Although his name does not sound Asian at all, the talented Taiwanese golfer has been through a lot of exciting experiences including the battle against European Tour players like German Bernd Ritthammer. The hardworking up and coming player is determined to achieve his goals – making it to the highest stage of the European and American Tour and winning a Major!
Our team met Maxi and found out how golf became his vice and how it feels to live between the two continents Asia and Europe.
Vice Golf: You moved to Germany at a very young age, yet, you started playing golf in Taiwan? How did that happen?
Maxi: Back then, I travelled to Taiwan once a year to visit my family – but spending a month is Taiwan wasn´t too exciting. One day, my grandpa took me out to a city driving-range and handed me a regular men´s iron and told me to hit some range balls with it. That´s how it started…
What happened next? The way to becoming a professional is a bumpy one…
That´s true for sure! When I finished highschool, I wanted to excel and get my game to the next level and therefore went to a well-known teaching professional where I hoped to learn more and benefit from his experience to achieve my goals. The results were sobering… A new swing that was fully technical without any intuition and consequently bad scores and dissatisfaction. When I addressed the ball, my mind was focussing on hundreds of theoretical aspects – starting with thoughts on how the take-away should be like all the way to the question if the angles in the downswing were correct – and a lot in between. I was desperate enough to switch coaches and have learned to follow my intuition again and have been successful again ever since.
You know both the Asian and the European mentality of golfers – to what extent do they differ?
I personally went to a special golfing school in Taipeh and cannot confirm the stereotype of Asians being so much more hard-working than others. Although our first practice session started at 6 a.m., we were free to plan the afternoon activities individually and most of the students went to their rooms to play computer games or just to take a nap. I would not constrain it to cultural differences but more the motivation of every individual to make the best out of his and her opportunities. In fact, I observe this in both Taiwan and Germany. The less hard working guys may be talented but won´t make it to the top whereas the hard-working students are more successful in the medium and long run.
What is your favourite golf course among the many you´ve played so far?
Layout wise, I would definitely vote for Fontana Golf near Vienna, Austria. The course is a combination of superb greens, amazing views and the last three holes are the highlight of a stunning round of golf. Yet, I love every training session at my home course near Munich, called “Valley” which is a challenging and attractive golf course with lots of training facilities.
How did you learn about Vice Golf?
Back in 2015, Vice Golf co-hosted King Of Greens, an event for extreme sport athletes who would meet annually to compete on a one day event at a course near Berlin. A friend of mine told me that Vice Golf was looking for a good golfer to fill their spot and represent them at the venue – that´s where I came into play and got in contact with the founders of Vice Golf, Ingo and Rainer.
Your main place of residence is Munich and your visits to Taiwan have become rare. What are you most missing about Taiwan?
I very much miss my favorite spot in Taipeh, Elephant Mountain, which is just a small hill at the edge of Taipeh´s city centre. It only takes twenty minutes to hike up there and you´ll have a stunning view over the city and fall in love with the city over and over again. Besides that, I really miss affordable, delicious food and “good” service, especially in restaurants, waiters tend to be extremely unfriendly in Germany whereas Taiwan´s waiters treat you very respectfully and attempt to make your stay as positive as possible.
“I miss the diverse, affordable and delicious food of Taiwan a lot!”
Let´s turn the tables: What do you most enjoy about Munich that you won´t encounter in Taipeh?
(laughs): The blue sky and the fresh air in and around Munich is beautiful! Taiwan has severe trouble with smog and bad air pollution.
Lastly, give us your recommendation about the best Taiwanese food in Munich.
(laughs): There´s very few Taiwanese restaurants in Munich so I´d recommend you to visit my place and enjoy my Taiwanese cooking skills!