The Ex-England and Southampton pro is repping Prostate Cancer UK on the course as well as the telly.
We asked the self-confessed golf nut a few questions, ahead of him and the Soccer Saturday team taking on their own Big Golf Race.
When did you start playing golf?
Well there wasn’t much golf in Guernsey when I was growing up, occasionally my parents would take me and my brothers down to have a hit on a short pitch and putt course, but that was only 80-yard holes. It was when I moved to Southampton with some other apprentices that I picked it up more seriously. We used to have a bit of free time, so there was plenty of opportunities to go down and play a couple of rounds with the team. It was then that I caught the bug.
We even got Alan Shearer hooked on it. He was a little younger than us lot, but he was coming through the apprentice route we’d all been through. It’s funny, his swing at the beginning was… different, but he caught the bug too and now plays off a pretty respectable number, certainly low single figures. In fact, you’d say the same about me and my early swing! Though now, I think I might be the lowest handicap I have ever been at 51 years of age… so after 25 years I must have learnt something.
What has been your best golfing experience?
I’ve had the good fortune of being able to play at some amazing places over the years. I’ve played at Sawgrass quite a few times, TPC Scottsdale too, and I even got to play Augusta about three years ago. As a golf fanatic, to stand on the first tee of Augusta was one day in my life that I’ll never forget.
Most of us have had personal experiences with prostate cancer. That’s why we wear the badge wherever we can on Soccer Saturday.
How are the Soccer Saturday team’s golfing abilities?
A few of them are pretty nifty hackers. Merse has taken the game up a bit more now and he’s not too bad, and Jeff is half decent too. Though I think he prefers his own company on the course as he sometimes feels there’s pressure to perform when playing with better players. But he does enjoy the game and being out on a course.
It’s great to see you and the Soccer Saturday team donning the Man of Men badge every week, what does the badge mean to you?
We’ve realised the importance of helping to drive awareness for prostate cancer over the years. It’s now the most diagnosed cancer in the UK, so we’ll continue to beat the drum and support where we can. Most of us have had personal experiences with prostate cancer, whether that be through close family or friends suffering with the disease. That’s why we wear the badge wherever we can on Soccer Saturday.
How many holes will you take on in the Big Golf Race?
I think given my body at the moment; I probably only have the Half-Marathon in me. All those challenges from Tony Adams and battles with Pearcey have taken their toll. I’ve actually played 54 holes in a day for fun, which shows how much of a golf nut I am – but those days are behind me.
I’m always passionate about supporting Prostate Cancer UK where I can, and if that means spending a longer time on the course, well… I’m more than happy to help.
Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK. That’s why we need you on our team to help keep men in the game for longer.