BBC TV presenter Naga Munchetty: Golf is an amazing game for women

Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham September 8, 2015 16:15

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty has said that finding golf has changed her life and that the sport is fantastic for women.

In an interview with The Scotsman newspaper she revealed that she plays golf regularly, and now has a handicap of nine, even though she only started playing the game in 2007. Naga Munchetty even chose the Ryder Cup as her specialist subject for her appearance on Celebrity Mastermind – and won.

“I’ll be honest, golf has changed my life,” she said.

“I got into it about eight years ago when I started to have lessons. My husband, James, was hacking around a couple of times a year and I refused to play, as I used to think golf was an old man’s game, a posh game, and not for me. But I started taking lessons, and was taught by Anna Radford, who used to be on the Ladies’ European Tour, then I started playing. I just loved the fact you are competing against yourself. I love team games as well, but I love that in golf it’s just me.

“I meet amazing people from all walks of life and socialise with people I wouldn’t necessarily choose to socialise with, but I learn something every day.”

Munchetty acknowledged that golf does have an image problem, but it’s one that can be easily addressed.

“We need to encourage golf clubs to set the course up for younger people, give them time, let them enjoy nine holes, let them play in groups and put an effort in with their pros to focus on young people. In the long term, it could make a real difference,” she said.

“We know golf clubs are struggling in terms of membership and they have to look to the future and not just be pandering all the time to older or established members.

“I think the barriers can be broken down. Often there is an attitude that women do their thing and men do their thing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. At my club they have men’s and ladies’ medals on the same day and rotate the ladies field each week, with them starting at the beginning of the day, to the middle, to the end, and that has made a massive difference.

“Why should women go out at the end and wait on every shot? Clubs also have to work on speed of play, it’s a real issue. Golf has to be played quicker to encourage more people into the game.”

“I think there are some amazing characters coming through in the women’s game, from all over the world. It’s great to see women like Lydia Ko, who doesn’t look like your typical golfer. Golf has had this image of older ladies, with money, and now you are seeing the likes of Charley Hull who has come from humble beginnings, seeing girls who are strong, fit and athletic.

“It shows people that golf is not just about skill, but you need to be athletically fit, mentally strong and have good manners.”


Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham September 8, 2015 16:15
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  1. Jason January 6, 16:06

    Good post! Thanks for that! Here’s to Naga flying the flag for the golf industry on the BBC, even if it does get defunded for failing in its duties as a public broadcaster!!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sid April 26, 08:59

    Well done Naga for taking up golf. To get down to 9 in such a short time is brilliant keep it up

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