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29th Jun 2024

Former Premier League player Peter Odemwingie turns professional in completely different sport


A new chapter for the former Premier League player

Former Premier League and ‘street’s won’t forget’ striker Peter Odemwingie has taken up a new sport in a professional capacity which he says makes him “feel like a teenager again.”

Odemwingie, who scored 37 Premier League goals in 129 games, has taken up golf, and he’s pretty good at it too, managing to go professional only five years after leaving football.

The Uzbekistan-born Russian-Nigerian striker only began playing golf in his thirties, but has really taken to the sport since.

He is currently a teaching professional and a PGA member, aiming to play on the Champions Tour when he turns 50 in 2031.

Odemwingie got into the sport during the end of his time at West Brom, thanks to some other players in the squad who played golf.

He told the PGA website: “I started playing just at the end of my West Brom days because a few of the boys played, and I could see the excitement they had for it.

“They would go and play on a Tuesday after training, and they’d have their golf gear and be talking about it, but I couldn’t understand it because the golf vocabulary is so different to anything else.”

He added: “Then on one of the pre-season training trips with West Brom, Roy Hodgson took us to a golf resort and people were doing putting and playing full rounds on days off, so I was just passing by the range, and I thought I’d try and hit some balls.

“I was wearing slippers, but I hit a few, and I loved the sound and watching the ball fly. It was downhill so it carried further. I thought, ‘OK, there’s something in this’.”

With encouragement from his wife, Odemwingie had lessons on holiday in Turkey and subsequently bought his first set of clubs in 2013.

He proceeded to put the clubs to good use “hitting 500 balls a day” although many people implored him to take more lessons which he eventually did.

He then joined Aston Wood Golf Club in Staffordshire where he undertook the Playing Ability Test where he called upon his footballing experience to make the grade.

The attacker said: “I had to shoot 15-over par or better across two rounds, and I finished on exactly that score. It was a tap-in putt on the last, but the shot to put me in that position was a chip over the bunker off an average lie. I really didn’t want to have to redo the whole thing, so it was a lot of pressure like taking an important penalty.”

Odemwingie described the new lease of life the sport as given him.

He said: “I’m 42 now and it feels like I was a teenager one more time. It’s a blessing really as I got to put my history and my football career to one side and I told myself, ‘You’re a young man just beginning a new journey in a sport that you fell in love with.”

Now Odemwingie want to spread the game in his native Nigeria as he hopes to coach and compete in the sport.

He said: “My eyes are on the senior tour in the future because I definitely know there is a player in me.

“Hopefully when I’m old with a lot of grey hairs I’ll be able to tell a pretty cool story about my time playing golf.”

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