1 8 mins 2 yrs

GolfDom playing editor Scotty X talks golf with well known golfer Tug Dudley. A veteran of a lifetime of golf and repeat winner of championships Mister Dudley is a walking talking golf almanac. What Tug doesn’t know about golf is probably not worth knowing, according to Tug. So, sit back and let the words of this master sportsman rain down upon you. Interview: Tug Dudley talks golf with GolfDom.

An Insight Into a Top Golfer

GolfDom- What makes you tick Tug?

Tug – Well, Scotty I try and keep it simple. My approach to golf is to hit it and go find it and hit it again. I like to think that I have the same attitude to life.

GolfDom- When did you first know that a life in golf was the way to go for you Tug?

Tug- The first time I picked up a cut down 1 iron that my old man had made especially for me, I knew mate. I must have been around 4 or 5. Knocking that scuffed Hot Dot around with that club felt like what the good lord put me on this earth to do.

The History of Tug Dudley

GolfDom- Where did you cut your teeth?

Tug- We lived down the road from an old 9 holer just outside of Queenstown in Tassie. Grass was thin on the ground in our neck of the woods, so we played mainly on rock and sand. You grow up in these circumstances and you learn to play the game under duress. No soft stuff on our course, the lies were harder than a coal miner’s pick axe back in the day.

GolfDom- What did that kind of start in your golfing life teach you?

Tug- It taught me to take nothing for granted Scotty. There were no free lunches and, often, no tea on the table when I got home either. It was hard but it kept me lean and mean. I played golf to win and had to get it up and down if I wanted to have something to eat. You operate under these conditions, and you get the job done. I caddied for a few years for sixpence a round or an old bread roll or whatever was on offer.

GolfDom – When did you realise that Tug Dudley could make a living from golf in this country?

It was golf or break and enter

Tug talks golf

Tug- I left home when I was 15 and it was golf or break and enter. I was lucky that a few members took me under their wing and let me sleep on their back verandah for a few years. I used to hitchhike with my clubs and bag to tournaments for pre-qualifying with nothing in my pocket but an old rabbit’s foot and a few broken tees. It was tough and I got my face smashed in a few times. People were a lot less accommodating back in those days, especially if they didn’t like you for whatever reason. Some folks reckoned I was too cocky for my own good, but I couldn’t afford to be shy.

Magical Memories of the Tug

GolfDom- What were some of your most memorable times in Australian golf?

Tug- I suppose winning the Bourke and Wills Open back in 1953 put me on the map. Before then I was nobody in the golfing world. After that victory doors opened into joints I never knew even existed. Golf is a game, but some seriously rich people love the little white ball sporting adventure. Kerry Packer and his dad Frank both flung a few large bills around back in the day to get golf going in this nation. Meeting them was one of the catalysts in Tug Dudley’s climb to the top. Another sweet memory is the time I bested Jack and Arnie at the Mutual Providential Cup at Bonny Doon. Those yanks were top blokes and classy losers I’ll give them that. When the old Tugster was on a roll there was nothing no one could do about it but roll over and play dead.

GolfDom- What would you say to any young up and coming golfers?

Tug- Mate, I would tell them to take their chances whenever they can. Tell em not to be soft but tough. Not to let anything stand in their way. You are not put on this god given earth to be everyone’s friend. No sir, Tug Dudley learned the hard way that sheep only end up as lamb or mutton. A true golfer has to make his way by relentless winning. There is no room for sentiment or doubt of any sort. There is you and a six-foot putt for victory. Nobody is going to drain that putt but you. It all comes down to a cold heart and getting the job done. Who needs friends when you are winning?

You have to be relentlessly ruthless if you are going to make it

Tug talks golf

I used to practice putting on the runway at Tullamarine airport under those 747s. I didn’t want nothing to distract my attention. The noise was incredible, but I kept my head down and stroked those putts. The only time I looked up was when the Concord landed one time and that long nose poked me in the arse. You gotta be relentlessly ruthless as a golfer if you are going to make it at the pointy end.

GolfDom- What does the present and future hold for you Tug?

Tug- Mate, I’m stuffed, I’ve had it. May as well take me out to the back paddock and do me a kindness with a loaded gun. My golfing days are over, I can’t even hold a club without trembling like an old bastard with a bad drinking problem. All that golf, all those swings, a lifetime of playing and practice has left me a husk with no ballast. I’m waiting for the boss to tap me out. To sign off on that final scorecard. You spend a lifetime playing this game and really, I can’t complain, I spent decades bitching and whinging about bad bounces and the rub of the green. I aint even got the energy left to complain anymore. Mate, I’m stuffed.

GolfDom- Well, thanks Tug for sharing your insights with us here at GolfDom. Interview: Tug Dudley talks golf. We know that the golfing gods have got a special place waiting for you in that hall of legends. May you travel with the angels mate!

Tug- Thanks Scotty.


One thought on “Interview: Tug Dudley Talks Golf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *