If you had talked to Thea Hoffmeister about soccer three years ago, it would have been a short conversation – today, the Kiel native is involved in managing the Asian expansion of Borussia Dortmund, is very familiar with soccer, and commutes between Shanghai, Dortmund, and Munich. And despite all that, the recent club champion still ranks among Germany’s best amateur golfers.
We met Thea the day before the “Final Four 2017” at the Kölner Golfclub and have her report on how she manages the balancing act between Asia and Europe and between soccer and golf, and how she spends her very limited free time.
Vice Golf: Thea, with a handicap of +3.9, you are one of the best players in Germany. How did you start playing golf and which of your successes do you consider to be the most important to you personally?
Thea: At the age of 11, I was simply handed a golf club once at the Seddiner See golf club. I just tried it and then kept coming back to the golf course because I enjoyed it so much. I started playing tournaments and as time went by, the events started getting more international. My highlights definitely include winning the 2007 International Amateur Championships and the 2009 European Team Championships. After my time studying in the USA, I moved to Munich and have played in the 1st league with the Münchener Golfclub team ever since.
“My highlights definitely include winning the 2007 International Amateur Championships and the 2009 European Team Championships.” (Thea Hoffmeister)
Do you still visit Seddiner See?
When the opportunity arises, I very much enjoy being there. The Seddiner See south course is still my absolute favorite!
With more than 15 years of golf experience, you must have had lows, too. How do you regain your strength in tough times?
This season was definitely the most difficult because I was hardly able to play. If you know that you are capable, but cannot deliver that performance, this can be extremely frustrating. I nearly gave up and abandoned my golf clubs … But I believe that you should always look ahead. We have an outstanding team at the Münchener Golfclub and of course we want to compete with the best in the 1st league again next year! I will also be playing the AK30 next year, maybe that will create new opportunities! (laughs)
What makes the sport of golf so fascinating?
I think there are several factors. But the one I like most is that you always have to get outside to play, even in the worst weather, like today, for example!
Let us talk about Dortmund – you have been working for Borussia Dortmund for about a year and spend a lot of time in Shanghai to coordinate the new Asian office. What is your favorite spot in Shanghai?
Without a doubt, my favorite place is “Bistro Mr. Willis” in the French Concession. It is a very intimate, cozy bistro run by Craig Willis, who had previously worked as the head chef at a number of upscale restaurants in Shanghai. “Mr. Willis” is located on the third floor of a residential building. The dishes are simple but unbelievably delicious and you feel like you are eating great food with a large group of friends.
What do you miss most in Asia that you are used to in Germany?
The quiet streets… There is not a single corner in Shanghai in which you can unwind – and completely relax.
To ask the question the other way around, what do you miss from China when you are here in Germany?
This sounds crazy, but I miss the hustle and bustle. I think something in between would be good (laughs).
You spend a free, long weekend…
… travelling – preferably to Paris! This city combines so many aspects that I really like: savoir-vivre!
Finally – how did you start working together with Vice Golf?
It’s just a good fit! (laughs)