NFL legend Fitzgerald bowled over by Dubai golf courses

Fitzgerald Jr didn’t need to be asked twice when the opportunity arose to play in the team event at the Dubai Invitational last week

By Team KT

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Larry Fitzgerald Jr says golf is tougher than NFL. — Supplied photo
Larry Fitzgerald Jr says golf is tougher than NFL. — Supplied photo

Published: Tue 16 Jan 2024, 7:07 PM

Having competed in the team event at last week's inaugural Dubai Invitational, NFL legend Larry Fitzgerald Jr says golf is far more difficult to master than American football, the sport in which he made his name following a fantastic career with Arizona Cardinals.

A keen golfer, Fitzgerald Jr didn’t need to be asked twice when the opportunity arose to play in the team event, where amateurs from the worlds of sport, business and entertainment are partnered with a professional to take on the course at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.

Having been paired with Northern Ireland’s Tom McKibbin for the first day’s play, Fitzgerald Jr then played alongside Adrian Meronk, a four-time winner on the DP World Tour, on day two, and he was full of praise for both his partners and the Dubai Creek course itself.

“I had a blast, a wonderful time,” said Fitzgerald Jr, who enjoyed a 17-year NFL career.

“Adrian’s a special gentleman. To watch him out there, and to have played with Tom on the first day, was great. The purpose for me was to go out there and play, see it all up close and personal inside the ropes, I had a fantastic time.

“If you like good greens, manicured fairways and great challenging holes, this is the place for you. I think this is my fourth or fifth time in Dubai, so I’ve played a lot of the courses, I’ve also played a few in Abu Dhabi too and I really enjoy it out here in the UAE.”

Fitzgerald Jr, now 40, is widely regarded as one of the best wide receivers in history, and was voted into the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team in 2019, alongside legends of the sport such as Tom Brady, Walter Payton and Joe Montana.

However, since calling time on his playing career, he has become a regular out on the golf course and, pressed on which of the two sports is tougher, he responded with no hesitation.

“American football is definitely a lot easier than golf,” said Fitzgerald Jr. “With football, you’re born with a few gifts and you might be able to run and jump better than most people. In golf, it doesn’t matter what physical gifts you have, you need to put the work in and be consistent. It’s more about what goes on between your ears than the physical side.

“I wouldn’t say it’s to do with pressure, it’s more about sticking with the particular techniques you want to use and remembering when it’s time to do certain things. That’s what I really admire about the professionals; they can be having a conversation, but when they get into their routine, it’s time to lock in, take the shot and then come out of it. I find that fascinating.”


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