Di Dougherty meets: Max Rushden

Di chats to her fellow TV presenter, whose Soccer AM show is on Sky Sports every Saturday morning

What is your handicap and where do you play?
Well, I was playing off 24, and I kept accidentally winning these charity events, so now I’m off 15. But I’m nowhere near 15.
It’s just better not to win and not to be called a bandit! I’m left-handed with a very natural fade. If it’s a dogleg right, I’m better off putting off the tee.

I’ll play anywhere that’ll have me. I’m not a member of anywhere.

I hate the tuck-your-shirt in, captain’s-car-parking-space, stuffy mentality to be honest. Members who’d rather check you’ve got the right socks on than concentrate on their own game. It doesn’t encourage young people to take up the game.

When did you start playing?
I started when I was about 10. But I only played pitch and putt until I was 18 really so I’m still relatively new to the game.

What are the strengths to your game?
My sand wedge. Basically, all my clubs can fire on any given day – but they never all fire on the same day. If I drive well I can’t putt.
I’ve got a lot better since I got some new clubs. For a decade I was playing with clubs half a foot too short. My big weakness is a fairway wood. No idea what that’s for…

Where do you find trouble?

Who do you admire in the world of golf?
Costantino Rocca for that putt. Or anyone who won their Ryder Cup singles last time out.

What is your favourite course from all the ones you have played?
Perhaps Celtic Manor, but most probably Whaddon Golf Centre. Pitch and Putt. No hole longer than 100 yards (the 5th might be 105). Ken in the clubhouse talking about his pension. The dry burgers. The Good Fryder Cup. Greatest competition in golf.

And what about your best round of golf?
26 around Whaddon. 1 under. No idea what my best 18 is. I was two over after nine once, but the back nine was spectacularly unspectacular.

Have you played golf with any of the presenters from TalkSport or Sky Sports or any famous footballers and if so were they any good?
Well, I’ve played with Darren Gough and he hits it a long way. Tony Cottee is solid. Clive Tyldsley has holed the longest putt I’ve ever seen. Teddy Sheringham is a proper golfer, he has the binoculars and everything. As a general rule, footballers don’t appreciate my green golf trousers.

Why is it that footballers are generally pretty good golfers?
Because they’ve got nothing to do in the afternoon!

You present Soccer AM every Saturday morning. Do you get more nervous in front of camera or on the 1st tee with an audience?
Definitely the 1st tee. Anyone on the left is in mortal danger.

Whose swing do you like the most?
Obviously Jim Furyk’s.

Will Europe win the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles?
Of course! Singles day in the Ryder Cup when it’s close is possibly the most exciting day in sport.

For more articles by Di or for the latest Lady Golfer features, competitions, equipment, fashion, golf breaks, instruction, events and news please seeladygolferonline.co.uk

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