A few days ago a mild-mannered amateur golfer executed what many have called ‘The Best Golf Shot Ever’. Back9 covered the amazing action in a feature column the same day.
Related Link: Is This the Best Golf Shot Ever?
The man behind that incredible shot is Matt Wheatcroft, a family man who helps run an e-commerce website. I had the opportunity to interview Matt about his amazing golf shot and to learn more about how his viral internet video has affected his life.
Adam Fonseca, Back9Network: Let’s start by telling the world a little more about yourself, Matt. Where are you from, what do you do for a living and how long have you played golf?
Matt Wheatcroft, Amazing Golfer: I had to stop playing soccer due to a serious leg injury and missed the competitiveness of sport, so two years ago I started to play golf, as this also helps generate business. The managing director of a successful e-commerce website development and on-line marketing company, I don’t play much. It’s mainly corporate golf, played midweek to develop business relationships.
Having said that, I play off a 25 handicap and everyone tells me I am quite a good player, which is annoying because while I think my handicap could be lower if I was able play more… but just don’t get enough time. I never really practice at golf just turn up and tee off really… but because I knew I was going to be in front of a crowd I practiced with an S wedge to 7 Iron all week hitting 200 balls per night at the driving range… and I must admit I was hitting the ball sweet as a nut.
Were you playing in a golf tournament when the shot happened? Or was it just a friendly round with friends?
I was playing in a competition called the British Par 3 Championship which is held annually over four days on the Cromwell course at a place called Nailcote Hall in Warwickshire. The competition is actually over 125 years old and for the last few years has been hosted by ex-Ryder Cup Captain [and Back9 Ambassador] Tony Jacklin CBE. This year Sam Torrence was also there and other celebrities like snooker Champion Willie Thorne also played.
I was playing on the Tuesday in a celebrity/amateur day with a team that included golfer Brian Barnes and my host Grieg Taylor from web hosting company PMGC. On the Wednesday and Thursday, golfers like Robert Rock and Greame Storm were competing in the actual par three challenge. Then on Friday there is another celebrity amateur day.
Walk us through what went through your head before pulling off your amazing golf shot. What were you thinking?
It was my second hole via a gunshot start and I just birdied the first hole. I was really nervous because it was my first time in front of a crowd and certainly in front of TV cameras. First hole I was shaking… but the birdie calmed me down instantly. On the second hole, where I hit this shot, I actually picked the wrong club! I should have used a P wedge but picked up a 9 iron and over hit it. I thought it was out of bounds but the marshal waved to say it was in play.
When I got there I could see the shot was unplayable with a back swing as the ball was so close to the boundary fence. I didn’t want to lose momentum from birdying the first hole, so I asked the marshal if I could play off the fence post. He said that I could, but advised me to take a penalty shot and drop the ball as I might get injured. Even Brian Barnes initially advised me to play safe! But taking the easy option is just not in my character and I wanted to capitalize on my one under par start.
So I said to the guys I’m going off the woodwork because I just fancied my chances. What you didn’t see from the camera angle was that when I’d hit the ball, it very narrowly missed my left eye! I didn’t really hold back on the swing, so it could have been a lot worse!
Did you win any money from your foursome for pulling off the shot?
The competition was a team event with 54 teams taking part. I personally had a very good round but some of the others in the team got into trouble and Brian was playing off scratch. To be in it with a chance of winning, everyone in the team has to play well, consequently, other teams ran way into the lead above us. I think overall on that day I came in third as an individual, but it was a team event, so I didn’t win any prizes that day unfortunately.
So who bought the drinks following your round to celebrate?
The guys from PMGC hosted the table in the evening and kindly purchased the drinks.
Ok, last question Matt, and thank you so much for your time. How has your life changed since the video of your accomplishment went viral?
It’s been crazy seeing the internet frenzy I have to say. Having my name next to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is just unreal to be honest and an absolute pleasure too. The video has been featured around the world and on all the main sport channels, online magazines and social media. Everyone is also talking about it locally as well. It’s also been great for business as visits to my company website www.purposemedia.co.uk have gone up 5800%! So I expect my life to get even busier, which probably less time to play golf!
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