A mid-week wander down to the driving range provided me with a glimpse of one of the most interesting swings I have seen in a long while. The guy swinging the club was tall, very tall and somewhat… “Praying Mantis”-like.
A closer look revealed that it was my good buddy, Chris Anstey. So I took the opportunity to ask the former basketball champ about life after NBA/NBL and his new love…golf.
Coach: Chris, you were very skilful on the basketball court, especially for a guy that’s seven foot tall, so I suppose you just transfer those skills over to the golf course?
Chris: No Coach. I just try to belt it and hit it as hard as I can. Same as any sport…I used to play tennis so, when you hit one right off the middle it feels great and you know as soon as you hit it that you’ve got a hold of it. They’re the ones that keep you coming back and you know if you can do it once you should be able to replicate it more often. The ones I hit stay hit, the ones I miss… there’s been days when I’ve been through a box of balls. One of my weaknesses is as soon as I lose a ball I stop looking, so I give it about 30 seconds and if I can’t see it, I just pull out a new one. So…yeah it’s an expensive habit.
Coach: I noticed on the basketball court you played hard, you played to win, and occasionally you got a bit upset on the basketball court…
Chris: …I do have a temper…
Coach: In golf, have you ever lost it?
Chris: We have a few rules on our weekends and they’re the usual ones. If you don’t get to the ladies tees, you owe a shout. If you putt it from on the green to off the green, you have a shout. If you do throw a club, and it doesn’t go further than what your ball went, you owe a shout. So if you’re going to throw your club, you want to make it a good one.
One time I’d hit this ridiculously bad tee shot, and I was already in a pretty ordinary mood, so I just let go of the driver and it got stuck about 30 feet up a big oak tree. A seven-footer climbing up a 30-foot tree to retrieve it. It was, I’ve been told, one of the funnier things people have ever seen because…it wasn’t graceful.
Coach: Look like a big orangutan?
Chris: Not sure what was worse…going up or coming down? But I ended up jumping from 10 or 12 feet and it bloody hurt!
This is a small portion of a full interview with The Coach and Chris Anstey.
To hear the full conversation, click the following links: