England cricket legend Freddie Flintoff writes exclusively for Golfmagic

All-rounder talks golf, television and doosras...

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Four runs or fore left? Freddie tees off
Patriot Game: Flintoff hosted the 20-team Freddie Invitational back in April

Andrew Flintoff, the man they call ‘Freddie’ due to the similarity of his surname to that of cartoon character Fred Flintstone, played 79 Tests and 141 One Day Internationals in 11 years with England.

In that time, the all-rounder scored 7,239 runs – including eight centuries – and took 395 wickets, including five “five-fors”.

Since retiring from professional cricket in September 2010, Flintoff has embarked on a television career, raised thousands for charity and, most importantly for us, taken up golf – a hobby which has seen him become an ambassador for the De Vere Club.

And in this three-page feature, the Lancashire hero writes exclusively for your favourite golf magazine.

On golf…

As this is a golf magazine, I’d love to say my game has improved. But filming commitments for my new programme on The Discovery Channel and A League of Their Own for Sky means I haven’t played a lot recently.

I’m currently off 24 but I want to get better, it’s just finding the time. Becoming an ambassador for the De Vere Club has certainly helped.

I’ve been with De Vere nearly two years. This may come as a shock to most, but what I like about it is that everything is very relaxed. If I’m honest, golf is sometimes a little bit of an effort. I just want to wear my jeans and have a laugh out there.

Obviously I can’t do that but De Vere epitomises that relaxed approach to the game. Go in the bar after the round and have a few pints. That’s how I like to play golf - and sport in general!

[Tottenham Hotspur manager] Harry Redknapp is also an ambassador. He is such a gentleman and we always have a good time when playing together. Is he upset about not getting the England manager’s job? He hasn’t told me yet!

I hosted a Freddie Invitational recently and 20 teams of four turned out to play – I was delighted! Everything from the course, to the food and the organisation of the event was exceptional. And that’s been a reflection of my time with the company.

I played well at the Invitational. I was really nervous on the first tee but recovered nicely. I carried my team - and they were big lads to carry! I needed my back rubbed afterwards. I scored 38 points on my own, which is unheard of.

I quite like watching golf on TV too. I was on Twitter while watching the final round of The Masters and saw Michael Vaughan was trending. The criticism was harsh and I thought he was doing great until the Tiger Woods incident.

It’s tough switching between sports. He did make a mess of the Tiger interview, though. Even I knew he had won four Masters titles!

Feature continues. Click here to read what Freddie has to say on life after cricket and some hilarious anecdotes from his England career.

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