Di Dougherty meets TV's Gethin Jones
How long have you been playing golf?
I suppose I was a bit of a latecomer. I dabbled as a kid with a second-hand half set, but started playing a lot about 10 years ago. I became a member at Celtic Manor about three years ago, I absolutely love playing there. It is pure escapism for me, and despite being with your mates, you’re actually always playing yourself. I love that mental challenge.
How is your golf at the moment and what do you play off?
I play off 18 at the Celtic Manor Twenty Ten course, and probably 14/15 everywhere else! It’s a tough course when the wind is up! I don’t have an official handicap, which reminds me, I must sort that! I play as often as I can.
What is you aim with your golf? Single figures?
That would be brilliant! But as every golfer knows you need to be practising regularly for that! I sometimes get to play a lot, but more often I struggle to get out because of work commitments. I’ve never had a lesson, so hopefully, if my family are reading this, Christmas is what, six months away…
Do you prefer inland or seaside golf?
I find links quite tough, again I think because I haven’t had a lesson. I’m not really sure of myself from 100 yards in. I’m quite Hollywood, love to get some height and (try) to land it next to the pin! That’s not always easy in wind though, obviously. I really want to play some golf in Scotland, which I’m going to sort this year. I got to play Wentworth last year, and absolutely loved that!
I interviewed Tom Watson for 5Live. I was with him for two hours; I could have listened for two weeks! Were you at the Ryder Cup in 2010?
I didn’t miss a minute. It is an event that announced Newport and Wales on a global scale. The weather is talked about a lot – but I think it only added to the drama. The crowds were fantastic, one of the best sporting occasions I’ve ever been to! Whenever I take mates to play the Twenty Ten, we always have a crack at G-Mac’s putt on the 16th. I’ve still not succeeded! In 2012, I watched it all from a patrol base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, with our wonderful troops. I was filming Remembrance Week for the BBC. A very, very special experience. Because of the time difference, I remember going to bed at 3am, and things weren’t looking good. We were being picked up in a Merlin at 6am, by the time I next heard the news I couldn’t believe it! The comeback of all comebacks.
When were you most nervous on a golf course?
You’ll know the answer to that, Di! I was the first to tee off for Wales at the recent Celebrity Cup with 500 or 600 people watching. Wasn’t it you on the microphone encouraging everyone to start a slow clap? Terrifying! I just tried to slow my swing down. And then I closed my eyes! It went straight.
Who is your favourite golfer?
I interviewed Tom Watson for 5Live. I was with him for two hours; I could have listened for two weeks! I was obsessed with Seve and Woosnam as a kid.
For more visit didougherty.com or follow her on Twitter @DiDougherty1