INTERVIEW WITH JONNY SHARP, HEAD OF GOLF, THE CARRICK AT Q HOTELS CAMERON HOUSE
GN: What was your first golfing memory?
JS: Nick Faldo holing a long put in a playoff to win the Masters.
GN: Who is your favourite golfer and why?
JS: Tiger Woods without doubt. I started playing in 1995 just as Tiger was winning his 2nd US Amateur title. In 1996 he won 3 in a row and then turned professional changing the way the game was played. He brought fitness and distance into the game, which are now two key attributes to being successful on tour, it really is an athletes sport these days with the exception of one or two.
On top of that he turned golf from an older gents sport to one that reaches out to the youth of today. This is something that hopefully Rory and Jordan can take on for the next 20 or so years.
GN: How did you get into golf and what made you get into teaching the game?
JS: A broken leg put paid to my football career so I turned to golf at the age of 16. I fell in love with the game from day one and having a handicap as a goal really got me hooked. Teaching is something I do not do as much of these days due to my work load running all aspects of golf at the Carrick. However I do still provide the odd lesson here and there and it is very satisfying to help fellow golfers improve their game.
GN: Tell us a brief description of your role at The Carrick as Head of Golf?
JS: My role involves all aspects of the golf business including looking after members and groups, sales and marketing, running our retail store, membership sales as well as group golf sales and most importantly making sure our members and guests have a great experience whilst on our resort.
GN: What advice would you give for anyone wishing to take up the game?
JS: Please seek lessons from the outset, this game is so much more fun when you play well and you PGA professional will help you do that. I see so many golfers who think they can teach the game and it only hinders their progression and often the friends around them.
GN: Outside of golf what are your interests?
JS: I enjoy going on holiday, watching football and also catching up with my friends.
GN: Who else outside of golf is your inspiration and why?
JS: My Father. My Father started out as a run of the mill young lad working hard to make ends meet. With hard work and dedication he has built up a business that has allowed our family to enjoy life that little bit better.
GN: In three words what makes golf special to you and why would you advocate the game to others?
JS: Friendly, social and fun