Throughout our Golfer of the Month blog feature, we have highlighted individuals who have travelled huge distances to play 18 holes in inhospitable places, as well as a golfer who has come back from a life-changing diagnosis to make golf the cornerstone of his life. Today we are going to take a slightly different tack.
Meet Fabian Sixt, an avid Hole19 user and our Golfer of the Month for June. You might know him better as @Good_Sundays on Instagram. You can follow him here.
Like many of us, Fabian picked up the game later in life (at 28, to be exact) and quickly caught the bug. Fabian's story differs because early on, he made it his mission to transform the game's image.
For too long, the sport has been seen as a stuffy upper-class pastime, so Fabian threw himself into promoting the dynamic experiences only golf can provide.
This is his story.
June Golfer of the Month | Fabian Sixt
Fabian was first introduced to golf 14 years ago. A friend was arranging a 'Welcome to Golf' initiative, and, despite having zero interest in the game up to that point, he was convinced to give it a go. Unexpectedly, the golfing bug bit hard, so much so that he purchased his first-ever set of golf clubs the very next week.
Fabian quickly discovered in Germany most golfers must possess a license called a "Platzreife" before they can get on the course. After taking his mandatory lessons, Fabian met a golf pro through his work and in return for some art, taught him a lot in those early days.
Around this time, he started to notice the bad rap golf was getting. He would constantly be battling against the beliefs friends and colleagues held that golf was somewhat of a closed shop and a game exclusively for the elite. Fabian's own experiences up to that point proved this to be an unfair criticism, and he felt motivated to change as many opinions as possible and to shed light on all that is great about the game we all know and love.
In 2010, Fabian began his famous Good Sundays blog intending to dispel the myth that golf was all champagne and lobsters, when we all know it runs much deeper than that. Good Sundays has now developed into a hugely popular lifestyle magazine built with one man's passion and unbridled love of golf at its heart.
The plan was to show the game for what it is... simply the most amazingly rewarding and fun sport in the world, bar none.
Almost by accident, Fabian met a few people who helped get his blog in front of the right people at the beginning of the bloom of social media. Due to this powerful network, Good Sundays developed at an incredible pace. It took less than two years of growth to legitimately rival the largest German golf publications.
As the only German online golf blog, he achieved tremendous success showing the lifestyle and experiences behind golf rather than its widely accepted and misrepresented image.
It wasn't long before Fabian began to see that golf could be a way to move away from his normal working life and actively seek out these new experiences and share them with other people.
In 2015, Fabian left his agency to become a freelancer, opening the door to a golf travel lifestyle he would never have expected. His partner convinced him of the possibilities, and in just two months, he was in the air - armed with just a camera, phone, backpack and golf clubs - ready to document his first golf journey.
He would live in each country for a month at a time - for an initial span of six months - travelling around to check out the best and most interesting golf courses. He documented everything and presented it in its entirety to the community. Whether on or beyond the course, Fabian knew people were invested in the story - not the guy holding the camera.
The approach resulted in Good Sundays blossoming further, gaining worldwide attention after a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Australia and Bali. A newly formed Instagram account also allowed Fabian another medium to visually document his golf journeys and engage with his global audience more easily.
With momentum continuing to build, it wasn't long before innovative brand agencies started to reach out. Focusing on these brands and helping them understand the ins and outs of storytelling and making experiences part of their strategy helped fund the increasingly golf-filled life.
Keen to follow his own path, Fabian has always been against working with typical golf brands. He didn't want to go down the well-trodden track and instead wanted to change the current culture. A key message behind Good Sundays is 'Style ist wichtig'... or for the non-German speakers amongst us, 'style is important'.
Mainly, this meant working with unique, up-and-coming smaller brands that bring some much-needed style to the golf industry. Being a maverick himself, Fabian has always been keen to help these sorts of brands find their own place in the market and ultimately flourish. Before long, he was a contracted influencer and was helping steer brands in new marketing methods and toward new audiences.
The golf travel showcases followed the same mantra he used in arranging the brand deals. The key was highlighting regions and golf courses many people hadn't seen before. In doing so, this helped demonstrate that even regular, lesser-known courses can evoke powerful emotions in the everyday golfer.
One particularly moving encounter occurred in 2018 during a round at Inverallochy Golf Club in Fraserburgh, near Aberdeen under perfect conditions on a summer's evening. The Golden Hour as many would call it. While Fabian was taking some photographs of the golf course, he noticed a man running through the dunes in tears. Fabian, showing genuine concern, asked him what was wrong and how he could help. The elderly gentleman, who was at least in his 80s, replied that it was wonderful to see someone paying attention to his boyhood golf course, a spotlight it had never before received.
That one encounter helped to highlight the fact that every golf course has a story to tell, and every region has little gems waiting to be unearthed. Fabian continues to bring as many of these interesting golf courses to life as he possibly can, while also encouraging more and more style in the game.
For this remarkable journey and an unshakeable passion for helping golf reach new audiences, we're sure you'll agree that Fabian Sixt is a very worthy Hole19 Golfer of the Month for June.