Raise Your Game caught up with the former Welsh international footballer, and former manager of Manchester City, as he took time out to improve his golfing game at the Wales Open 2009
Raise Your Game: Do you find that golf is a good way of escaping?
Leslie Mark Hughes
1 November 1963
Former manager of Manchester City
- Blackburn Rovers (2000-2002)
- Everton (2000)
- Southampton (1998-2000)
- Chelsea (1995-1998)
- Manchester United (1988-1995)
- Barcelona (1986-1988)
- Manchester United (1980-1986)
- Former Manager of Wales (1999-2004), Blackburn Rovers (2004-2008), and Manchester City (2008-2009)
Mark Hughes: I would do if I played a little bit better. Actually it can get as frustrating as my day job on occasions, but I had a good finishing hole and that always brings you back for more doesn't it? It's been an up and down season, a bit like my golf!
RYG: How much time do you give to the game?
MH: It's difficult when you're involved in professional sport because time is at a premium. You have to pick and choose the moments to play golf, but usually it's a summer sport for me. I don't get the clubs out when the wind's blowing and you're struggling with an umbrella. I just like a little bit of sun on my back.
I'm a frustrated golfer because it's the one game that you need to invest time in, and, unfortunately, I haven't been able to do that. However, it was really great to have the pleasure of going round with Corey Pavin just to see how those guys can do it themselves, and how they make a very hard game look very simple.
RYG: Golfers like footballers are very dedicated, but sadly in football one sees a lot of the players arguing with referees more and more. You don't argue with referees in golf do you?
MH: No, as it's a different sport. How people act in respect to the rules is completely different in respect to the sport that I play, football, and that's to it's detriment in fairness. Football is an emotional game, as golf is, but sometimes there's a line to be drawn, and sometimes football players cross that line - and football managers (laughs).
RYG: Who are your golfing heroes?
MH: I like to think I can appreciate good golf whoever plays it, but certainly Ian Woosnam because, obviously, he's a very proud Welshman as we all are. I always used to follow his career with interest and I've had pleasure on occasion to be in his company.
RYG: Are you looking forward to Wales hosting the 2010 Ryder Cup?
MH: Yes, it's going to be fantastic. It's been a pleasure to walk around with the American Ryder Cup Captain, Corey Pavin. He's really excited by what's ahead of him and I think everybody in Wales is really looking forward to it.
In this team everyone's in the same boat once we step over the white line.
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