Quick Round with Sean Fitzpatrick

Laureus Academy Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick
Laureus Academy Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick looks on during a Rugby World Cup discussion in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images for Laureus)

He is a former All Black who played a record 92 tests between 1986 and 1997, 51 of those as captain from 1992, also a record, and widely regarded as one of the finest players ever to come from New Zealand. He took up golf at the ripe old age of 23 and today we find out all about his interest in golf with our Quick Round with Sean Fitzpatrick.

Quick Round 1How old were you when you started playing golf and who got you started?
I’d always had an interest growing up because my great aunt Chris Corkery was the ladies poverty Bay champ for many years but I was a late starter myself. It wasn’t until I started touring with the All Blacks.. so about 23 years old. I seem to remember Grant Fox ran the golf school on tour!

Quick Round 2Where did you start playing golf?
I was a member at The Grange in South Auckland.

Quick Round 3What is the lowest handicap you have ever played off?
11

Quick Round 4My lowest round was?
79 at Royal Auckland Golf Club

Quick Round 5How many holes-in-one have you had?
Zero. But witnessed my wife getting her first one on the 8th at Gulf Harbour last Christmas which has only made me try harder!

Quick Round 6How far do you hit your 7-iron?
170 yards

Quick Round 7What is your biggest fear on the golf course?
Out of bounds and knobbing it off the first in front of the clubhouse at The Berkshire, where I play here in the UK

Sean Fitzpatrick playing golf
Sean Fitzpatrick in action during the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the Carnoustie Golf Links on September 28, 2013 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Quick Round 8What is your biggest frustration (pet peeve) when playing golf?
Slow play. And, personally, not concentrating which happens a lot!

Quick Round hole 9What do you most love about playing golf?
Playing with your friends and family. And knowing it is a sport we can hopefully play well into our 80s!

Quick Round hole 10What is your most memorable moment in golf?
I’ve been fortunate enough to play in the Dunhill Links on a few occasions. Having your name announced and teeing it up on the first at the Old Course at the Home of Golf, St Andrews, is hard to beat.

Quick Round hole 11What is your favourite golf course?
Wairakei. Not only is it an incredible course, but it is pretty special playing on a beautiful bird sanctuary at the same time. And it’s worth saying, anyone I have taken to play there in the past thinks the same!

Quick Round hole 12Who is the most famous person or best golfer you have played with?
I am very fortunate to be a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy. The late Seve Ballesteros was also a member and I was lucky enough to play a round with him at Monte Carlo Golf Club in 2000.

Sean Fitzpatrick
Sean Fitzpatrick (Twitter)

Quick Round hole 13What is the most memorable time/experience you have had on the golf course?
One of the things I love about golf is having the opportunity to play with guys who I have played against on the rugby field. In 2015 during the Rugby World Cup we had a day at the Berkshire with 30 ex-internationals and coaches. A good day of banter and memories on and off the course!

Quick Round hole 14If you could pick any three people, alive or dead, to play in a four-ball with, who would they be? Any particular reason for your choices?
My wife’s uncle, Nev Dowden, who still to this day is the most beautiful golfer I have ever played with and taught me so much about the game. Gary Player and Michael Campbell – both major winners, good people and heroes of mine!

Quick Round hole 15Who would you get the most satisfaction out of beating on the golf course? And why?
Anyone at this stage.. I haven’t had a lot of success lately!

Quick Round hole 16My favourite golf destination is?
Scotland. It’s where the game started and still so special.

Quick Round hole 17My favourite golf movie is?
Don’t think I have one, but I have been watching a lot of Ryder Cup replays during lockdown. Miracle at Medinah has to be a favourite.

Quick Round hole 18What is your favourite thing to do away from the golf course?
Spending Christmas at the family Bach in NZ. Boating, trying to fish and spending time with the family.


See our quick round with Jeff Wilson here.

Subscribe to receive the printed edition of NZ Golf Magazine here