England batsman Lyth: ‘I’ve nearly killed some donkeys’July, 2015
Adam Lyth takes a break from the Ashes to talk about his golfing exploits
England batsman Adam Lyth took a break from facing 100mph Australian bowlers in order to get fitted out with a new set of clubs at Moor Allerton in Leeds today.
The Yorkshireman was at the Regional Mizuno Performance Centre, where resident expert James Whittaker talked him through the intricacies of club fittings.
Lyth, who plays off eight, is currently embroiled in his maiden Ashes series, which is currently tied 1-1, and grew up playing his golf at Whitby, where he still lives with his family.
I actually got fitted for some clubs at Snainton, but Mizuno got in touch and were interested in getting me fitted, so it has been a great opportunity to check out the facilities here at Moor Allerton.
You get to learn a little bit about your swing and how you hit the ball. I didn’t realise how technical it was, and one of the things I’ve learned today is how I need to try and keep the club head level through the ball.
When did you first start playing golf?
I started playing at Whitby, going down with my Dad aged six or seven and playing a few holes. But I really got into it as a teenager and during the summer holidays I wouldn’t miss a day of golf.
I never really played cricket until I was eight or nine, but then I got picked to play for Yorkshire under 11s and I started to take it a bit more seriously.
Do you still play at Whitby, because it has had a bit of financial difficulties recently hasn’t it?
I actually still live in Whitby so I am a member there. I hope there will always be a golf course at Whitby, because otherwise you would have to head to Scarborough or Saltburn, but unfortunately they are losing a few members. Hopefully there’s someone who can come in and take it over.
There’s only about three greenkeepers, so the course is in unbelievable nick for the resources they have.
I still play for Whitby in the Scarborough and District Alliance if I’m not away with cricket.
There’s been a couple of times when I have put it on the beach at Whitby’ It must be easier to face a stationary ball, rather than one bowled by an angry Aussie, but do you find the golf helps your cricket?
Actually no, my bad shot is an extra cover drive, which goes right left and straight over cover. The two are completely different, if I’m honest.
I don’t tend to think about cricket when I’m playing golf. It’s a great way for me to get away from it and it takes my mind away and helps me relax.
You play off eight so you’re not too shabby, but who on the England team is the best golfer?
Jimmy Anderson is a very handy golfer, but there are lots of us who play, such as Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes. When we play there’s always a bit of banter flying about on the course.
Stokes plays off 14, but he’s a proper bandit so if he has a good day he’s going to be hard to beat.
Which of the players throws the biggest tantrums on the course?
I would be lying if I said I had never thrown a club, but I’d say Ben Stokes. Sometimes he loses his rag if he misses a putt or he duffs one or it goes out of bounds. But he’s actually quite funny, and great to play with.
What’s the worst shot you’ve ever hit?
There’s been a couple of times when I have put it on the beach at Whitby and nearly killed some donkeys.
I’ve broken a few roof tiles from the 15th tee too. Sometimes, if there’s no wind, you can go over the corner, take the Tiger line, and hook it into the houses.
Who’s going to win the Ashes?
We are. There’s no reason we can’t beat the Ozzies.
There’s absolutely no reason we can’t win at Edgbaston and then go on to win the series.
As for me, I know I’m good enough to get 100 against Australia, it’s coming together and I just need that one good innings to get me going.