Sports presenter Gabby Logan has little time for golf, but it is a sport that is close to her heart and one that she believes her whole family will be playing for many more years to come.
Gabby Logan is forever telling her 11 year-old twins, Reuben and Lois that when they get to 20 they will be thanking her profusely for having started them off in golf. They began a couple of years ago but, for the moment at least, Reuben is following the same rugby-playing route as his father, Kenny Logan, a winner of 70 Scottish caps, while Lois is rather more interested in horses. Reuben does, though, have a friend with whom he likes to play and Gabby has her fingers crossed that the arrangement continues.
As for Lois, she will keep on with the encouragement because she feels that mums have a responsibility to encourage their daughters to make sport a part of their lives:
“They need to understand that keeping fit isn’t just something faddy, something that only becomes necessary when you need to fit into a dress for Christmas.”
A former International gymnast, Gabby admits to feeling horribly guilty on those occasions when she slips out to play golf with a friend, simply because of how long the game takes: “I don’t really have the four hours you need for 18 holes.”
The guilt disappears when she plays with the twins, though she has noticed that Reuben - and his friends for that matter - would seem to share her concerns.
More and more, Gabby thinks that golf will need to be careful in that there are so many ways a person can have an appropriate amount of exercise without spending hours and hours at the golf club.
She herself was introduced to the game by Kenny. Kenny’s idea of asking her out for a date when they first met was to suggest a quick nine holes and they would play the nine-hole course at Chiswick. - “a real gem of a venue and so close to the city centre” - and that seldom took more than an hour.
In analysing her game, Gabby says that Clare Balding has told her that she should be lower than the 28 handicap she uses on those rare occasions she plays in a pro-am. However, she suspects that if Clare were to see more of her game, she would get to see that while she can clobber the ball a good 250 yards on a given day, her putting and chipping can be pitiful.
As one of the TV hosts at the Olympics, she initially saw golf as a questionable choice for the Games and was still more sceptical when a number of the top players decided against making the trip to Rio. But, though she continues to think that straightforward medal play was not the right answer, she became convinced that golf belonged in that environment as she watched Justin Rose not just winning but entering into the spirit of the Games. Though Gabby has little time to play in pro-ams, she once partnered Padraig Harrington and loved every minute of it.
When it comes to your average man in golf, she admits to finding the game “a little machismo.” As luck would have it, she has a female friend, a football writer, who is made of stern stuff and refuses to stand for any nonsense from any men on any course. Gabby has learned from her how not to be intimidated, though it goes without saying that she had the best of starts in playing alongside Kenny.
The above is an extract from the latest edition of Women & Golf magazine, out Friday. Never miss an issue, subscribe to Women & Golf or treat a friend this Christmas with a subscription.
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