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Argentina  INESfun

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There are about 300 recesses on one golf ball, and thanks to them, the ball flies three times farther than a smooth one. ... Balls of the same size...

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Interview: Axel “Analyzer” Ekman, Finland


Finland 05 Dec 2009 at 23:17 | Published by: JJM | Views: 7481 | News search

Interview: Axel “Analyzer” Ekman, Finland
Axel Ekman in Rahola, Tampere.  (Photo by John Mittler 2008)

Pasi Aho interviews Finnish minigolf player Axel Ekman, for the website of the Finnish Minigolf Association. Or was it Alex...?

(Translation from original Finnish version by John Mittler.)

Pasi:
To begin with, give us a short description of the civilian Alex, many people don't know you so well.

Alex:
I study physics in Jyväskylä [Central Finland] hopefully for the last year, and live there with my girlfriend and two cats. Right now too much of my leisure time goes for pedagogic studies.

Pasi:
You are known in the scene as a merciless theoretician. Is this really true?

Axel:
It is true.

Pasi:
One of your favourite hobbies is detailed analysis of your minigolf opponents, especially the way how they hold the putter. Who has the perfect grip of the putter?

Alex:
Backhand: Karin Wiklund
Backhand with straight index finger: Alexander Geist
Forehand: Oskari Vihervaara (a tough match with Jari Kinnunen and Erik Tiekstra [who no longer plays forehand])
Forehand with straight index finger: Karel Molnár Jr.

Pasi:
And whose minigolf swing is so perfectly orthodox that there cannot really be any mistakes coming up?

Axel:
I would like to come up with something more original, but... for many years I have admired the shoulder/knee synchro of Anders Olsson.

Pasi:
My first memory of Alex Ekman is a flaxen-haired youngster with an adjustable putter angle. Maybe you will tell more details, how and when your minigolf career started.

Alex:
I started playing minigolf in 1997, by asking "Löde" [Manse RG player Marko Löyttyniemi] why he had so terribly many balls with different colours. After this Ilkka Helimäki taught me everything what I know about a minigolf shot. My first official competition was Finnish felt championships 1998 in Tampere.

Pasi:
Manse RG made a positive impression at European Cup 2009 in Vaduz, and you were the leader of the team when it comes to scores. Also in the winter season opener at Rahola indoor eternite, you totally humiliated everyone else with average 20.80. How did this all happen?

Axel:
I don't know even myself yet, what has happened to my game. For some reason the strange random swings have just gone away. I hope that this will be a permanent state of mindlessness.

Pasi:
In August in Waldshut the guys still laughed at your performance in the coach match. Was the pressure simply too high?

Axel:
I may point out that the guys always laugh at me and I always have too much pressure in the coach match. Also the opponents [miniature coaches Timo Metsäranta and Marko Nuotio] were way too tough, they even invented new lines for concrete in the middle of the round.

Pasi:
Despite these recent successes, the finest moment in your minigolf career has probably taken place and time somewhere else. Or has it?

Alex:
To put it short: Olten 2004. [Team silver medal at Youth European Championships.] I was the substitute player, waiting for my turn to play the Örkelljunga on felt, as our anchor smashed in the last lane.

Pasi:
And when have things gone so bad that you would rather wish not to remember it any more?

Axel:
Vöyri 2003. [Finnish team championships on felt.] Just to take an example from this competition, I scored a round of 66 points, including the four last lanes 7-1-7-7. I had my 18th birthday in the previous day, and evil tongues whisper that I was "tired" because of partying too much. I still deny any such claims.

Pasi:
Have you had any role models at minigolf courses or outside of them?

Alex:
The late Ilkka Helimäki [Manse RG player, 1969-1999] was a role model for me from the very beginning. Thanks to him I have sometimes played also felt quite well.

Pasi:
You have recently played less than before, probably because of busy time in civilian life. Will we see Alex more often at minigolf courses in future, and will a place in the national team be your goal once more?

Axel:
I always try to play as much as I can. Right now it seems that I will play more this winter than in last winter. I might even humiliate myself at the indoor felt course in Turku. A place in the national team will always be a goal, whenever they don't play on felt courses.

Pasi:
What other hobbies do you have except minigolf? As far as I know you, you master some quite surprising things in life.

Alex:
Right now I play percussion in a brass band, and I also play table tennis in my leisure time. Generally I get enthusiastic about nearly everything everywhere.

Pasi:
I also would like to thank you for the advice how to perfectly fold shirts. I have now finally learned it and do use it permanently. In Odense my roommates admired me for these skills.

Alex:
I can also teach you how to fold jackets correctly and perfectly!

Pasi:
Your native language is actually Swedish. Väl inte behövt språket so ofta hemma i Tammerfors?

Axel:
I Tammerfors var det väl ganska obligatoriskt [i skolan]. Det skulle ha varit ganska svårt att gå i skola utan att använda svenska.

Pasi:
Thanks for everything, Alex! Who should have the honour to be the next person interviewed by the SRGL team?

Alex:
I had thought about Jari Kinnunen for this, but now I cannot resist the temptation to throw the ball to Oskari "GreenDanger" Vihervaara.

Pasi:
That's a deal then! We will not meet this year any more, so merry Christmas to you!

Axel:
Merry Christmas!

» original version of the interview (in Finnish language)

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Comments (1)


United States of America Smitty (Jeffrey Smith)

07 Dec 2009 at 14:31
Quite an enjoyable interview. Thanks to both the interviwer and the subject.

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FNMB starts with matchplay championships in 2010

Netherlands 05 Dec 2009 at 12:29 | views: 4536 | Comments: 0

The Dutch Minigolf Federation, FNMB, follows the trend of the last couple of years and decided to organize a special matchplay championship next year. The reason to do this is to keep up with the international trend and positive feedback from players at different ...
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FNMB starts with matchplay championships in 2010

Nations cup canceled in Predazzo Italy 2010

Nations cup canceled in Predazzo Italy 2010

Europe 03 Dec 2009 at 10:03 | views: 5938 | Comments: 1

Last night all member nations in EMF recived a mail from EMF Sport Director Reinhard Neitzke with the message that Nations Cup in Predazzo in May 2010 will be canceled and replaced by another tournament. We below publish Reinhards mail in its full. "Dear ...
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Piccini and Catanzaro are "Italian Masters" 2009

Italy 03 Dec 2009 at 06:22 | views: 5103 | Comments: 0

The cold winter is coming also in Italy, so the indoor season in Vedano al Lambro (actually the only Italian indoor course, Bongni 100%) has started. The first tournament of the season had been the "Master Final" a match-play tournament reserve to the best ...
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Piccini and Catanzaro are "Italian Masters" 2009

World Champ wins again

World Champ wins again

Sweden 27 Nov 2009 at 18:46 | views: 4978 | Comments: 1

The reigning World Champion, Swedens Jonas Gustafsson (BGK Jönköping), won the national tournament at his indoor home feltcourses last weekend. Jonas played 29-24-27-25-26=131 (average 26,2) on the quite easy courses. Nevertheless it is impressive to keep all ...
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