An Interview With Sam Little
Sam Little is a former golf professional, having first joined the Challenge Tour in 1999. 2 years later he secured his first win, and in 2004 he won for the second time at that level, graduating to the European Tour at the end of the season via qualifying school. He became renowned for last-gasp performances to maintain his Tour playing rights, ending narrowly inside the top 115 qualifiers in 2005, 2008 and 2009, and finishing runner-up in the final tournament of 2007 to move up to 76th in the Order of Merit from outside the top 170 – this remains his best season-end finish. Having hosted the successful Sam Little Golf Day in support of The Variety Club, bagSOLO caught up with him for a chat.
You recently hosted the inaugural Sam Little Golf Day in support of The Variety Club – how did you get involved in this charity and why this one in particular?
The main reasons I chose the Variety Club was because my Brother Jamie is Director of golf there and I see first hand the incredible work he and the charity do to raise money for young people. It’s inspiring.
Since you retired, you have moved into management. Who do you manage and how are you finding it?
Since retiring from tournament golf I now manage Matthew Southgate and Richard Bland and it is a side of the business I am trying to grow. It really is quite an eye opener to see Tour life more from the other side of the rope. Obviously I miss playing but it’s great to be able to help others and use my experiences to do this.
What benefits are there to a company sponsoring a top golfer?
There are many benefits in sponsoring a tour pro, from company logo’s on clothing and golf bags to company golf days, hospitality at events and a look inside the ropes to a certain degree. It is also a great environment to help a corporate entity grow both their brand and their personal client relationships.
What do you do aside from being a manager?
As well as my management role I also coach any level golfer, play lots of corporate golf with individuals and companies and run golf days. I am also involved in a golf membership called Eligo which helps corporates to play with like minded people on some of the very best golf courses in Europe.
Can you pick out a career highlight from your time as a pro?
There has been many golfing highlights in my career, including finishing 2nd twice on the European Tour. Probably the best moments for me though were when I won 3 events in 4 weeks on the European Challenge Tour in 2011 which catapulted me back onto the full Tour for 2012.
How often do you play golf nowadays? Do you play abroad very often and if so what’s your favourite course?
I play fairly often normally in Pro ams or with Eligo clients and playing lessons. I still travel quite a bit and I would say my favourite European venue would be Quinta do Lago.
If you could pick 3 people to play a round of golf with, who would they be?
My favourite 3 people would be Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Zach Little (my son)!