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Get Set. Golf with Andrew Daddo.
Apia is proud to be the major partner of Golf Australia – and with the help of Apia Golf Ambassador Andrew Daddo, we’ve created a new series just for you called Get.Set.Golf. As you head into retirement, golf is a fantastic way to stay active and connected – and our series is full of practical tips and tricks to kickstart your golfing journey.
There are so many reasons to love golf: from the health benefits of regular exercise to the fun of catching up with friends. Best of all, it really is a game everyone can enjoy. Your age or ability aren’t what’s important – just that you get out there and have a crack!
Nobody knows this better than Andrew Daddo, who has been a golf enthusiast for most of his life – and is now an Apia Golf Ambassador to boot.
In our three-part Get Set. Golf. series, Andrew will take share some of his experiences, and tell us why he loves this sport so much. And along the way, he’ll share some of his favourite techniques for developing and improving your game.
Meet Andrew and get a taste for what’s to come in the teaser video below.
Get Set. Golf!
Episode 1 – Get Set. Golf. With Andrew Daddo. Why I love golf.
Andrew Daddo talks golf & living the good life
Andrew Daddo’s relationship with golf has only grown stronger over the years – from the moment his Pop gifted him his first set of clubs. His best advice? You don’t have to be great at golf to enjoy it. Keep reading to learn the Apia Golf Ambassador’s take on passion, family and living the ‘good life’.
Golf’s been like a mistress for almost as long as I can remember. We’ve been hot, we’ve been cold. I’ve tried to leave golf and golf’s definitely tried to leave me, but we keep finding a way back to each other. Now, the bond is stronger than ever. It all began when we were kids. Mum or Dad would take us for a game from time to time, and later, drop us at the local golf course which seemed to serve as a babysitter/amusement park. I think I fell hardest for golf once school was finished – my grandfather was a member at a Sandbelt course and we’d have lunch in the clubhouse before playing with a couple of his mates. It remains one of my life’s great joys – men in their later years flat out trying to beat each other on the golf course whilst laughing and making the very most of their lives. I loved it. It was an early lesson in passion, for that, I’m forever in debt to Pop – he also gave me my first set of golf clubs, including a hand ground sandwedge called The Howitzer. Maybe it’s his fault I’m such a tinkerer.
Swimming, walking and golfing seem to make up the majority of my activities.
Four or five days a week I’ll ride to the beach and swim a kilometer and a half, hopefully easing the way into the beach with a wave. A couple of years ago I started doing winter and summer (in Sluggo’s – water gets to about 16 at worst) and it’s been a revelation.
We walk the dog daily, often to do the grocery shopping.
And, where time and life allow, there’s golf. Generally once a week, but twice if I can justify it (surprisingly often). Always walking with a trolley or carrying – no carts.
Ah, the good life… I guess the ‘good life’ is really about letting yourself enjoy the dumb stuff you do when you’re not working, and reminding yourself that what’s dopey to someone else might actually be a source of invigoration and happiness. Take beach worming, for instance. An hour or so before and after low tide, you can catch sandworms on Manly Beach. Make that, you can try because after a couple of years of trying, I’m a C Grader at best. It’s ridiculously addictive. And no phones!!! I know – the good life!
I love to cook, especially with my kids who are all pretty handy in the kitchen. And whilst we were devastated by the loss of the family dog this year, we were definitely buoyed by the arrival of a new puppy who’s doing her job, bringing us all together for walks and talks and the chance to share whatever’s on our minds at that particular moment.
It’s not a matter of thinking golf is an accessible sport for all ages, it’s a matter of knowing. My grandfather played into his 90’s. He was terrible, by the way. Could barely get a seven iron above eye level, but he loved it. And what he missed with his long irons he made up for with his chipping and putting. But the joy was obvious, it also brought us together and gave us the opportunity to spend time together doing something instead of sitting around a table looking for things to talk about. Golf’s not just about playing golf, it’s about friendship and distraction and passion and having a story to go home with.
How do you start? Don’t panic, for one. Whilst it’s a difficult game, it’s set up to take all comers: that’s a fact. And it’s not a matter of buying the best gear or fanciest pants, getting a start in golf is finding a swing that works and not getting too frustrated when it stops working, meaning you go searching for a newer swing. Putting seems to be the place most golfers lose most shots, but you want to do it with your mates, because everyone has an opinion and they’re all there to help, right?
Of course there are great programs for those looking to start – Get Into Golf Seniors by Golf Australia is terrific. It’s social, but you can have a crack at the online Virtual program if you’re nervous about making a meal of it. But squirrel this away – 2021 is the Centenary year of the golf club I play at. The Centenary Medal was won by the longest serving member who is 84 years of age. He won his last medal - a monthly medal – in the 1960’s. For the record, Peter’s is not a classic swing, some would say it’s not terribly good. But he loves the game and the game chose to love him back on that particular day and he’s been celebrated ever since.
Golf is not just about golf, that just happens to be what we’re doing between making friendships and swearing and laughing and crying.
50’s an interesting age, isn’t it? There’s a pretty good chance your kids are getting close to the end of school and whilst they obviously still adore you, they’re okay if you’re not sharing every experience with them for every spare minute of the day. So, there’s probably an element of time formerly spent with your kids you may now spend on yourself and with your significant other. It makes sense to try new things – we have the inbuilt excuse that we’re novices – and have plenty of time to do well. We don’t have to be world beaters, but we can be participants, and that’s better than life on the couch watching others. Besides, new pastimes mean new people, new friends, new opinions, wider thoughts, bigger challenges… on it goes.
Ten years from now? I don’t see I can get much balder, put it that way. I’m not sure I’ve got a set vision for retirement, as such, but do think I’m putting things in place now to enjoy forever – and that includes watching people much older than me and enjoying their enthusiasm for life. Whilst surfing the other day, there was an older gent in the crush who didn’t seem that intent on surfing. How good is it he’s out here, I thought. And then the ‘right’ wave came. He spun the board, paddled, paddled harder, put his head down and paddled harder still and sure enough, he was away. As it peaked and threatened to overtake him, he turned for the beach and rode the whitewash. It was brilliant. I think getting older is about finding the ‘thing,’ which may be a wave or a walk or a drive or a night in a tent. And of course, it will always be golf. For as long as I can swing a club the game and I will be together – for the joy of that perfect shot, be it putt or chip or drive – is the challenge I’m set on. Writing, like golf is one of those joys that’s about challenge and opportunity and whilst practice doesn’t make perfect, it certainly helps.
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