Could Ricky Ponting make the switch the professional golf?
An interesting piece at FoxSports.com.au last week on speculation that Ricky Ponting could make the switch to professional golf now that he has retired from most forms of cricket.
Gary Player once said that Ponting had clearly chosen the wrong sport after seeing his golf swing and he boasts a handicap of +1 and a career best round of 66. But is that enough to make the grade in the world of professional golf?
There have been two high-profile Australian sports-people who have attempted to make the switch to golf after a long career in another professional sport.
Most recently, Dean Jones has been having a crack at the senior professional golf tour in Australia but before that, Australian tennis player Scott Draper made the switch which included victory at the NSW PGA championship.
But in his own words, he “basically had no idea”.
“I was a club golfer who got to a handicap of +2 and shot 9-under to win my club championship. But I quickly realised on tour my short game was horrific and that I really only had one or two shots in my bag – I basically had no idea,” Draper confesses.
“I cannot believe how much I learnt about the short game – playing from different lies and all that. Ricky would have the same issues. He’ll need to pick people’s brains and play as much golf in tournament conditions to adapt to the pressure.
“Tournament golf is another step up. I remember going to Kingston Heath for a round straight after the Australian Masters was held and I went out and shot 28 points. It’s a different game all together under tournament conditions.”
I’m predicting Ponting will give professional golf a go at some point, he’ll have no problems getting a few invitations to high-profile events. As we’ve seen though, success on the fairways is not assured just because you’re a successful athlete in another sport.