Tour coach and Hexham-based PGA professional Andy Paisley shares stories from his career in golf, from his favourite courses to his lowest score and his dream fourball
From top tour professionals to Walker Cup players and amateur champions, Andy Paisley has built an international reputation as a golf coach. Having been recognised for his work on tour with his brother, Chris, today Andy spends several weeks a year traveling to DP World Tour and LIV Golf events with players including Chris, Andrew Wilson, Garrick Porteous, Connor Syme, Calum Hill, Dean Burmester, Scott and Kieran Vincent, and many more. As well as his travels, he is a highly respected club professional, calling Hexham Golf Club home for more than 14 years. Here’s more from our round…
1 How much golf do you get to play?
I still love playing and practising, but I’m probably playing fewer competitive events than ever before these days. I do miss it a lot at times – but between travelling, coaching and family life, it’s hard to fit in a lot of tournaments and pro ams these days.
2 How did you get into golf?
I got into it with my dad and brothers at Stocksfield Golf Club. I followed my dad and older brother Richard around, then started playing, then Chris joined in. We had a great junior team back then, and lots of us pushed on and played some high-level golf. For me, that got me into the England team and then I joined the PGA as an assistant to John Harrison when I was 22.
3 Which is your favourite course in the North East?
I love Hexham and I like the inland, English style courses. The Hunting Course at Slaley Hall is hard to beat.
4 And further afield?
Old Head in Ireland is amazing, and playing tournaments at Turnberry is always special. A little further away, TPC Sawgrass is iconic and playing there is a great memory.
5 What’s your best score?
Playing the NE/NW PGA pro am in Portugal, I got to bed at 6am and then shot a nine under-par 63 at Laranjal. I still don’t know how I did it!
6 Which is your favourite golfing memory?
That’s an easy one – watching my brother win on the DP World Tour in South Africa. Watching any of your players win, at any level, is great, but Chris getting a win on tour, knowing all the hard graft that had gone into getting there, was so special.
7 What about your most embarrassing moments on the course?
Being beaten by 18 shots by Phil Waugh, who was my assistant at the time, in a pro am was definitely a low point. Phil’s a great player, and shot 64, but 18 shots was embarrassing!
8 Do you have any golfing superstitions?
I used to be really superstitious, but having spent years talking to players about being logical and not wasting time on things which have no effect on performance, I’ve managed to get rid of them. That said, if I had to choose a number on my ball, I’d choose a number four.
9 What are your strengths on the course?
My driving and putting. I’m long enough at my level and keep it in play. I spend so much time teaching and thinking about every aspect of putting, I’m never surprised when I make up a few shots on the greens.
10 And your weaknesses?
My short game can let me down, particularly those feel shots where repetition and practice are so important.
11 Which is your favourite club in the bag?
It’s a recent addition, but I’m already a big fan of my Odyssey White Hot Versa #3 putter.
12 Who is your best golfing friend?
My brother, Chris. I’ve enjoyed playing with him since we were kids. I’m six years older, so we were never too competitive with each other – our older brother Richard was always my target.
13 What would you be doing if you hadn’t had a career in golf?
I was fixated on being a player at first, and then got interested in coaching as a teenager and took that path when I knew playing wasn’t going to work out – so I have no idea what I’d being doing. I may have found a role in psychology as that’s become such a big part of my coaching.
14 Who is your favourite golfer?
Ian Woosnam was my hero growing up – probably because we’re a similar stature. Now, given my focus on putting coaching, I love watching Cam Smith as there’s so much to learn from what he does.
15 Which golf event do you enjoy most?
The Open is always amazing, and getting to coach at a major is always so cool. I haven’t been to Augusta yet, but it’s on my bucket list.
16 Which three people would join you in your dream fourball?
It may not be the coolest list ever chosen, but it’s a very personal thing, so I’d like to play with my dad and two brothers. It’s rare that we’re all together these days, so I’d love to have a fourball match at Stocksfield Golf Club like we did so many times when we were younger.
17 Who do you admire?
Bob Duncan – a very close friend, mentor, advisor and all-around brilliant person. I wouldn’t be where I am without the time and support he’s given me over many, many years.
18 If you could have one mulligan, when would you have used it?
I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason and all your experiences build to where you are today – so you can keep it.