Pollyanna Woodward's golf challenge

Pollyanna Woodward has taken on the challenge of learning golf in eight weeks for the Gadget Show. Golf Monthly got an exclusive Q&A with Pollyanna in week seven of her golf challenge

Pollyanna Woodward

What are you doing for the show and how did it come about?

It was actually something where I'd been on Twitter and mentioned golf tech and there was a lot of interest. I'm a fan of golf on TV but had never actually played it myself so on the show we're used to doing challenges and because there were so many people out there wanting to know what was out there that could help them, we came up with the challenge where I had eight weeks to learn how to play golf.

So where are you filming the challenge?

I'm going to be playing at one of the courses at Woburn. There was a bit of a debate, it was going to be a competition but that may be a little difficult obviously because of golf etiquette and people playing properly, they won't want someone coming in randomly with TV crews and joining in the game.

Who are you up against?

I'm up against myself. It's just me out there with the ball and I have to bring my A-game.

Who's your coach then?

I've had an amazing coach that I came across by accident at Silvermere called Jason Banting and he's been sensational. He's got my swing to a place that you wouldn't have thought you could get to in such a short space of time.

You said you like watching golf on TV, what do you watch?

I don't watch the women's golf. It isn't quite as dynamic as the men's golf but I might watch it a bit more now that I've actually played the game and understand it a lot more. I just find men's golf a little bit more dynamic and that bit more exciting.

Back to the challenge, are you quite nervous or are you expecting it to be a walk in the park?

No not at all. As you know you can have a great day or a really bad day and I found that out more than often I would have the worst day on the range and then have to go out on the course the next day and think 'I'm not looking forward to this' but then hit some great shots and play brilliantly.

Did you have some help from Luke Donald's brother?

Yeah Christian, I'm actually friends with Christian. I've been friends with him for about a year so when he was over I just said ‘do you mind?' and he was brilliant.

Is he going to be caddying for you?

No I think he's away. I'm going to get Jason [Banting] to do it because I'm so used to having him there when I'm on the course. He just gives me this extra confidence when I'm out there.

Have you been able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your game?

Yeah there are a couple of things that I sometimes do. I lift up on the odd occasion when I do my backswing, which often means I top the ball or miss the ball completely which can be a bit of a nightmare. All in all I actually have quite a strong swing for a girl so I'm able to hit good shots. I can hit my Callaway RAZR Hawk driver about 220-230 yards.

How serious have you been taking the scoring? Are you working out a handicap?

Well they give women a 36 handicap when they first start and I'm pretty much playing to that. I've only been out on a course four times so I'm quite impressed with what I've achieved.

So have you enjoyed the challenge?

I've absolutely loved it. I love the game, I love the feeling of hitting a good shot. I've been bitten by the bug definitely. I've put in a lot of hours practising. It's one of those games that you can take on holiday with you as well so I'm sure I'll be having golfing holidays in the future.

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