The SA men’s hockey captain on the fear of teeing up on the 1st hole, taking easy money off Lloyd Madsen and his dream fourball, writes MARK ETHERIDGE.
How seriously do you take your golf and what handicap do you play off?
I’m a holiday hacker. I play off a very inconsistent 15.
Do hockey players have a natural feel for the game?
Greg Nicol used to hit a long ball off the tee. But not all hockey players have a natural feel for the game; I have seen some of my teammates swing a club and it is the furthest thing from poetic.
If you could pick a fourball, who would be in it and why?
My old man, because he taught me golf; then, in a shared golf cart, I would have Sir David Attenborough and Nelson Mandela – both would be able to share fascinating stories for an entire 19 holes.
What is your home club, or the course you play most often?
Southbroom Golf Club on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.
What makes you more nervous, teeing up on the 1st on a corporate golf day or playing for your country?
Teeing up on the 1st, especially if there is water in play. #Panic
What kind of playing partner are you? As SA hockey captain there’s a lot of talking that goes with the job. Are you also chirpy on the course?
If I’m involved in our annual game against our English friends there’ll definitely be some gamesmanship. Plus, a few comments thrown in to get them to question their club selection.
What temperament do you take to the golf course? Do you beat yourself up over a bad shot or rather celebrate the good ones?
Before ‘drinking golf’ was introduced to our rounds, my temperament was one of extreme calmness. But now we have Jagers or vodka shots on each putt, so I do have the odd celebration when someone in my fourball adds a vodka shot to his card.
Share a bit of the ‘inside story’ … which players or playing partners talk a big game, but don’t back it up?
Andrew Cronje, Rhett Halkett and Lloyd Norris-Jones all believe they could have made the European Tour if they hadn’t chosen hockey. This false hope they have results in an emotional 18 holes every round.
Who is your favourite player on Tour and why?
Andrew Johnston. ‘Beef’ has an incredible short game that is almost as awesome as his facial hair.
Are there any top golfers who have come from the school you attended?
Yes. Patrick Turner, Simon Russell and Rob Ferguson all showed great potential but, unfortunately, they got distracted by the bright lights of Cape Town after they left school.
What have you done more often, got within ‘gimme’ distance for a hole-in-one or not managed to get past the ladies’ tee?
Not passing the ladies’ tee haunts me every time I tee it up on a par five. The trick is to try not force it too hard, otherwise it could be embarrassing!
Have you made any money on the golf course, or have you lost more than you’ve made? Who’s the easiest player to take money off?
More often than not I’m on the losing side, but when I need to secure my rent money for the month I call up Lloyd Madsen for a game. Lloyd, who was a cricket player, has a fade (a cover drive in cricket) which comes out after a few chirps and it will destroy him mentally for the entire round. #EasyMoney
Which is your favourite Major to watch and why?
The Masters. The traditions of Augusta National are so unique and I feel it’s a special test for the highly skilled professionals.
Thirty-year-old Drummond captains the South African men’s hockey side. Born in Cape Town and educated at Hilton College, he lives on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. He represented South Africa at the 2012 London Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
– This article first appeared in the May issue of Compleat Golfer, now on sale!