Darren Gough was one of the most revered England cricketers of all-time. Before calling time on his career in 2008 and joining talkSPORT, Goughie specialised in terrifying opposing batsman. Nowadays he enjoys playing in celebrity Pro Ams, particularly when playing with Britain’s all-time great Laura Davies in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Archerfield Links.
Darren spoke to the LET after his second round…
Darren: what do you like about golf?
I love golf. I play it all the time. It’s relaxing and I’ve been on tours around the world playing cricket so it’s the first thing we’d do on a day off. Other people like going to the beach: I like playing golf.
How did you like playing with Laura?
It was fantastic. I’ve met her a few times before so it’s good when you know someone you’re going to be playing with. She’s fantastic. I’m quite energetic and want to have a laugh when I play golf and she’s perfect: right up my street, so we get on really, really well as it showed on the course.
How did you get on today?
I think we’re leading. I think we’re 16 under, but I had an unbelievable front nine. I had three eagles with my shot and on the back nine I don’t think I got one point, so on the back nine Laura played beautifully and she was playing really, really well on the back nine. I was shocking on the back nine.
Are you in the hunt for the prizes?
Well, yes! We’re at the top of the leader board but there are a lot of people to go out. I think we got the best of the weather today. We didn’t have the best of it yesterday but today going out early, we got six holes in before the wind came in and once that wind came in it was almost impossible for the amateurs.
If you weren’t a cricketer, would you like to be a golfer?
No. I couldn’t keep four rounds together. I think if I had to play four days in a row I might struggle. I had a good nine yesterday and a good nine today. Back nine was bad, so God knows what’s going to happen tomorrow.
What’s the main similarity between cricket and golf?
Concentration: I think concentration, ball striking and the will to win. I think every golfer, when she plays a bad shot or he plays a bad shot, is disappointed, but you’ve got to forget about it, instantly, because it’s always the next shot that counts and I think that’s a very, very similar mentality to cricket.
What are the main differences?
Obviously cricket is a team sport and we have a lot of banter amongst each other and we can mess about but I think in golf it’s a lot more serious and a lot more individual and they probably have to be a lot more focused. There are a lot of lonely times. I can imagine life on tour would be fun at times. I think the caddies probably have a better life than the golfers but they just don’t get paid as much.
What are the main benefits of playing in these Pro Ams, particularly with the women?
I do watch a lot of women’s golf. I watch golf full stop and you only realise when you play in these events, how good they actually are. Playing with Laura and Carin, it was awesome to watch them ball striking and I mean Laura hit one shot today, she hit the driver off the floor on the second shot and I just couldn’t believe it. Her tempo, her swing, the power: it’s great to watch. You only realise how good they are when you actually play with them live.
What hole did Laura hit the driver off the deck?
It was a par five, she was in the bunker right but she got there in two: two drivers. That’s how hard it is here: two drivers. It was amazing to watch. She just got a driver and hit it off the floor.