With the second Ashes Test getting underway in Adelaide today, avid golfer and former Australian Test captain Ricky Ponting, who many have argued could turn professional, spoke to Golf.org.au about how his great passion outside cricket came about. What s your earliest memory of golf? How did you get into it? My earliest memories are when I was 9 or 10 years old. My dad used to take one Friday off work each month to play a round of golf with his mates. He used to let me take the afternoon off school and walk the course with them. I wasn t allowed to play but it was certainly my introduction to golf. Dad was a very good golfer and he left school early to pursue a life as a golf professional but that didn t work out. But golf has been a constant in his life and it was inevitable that all our family would be keen golfers. Since retiring, how often are you playing golf? I don t actually feel like I ve properly retired yet as I ve been traveling a lot promoting my autobiography Ponting at the close of play. But on the weeks that I am at home with no commitments, I would typically play up to 4 games a week. I d play every day if I could! Are there any lessons or principles from golf that you took into your captaincy of Australia? Not in relation to captaincy but certainly as a batsman. In both cricket and golf, it s important that you have the patience to play the right shot at the right time. Both games also rely heavily on pre-shot routine. This was a critical part of how I batted right through my career and I have adapted it as a routine for when I play golf. What s your favourite course that you ve played while being away on Tour? Royal Portrush in Ireland. The best links style course in the world.
“In both cricket and golf, it s important that you have the patience to play the right shot at the right time.”
What s your favourite course in Australia? Royal Melbourne on top ahead of a number of courses I love playing. Who are your favourite pro golfers to watch and why? Sergio Garcia because of the uniqueness of his swing and Bubba Watson because of his shot making ability and for how far he hits the ball. Adam Scott for how technically correct he is and how perfect his swing looks and Marc Leishman because he’s a good mate and we ve got to know each other well. Who is/are the most interesting/entertaining pro-am partners you ve played with? To tell you the truth, I haven t played a lot of pro-ams over the years but I m certainly looking forward to playing more now. I have, however, had the opportunity to play with some wonderful pros including Gary Player, Rob Allenby and Aaron Baddeley Did you ever consider turning professional? Have people encourage you to consider it? No, but I have had lots of people tell me I should but, seriously, I know that I am a long way off having what it takes to be a competitive professional golfer. Lastly, What s your favourite club in your bag? My driver!