Di Dougherty: "I wasn’t nervous at the 2010 Ryder Cup"

Di Dougherty on her love of links golf, the 2010 Ryder Cup opening ceremony... and taking tips from her husband

What was it like presenting Sky Sports’ golf coverage?
It was fantastic. I love golf and I love talking about golf. At the end of 2011 I decided to step away from work for a short time to start a family.

Our little boy Maximilian James Dougherty arrived in August 2012. My time away from broadcasting has made me very hungry to return. I’m very much looking forward to 2013.

Can we expect to see you back on our screens soon?
I have been doing some work on Sky News Sunrise as well as branching out into other sports. I presented the World Series Squash Finals on Sky Sports in January, which was incredible.

The fitness of the professionals is incredible and I am now a keen squash player! I am also really excited to be working for the Golf Channel at Wentworth during the PGA Championship.

I know a lot of the guys over in the States from various trips to the Majors and I can’t wait to work with them. The programmes air in the States only but I will be blogging about my work and tweeting no doubt.

Who was your favourite Sky pundit to work alongside?
They are all great in their own way. Ewen Murray makes me laugh all the time! Wayne Riley is full of energy and I loved our ad libs out on the course at various European Tour events. His energy is engaging.

I started at Sky as a runner and would regularly make Richard Boxall his breakfast! Richard has a very dry sense of humour, which I love. Rob Lee’s laugh is hilarious and I always get the giggles when he does. I still chat to them and enjoy their banter.
“I listen to nick’s advice… But as a wife it’s easy to have selective hearing!” How nervous were you ahead of the 2010 Ryder Cup opening ceremony and is that the highlight of your career so far?
The Ryder Cup in 2010 was brilliant. I wasn’t actually nervous during the Opening Ceremony. I was working with a fantastic team, great floor manager (Kate Strophair you know who you are), Jason Wessely producing and Mike Allen directing.

I couldn’t go wrong. The chaps talking in your ear are very important and it’s so lovely to have calm controlled voices coming through to you. It makes a huge difference and puts one at ease.

I had the easier job of just talking about the golf, the players had the tough job out on the course! If you’d given me a golf club on that 1st tee then I’d be nervous.

How is your golf, are you a member of your club and what do you play off?
My golf is okay at the moment. I don’t want to say too much more as I’ll probably jinx my game! Aren’t we all so superstitious!

I play regularly at Wentworth and have met a great group of ladies there. My handicap is 11 at present. My lowest was 6 when I was a teenager but due to work (yes – any old excuse) I have a few more shots now, which I certainly enjoy. I want to get back down to single figures by the end of the year.

Note to self: Must practise more I am really looking forward to some warmer weather this summer. Fingers crossed.

How much help has husband Nick been to your game?
I play regularly and play a lot of golf with my husband, Nick. I think I’m a pretty good student and listen to most things he says! As a wife though, I think it’s easy to have selective hearing!

He is very patient with me as I can lose my cool out on the course and not talk for a hole or two. That’s a normal relationship on the golf course though isn’t it?!

I think it’s because I grew up in such a sports-mad competitive environment.

Do you prefer inland or seaside golf and what’s your favourite course?
Seaside courses. One of my favourite places in the world is St Andrews and the Old Course.

My brother went to university there so I remember the days when we would drive up from our home in the north west. My mum and dad would take us around the courses up there and I love nothing better than playing a round of golf breathing in the sea air.

Kingsbarns is also wonderful. I have had the privilege of playing in the Dunhill Links a couple of times and playing in a pro tournament at my favourite location was brilliant.

It was therefore a no-brainer when we were choosing our wedding venue – Nick and I got married up there in December 2011. I hope one day I can partner Nick in the Dunhill Links.

That will be an interesting dynamic! I promise, Nick, I will listen to you…

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