VIDEO: A day with Trick Golf Showman Karsten Maas
My pal Mugo Kamunya and I had been invited for a friendly round of 18-hole golf at the prestigious Sigona Golf Club in Limuru.
On arrival we were greeted by our host, Geoffrey Kiiru who chairs the Caddies Association, who in turn introduced us to the visiting Dane, Karsten Maas, who was towering. Maas is soft spoken and easy going and one could have easily mistaken him for any other average golfer.
After exchanging a few pleasantries we agree to do a nine-hole with him so that we can check out his game as he also gauges our swings and shots in the par 72 course, covering 6,892 yards. His eagerness saw him take to the tee-box first to take the first shot……a straight driver that fell flat on the fairway, almost half the length of the hole. We were playing a four-ball with Maas, Kamunya and nine-year-old Selina, a charming little Asian girl, a handicap 14!
As I made some recovery shots towards the green, I engaged the 51 year old Maas a bit and learnt he has been playing golf since he was 9 – those are 42 years of experience in golfing! But even this did not prepare me for what was awaiting us later on.
I messed with my first tee-shot and my ball fell like a hundred meters right before the fairway downhill from the tee box, Kamunya did shot an impressive drive but landed on the rough a couple of yards in, while the little girl beat Kamunya’s and my drive with a shot almost rivaling Maas’. Superb little girl!
Nine holes later, and Maas left us after offering a few compliments on our good shots and a few advices to correct our poor shots as well. The Dane is an easy guy and quite amiable.
I didn’t believe I just had a nine with the World Record Holder for driving with the world’s longest usable golf club, his formidable driver is 14 feet, 5 inches long and appears in the 60th anniversary edition of the Guinness World Records book, added in 2015.
The cool club however doesn’t qualify for normal play under the USGA rules, which stipulate that the standard clubs cannot be longer than 48 inches, except the putter.
But Karsten Maas is not your average Joe golfer, he is a golf professional and ‘Trick Golf Artist’ who tours the world carrying extraordinary golf clubs and makes crazy golf shots in incredible ways, with his acts including some very long and abnormal clubs.
As we were finishing with our first nine (we had teed off at hole ten), he was preparing for his acts. He needs 3 hours to set up! We finished right on time for showtime.
His acts included hitting the golf ball from a tee using a shoe as the iron-face, hitting a driver while balancing on a ball, driving golf balls raised from less than a meter to right past his height, hitting a drive from an abnormal tee raised and steadied on a young girl’s knees, and even hitting a long straight drive with a putter – with precision – clearly a talented trick golfer!
All through he engages the crowd gathered at the Sigona Hole 10 tee-box in chit chats through his lapel mic as he talks us through each act and stops after each to acknowledge the thunderous applause, closing the session with his signature act using The World Record Driver of 4 meters and 37 centimeters.
Maas’ ‘Trick Golf Show’ is over in no time; barely 60 minutes. But the reactions from the crowd of golfers and golf lovers say it all, each muttering just how intricate attempting his acts would be. As the Friday sun set on the lusciously green Sigona course, Kamunya and I left having just witnessed greatness.
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