Expert • June 2015
BA-sponsored British golfer and US Open winner Justin Rose recently finished as runner-up at the Masters. Now the former European Tour number one is turning his attention back to the US Open, which starts on 15 June. BA’s Business Life editor Tim Hulse caught up with him for some expert golf chat
If you could build a house next to any course, which would it be?
Probably Swinley Forest, near Ascot. It’s a hidden gem near where I grew up. I’d have my house next to the second fairway, because it’s close to the clubhouse and there’s a nice little loop of holes to play - you can leap out on number two, play a variety of holes and finish up close to home.
If you could only ever play one course, which would it be?
Royal Birkdale, which is also a links course. I finished fourth there as an amateur in the 1998 Open before turning professional, so it’s nostalgic. Also, it’s quite the opposite of Royal St George’s because Royal Birkdale is a very fair course: the fairways are flat and if you hit a good shot you will be rewarded, which isn’t always the case on links courses. I chose this kind of course because one day it can play a certain way, but the next day, if the wind changes, it can play completely differently.
If you could play 18 holes against one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
My dad [who died of cancer in September 2002 at the age of 57]. He was very competitive and I was probably the only person he enjoyed losing to. He always encouraged me and if I have one regret it’s not playing enough golf with him from the moment I turned pro - golf became a job and we didn't play as much as we did when I was growing up.
Which golf course has the best 19th hole?
Legend Golf Resort in South Africa (above) actually has a 19th hole. They call it ‘The Extreme 19th’. You take a helicopter to the top of a cliff and play the hole from there - it’s a par three and the green is the shape of Africa. If we’re talking about an actual 19th hole, that gets the prize.
Which one sentence would convince a golf widow that golf is a great sport?
I’m tempted to say, ‘What better way to get rid of your husband for four hours?’ Golf is such a great game because it keeps you humble - you feel you have it sussed one day, but the next day it’s completely escaped you. There’s such a link between the mental and physical sides. Even if you perfect the physical motion, it doesn't mean you can play well. The challenge is having mind and body in sync.
British Airways is delighted to be the Official Global Airline Partner of Justin Rose – a major champion in 2013 and one of the world’s top golfers