The Irish golf legend, who represented Great Britain & Ireland at the 1973 Ryder Cup, explains why nerves are normal and how golf can introduce you to the world.
Raise Your Game: How did you first get involved in golf?
Eddie Polland: I was lucky enough to learn my golf at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. My whole family were involved in golf! My uncle was a greenkeeper for 50 years and my other uncle was a professional at the Lahinch Golf Club and a very famous club maker. I was bought golf clubs from a young age and it grew from there.
10 June 1947
Newcastle, Northern Ireland
- Represented Great Britain and Ireland team in the Ryder Cup (1973)
- European Tour wins: 4
- European Senior Tour wins: 2
RYG: When did you decide to become a professional golfer?
EP: My parents didn't have a lot of money so I decided I would turn professional when I was 18. I went to a very famous professional golfer called Fred Daly and I learned a lot. We used to hit balls every day and he encouraged me to achieve.
RYG: What has golf given you?
EP: Golf introduces you to everything and everybody. You meet the most incredible people and you only meet them through golf. I've played with royalty, movie stars and it's absolutely amazing that you can socialise with these types of people who all want to play golf.
RYG: You've played golf at the highest level. Do you ever get nervous?
EP: My old boss once told me that if you don't feel nervous there's something wrong. You feel a few butterflies walking onto the first tee, but you just look down, tee up, take your swing and hit it. For example, when I played in the Ryder Cup, I was the young rookie in the team and I remember walking through the crowds onto the first tee and there were Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. I had their photographs behind my door when I was a kid and I thought 'I can't believe I'm playing with these guys!'
RYG: What would be your advice to any young people looking to take up golf?
EP: The most important thing is to let youngsters try golf and if they like it, they'll love it! Once you learn golf and hit a few good shots it becomes an addiction so play your natural way and when you get a bit older you can learn the methods and systems to maintain consistency.
The more you put into something, the more you get out of it.
Welsh marathon runner
Colin Jackson reveals more top tips on making exercise part of your lifestyle.