The plan at the moment is long trousers, short trousers and for the polo shirt I don't yet know whether it's short or long sleeve. So clothes and the glove. We also have caps and hoodies.

Golf Post: Thank you for the interview and good luck with the project!

Luca Waldschmidt: Thank you very much!
The interview was conducted by Tobias Hennig