It’s not often you get to spend quality time with iconic figures in the world game. I was fortunate enough to share four very special days with who I can only describe as the ‘perfect gentleman’.
Pep Guardiola may be admired by most people as a world class Manager/Head Coach/Philosopher of the game. Of course, they are right.
But for me, Pep is far more than the immaculate technician that oozes class from the touchline.
First and foremost; Pep is a thoroughly humble, thoughtful, honest, selfless family man whose relationship with his loved ones would be the envy of anyone.
He is also extremely considerate, funny and incredibly charming. A wonderful human being.
As I found as the week went on in Augusta, Pep’s passion for golf is genuine and his enthusiasm for the sport is equal to that of football.
We hoped Pep would be able to join us at Shadow Creek, but he is attending a wedding in Spain the same week;
So I asked Pep to share a few thoughts on golf with us:
TB: When did you first become interested in golf?
PG: When you hit a golf ball for the first time, it changes your life!! That happened to me…
TB: What is your handicap?
TB: Chubby played with you recently and says its nearer 10 so we’ll see when we play again in the summer…
TB: What is your best club in your bag?
PG: Pitching wedge.
TB: What is the best course you have played on?
PG: All courses are amazing. No matter for me. They all offer something different.
TB: Who is the best player you’ve ever played golf with?
PG: Sergio Garcia. Txema Olazabal. Miguel Angel Jimenez……I like all the Spanish players.
TB: You’ve had a year out, have you been able to see any good golf?
PG: Yes, I was fortunate enough to be inside the ropes at the Ryder Cup in Chicago with Team Europe which was incredible. Being at the Masters in Augusta was also very special and memorable.
TB: Who is your favourite golfer?
PG: Seve Ballesteros. One clinic with Seve was amazing for me.
TB: Which person, dead or alive would you most like to play golf with?
PG: Ben Hogan.
TB: Would you swap being a footballer for being a professional golfer?
PG: Yes. Absolutely!!
TB: You are friends with a few top golfers, have they given you any advice?
PG: Yes…. Lots…but unfortunately it never works for me!!!
TB: Which course would you most like to play on?
PG: St Andrews.
TB: What do you think about the concept of the Icons of Football and would you like to play in it?
PG: Having been at the Ryder Cup last year, I think the players are going to absolutely love this event. I’ve heard that Shadow Creek is a top course. It’s a fantastic concept that you have created and I’m really disappointed that I can’t be part of the event due to a family wedding. I tried to get them to change the wedding but no such luck!!
Pep’s knowledge and enthusiasm for golf are clear to see and it was an absolute pleasure spending more time together at the world’s finest golf course.
I wish him well with his new venture in Munich and of course, I expect him to continue his already illustrious career at Bayern.
Of more importance to me though, is that I’m fortunate enough to know Pep on a personal level and I feel privileged to count such a terrific guy as a friend.
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By Tom Brookes