Golfer's switch to singing career

Penny swaps swinging for club act

Bob Warters's picture
Tue, 12 Feb 2002
Golfer's switch to singing career

Penny Grice-Whittaker, the former British Women’s Open champion, has swapped swinging for singing in a most unlikely career switch.

Penny - new career.

The ex-European No.1 now appears nightly on the working men’s club circuit in her home county of Yorkshire, singing duets with Trish Young and a transvestite, called Paul, who doubles as the sound engineer!

Penny won the top event in Europe at Woburn in 1991 – the same year as Ian Baker-Finch carried off the men’s Open at Birkdale - and was heralded as a no-nonsense star of the future.

But according to an interview this week in today’s Daily Telegraph, she has swapped her clubs for a microphone and hammers out famous hits from Elvis Presley to Kylie Minogue for a share of £250 a night on the northern club circuit.

"For most women, it’s not enough to play winning golf. Unlike the men, they have to look the part as well. Unfortunately I was never made for the catwalk," she says.

Despite the prompting of her husband Craig, a ceiling fixer, she decided she had had enough of the tournament trail, having lost her desire to practice.

Instead the former winner of the Belgian Open (1986) and Longines Classic (1991), concentrated on her club act.

"They told me I would have been like Laura Davies and rolling in money, if I had stuck at it, but I have a husband and two children and I wouldn’t want things to be any other way."

She’s dyed her hair from honey blonde to brunette in a bid to brush off her old image and discover a new one.

"I want folk coming to see me, not because I used to be a golfer, but because they have heard our act is good."

Have you heard of any former golfers who have switched their career so drastically? Tell us on The Forum.