Scott Parker talks to Golfmagic

Fulham midfielder talks golf, Nike club fitting and England's World Cup hopes at American Golf

Andy Roberts's picture
Fri, 31 Jan 2014
Scott Parker talks to Golfmagic

Hi Scott, how's the golf game?

Hi Golfmagic, it's coming along alright thanks. I haven't played for so long as I'm a bit of a fair weather golfer to be fair. When it gets a bit cold, I lose all feel in my hands and I just can't play. I played a lot in the summer, though. My little 10-year-old lad is getting into it so it's nice to get out there with him. I've not played so much in the last three months but I'll be back out there when it's a bit warmer for sure.

So what's the handicap?

14. Not too bad, but I need to play a lot more. I know I can get it down with a bit more dedication and maybe take in a few more lessons. I've been self taught the whole time.

How often do you get the chance to play?

It's really just in the summer. I was out in Portugal in the summer and was playing most days with my little one. My local club is Wisley Golf Club, I live about 15 minutes from there, so it's nice. I'll go out and play a few holes and come in. I see Denis Pugh down there a bit, he's a good guy and gives me a couple of useful tips. It's just really the weather at the moment that's putting me off.

So what do you make of your new Nike clubs that you were fitted for at American Golf New Malden today?

I probably shouldn't say this, but I've never really used Nike clubs before, but they felt superb, particularly the new Covert 2.0 driver. It was great to be one of the first golfers in the UK to try the new Covert 2.0 driver and Covert 2.0 irons. American Golf's facility at New Malden is first class, and I was delighted to see some significant improvements in my numbers after the fitting with the Nike Golf staff. The fella just screwed the head off and adjusted it for me, and had all the access to my ball speed and clubhead speed on his iPad. I'd never had a proper fitting before so seeing all that up close was pretty new to me! Normally I'm just rocking up with any old set of clubs in the bag so it's nice to have my own customised set now. Great to have the VRS Covert 2.0 Performance driver in a 11.5-degree, stiff. I've also got the 2.0 woods and hybrid in there, and the new VRS 2.0 irons with regular shafts.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I'm pretty confident off the tee, I can get the ball down there okay, but I struggle with my second shots. I'm not good with my irons and I don't hit the ball that far, which is a bit of a killer!

What's the chipping and putting like?

Yeah the putting is solid but the chipping is inconsistent. It's alright sometimes but I have had some disasters out there, hitting the turf about three yards before the ball. Nobody likes to see that!

So who is the biggest bandit golfer that you've come across in your football career?

[Pauses] I remember Luke Young being a high handicapper and being pretty good when I was at Charlton. He could hit the ball well.

And more importantly, who is the worst?

Jan Vertonghen, oh wow, he is bad to be fair! We went away at the end of last year with Spurs and he was playing for the time, also with [Moussa] Dembélé. That was a good laugh. He had all the gear but no idea, he was all over the place!

Finally before we let you go, a word on England's chances in the World Cup?

I think we'll get through the group stages and then it's knockout football from there. It won't be easy, though. The Uruguay game will be the toughest of the group games I think, especially with the two lads up front in [Luis] Suarez and [Edinson] Cavani. They will cause teams trouble. The climate will also likely suit them [Uruguay] a bit better than us. They've undoubted ability. Italy will also be tough, but they'll likely struggle with the climate like us. But hey, we go into the World Cup with every chance like we always do. We will go along and give it a good old crack and see what happens.

Click here to learn more about American Golf's Nike Golf VRS Covert 2.0 launch event