Contrary to popular belief, football and golf have a lot of elements in common, even if one is a team sport, and the other one is played solo. Both of these sports require extreme precision, situational awareness and a keen knowledge of physics.
As a result, it is no wonder why many footballers are drawn to golf, as this sport taps into the same elements – tactical thinking, muscle memory, the ability to think two steps ahead – that they have been practicing for years. Golf is also a way for football players to escape the pressures of the coaches, the stress of high stakes matches and the intense training sessions in favor of a more relaxed atmosphere. In this article, we will be talking about the stars who have found solace in this fascinating sport. Here are four footballers who play golf.
Former AC Milan superstar Andrei Shevchenko is considered one of the finest players of his generation due to his proficiency and excellent tactical thinking. He was the first Ukrainian player to have ever won the UEFA Champions League, and he snuck the Golden Foot award right from under Ronaldinho’s nose back in 2005.
Nowadays, the retired star who led the National Team of Ukraine to the 2018 World Cup in Russia as manager, is an accomplished golfer. After purchasing the Wentworth Estate a few years ago, he became a member of the prestigious Wentworth Golf Club. In that same period, Andrei Shevchenko made his debut golf march, going against all odds and impressing the golf world with his skills.
Unlike Andrei Shevchenko, who picked up golf only after he retired from football, David Platt began his golfing career at the age of 22, back when he signed with Aston Villa. Even before he started playing for The Lions, Sir Bobby Robinson, then manager of the English Nation Team, remarked his excellent finishing, creative playing style, and goal scoring capabilities, and decided to include him in the National Team.
He reached peak performance during the 1990 World Cup edition in Italy, where he scored goal after goal with both feet and his head. Furthermore, his late goal sent England to the quarter-finals of the competition, kick-starting a short, but fruitful period for the National Team. After retiring during the early 90’s, he opened a golf business called Major Golf, which is highly appreciated in the industry.
Teddy Sheringham, who retired from football back in 2008, at the age of 42, was a very prolific player. He is the 10th best scorer in the entire history of Premier League, a record which he still holds so many years after retiring.
Nowadays, he is dedicating all of his time, effort, and the skills that he has cultivated throughout his career to the golf course. In fact, his favorite golfing partner is Alan Shearer, another English football legend who has picked up this sport after the end of his professional career.
As far as records go, very few players have the ability to surpass Alan’s Shearers achievements. Amongst his many achievements, he holds the record for the most goals scored in Premier League, with a total of 422. Since he has retired from his professional career in 2006, he dedicated his time to philanthropy, raising over 1.6 million Pounds for various humanitarian causes.
Soon enough, he combined two of his life passions (philanthropy and golfing) and started organizing charity golf days through his foundation. Nowadays, apart from being of the best strikers, England has ever produced, he is an accomplished golfer. In fact, he finds this sport even more intense than football, stating at one point that he has never been as nervous as when he played his very first Wentworth BMW Pro-Am Championship.
Since playing golf and football at a decent level require the same skills – situational awareness, precision, patience, moving at a calculated pace and novel tactical thinking – it should come to no surprise that many footballers have picked it up after retiring. These former players, and several others that we did not mention stand proof that even the most avid of football fans can find enjoyment in golf.