On Sunday the 8th of May Archie from P6 got the chance to meet and interview ex pro golfer and pundit Alan Tait! Alan Tait is a former golf professional born in 1969. He kindly agreed to participate with this interview for St Mary’s school.
Alan now works as the Director of Golf at Dalmahoy Golf Course near Edinburgh and also works in the media, including radio work and providing commentary on major tournaments.
- What inspired you to play golf in the first place?
“At the age of 5 or 6 years I went with my Mum and Dad who played golf a lot. I used to ride on the back of their golf trolley and took the occasional shot. My big brother, who is 7 years older than me, also got me playing golf and helped me to develop my game a lot”
- What age were you when you started playing golf?
“I started playing golf aged 5-6years as mentioned but began to play seriously when aged 11 or 12 years old. I was also quite good at football but had to make a decision about which sport to give up”
- What year did you turn professional?
“I turned professional 1n 1990 at the age of 21. I think this is a good age to turn professional.”
- What is your golf handicap?
“When I turned professional my golf handicap was three (3 over par). However, when you turn professional you lose your handicap and play from zero along with everybody else”
- What is your favourite golf club?
“The club that I probably am the best with is the Driver. I am able to hit a reasonable distance but importantly was able to consistently hit it straight down the middle. It is important to keep out of the long grass if possible!”
- What advice would you give young golfers who want to turn professional?
“The standard of golf is very high these days and the to succeed you need to be very dedicated, almost selfish. To be successful at the highest level you have to sacrifice many social activities including girlfriends and going to pubs. I wasn’t prepared to make all of these sacrifices when I was younger which may have held me back a little in terms of my golf game.”
- What is the biggest tournament you have ever qualified for?
“The biggest tournament that I qualified for was the PGA at Wentworth in 1997 where I played in front of up to forty thousand spectators. In the groups of golfers around me were some of the most famous golfers in the world including Nick Faldo in the group ahead of me, and Seve Ballesteros in the group behind. In these bigger tournaments everybody plays for 2 days with about half of the field qualifying to play the final 2 days. On the last hole of my second day I “three-putted” causing me to miss the cut for the final 2 rounds by one shot. That was a quiet journey home!”
- What is the greatest achievement in your career?
“In 1994 I was taking part in a four day tournament in Carnoustie. I managed to be the first player to ever complete a round of 64 shots (8 under par). That still remains the lowest score ever shot on the course”
- Have you ever had a hole in one?
“I have had five holes in one in my career. Surprisingly they all came in a five year period between 1986 and 1990 and I haven’t had one since – I think I must be due another soon!”
- What is the best shot that you have ever hit?
“When making the course record in Carnoustie in 1994 I faced a difficult second shot on the 18th and final hole. I knew I had a chance of setting a new course record so I was very nervous. The shot to the green was difficult as there was a small stream in front of the green, a hotel to the rear of the green and an “out of bounds” area to the side. I managed to clear the stream and land nicely on the green about 15 yards away from the hole. Under pressure I think that was my best shot”
- Who is your favourite golfer at the current time?
“My favourite current golfer is Rory McIlroy. My favourite golfer of all time is Jack Nicklaus who was a great golfer in the 1970s and was both a good winner and loser”
- If you were not a professional golfer what would like to be?
“In my younger years I would have liked to have been a professional footballer if I had not been a golfer. Currently I really enjoy my media work and would love to work with the big companies such as SKY”
- Do you regret choosing golf over football?
“I don’t regret choosing golf over football when aged 11 or 12 years. If I was faced with the same choice again I would make the same decision”
- What football team do you support?
“I support Glasgow Rangers” – although I think I was able to convince him to be a Burnley fan in the future ;o)
By Archie, P6