Daniel Knight, founder of Sidekick Boxing grew up in a family of sports. His father Jim, who was a manager of American Express in Brighton for over 25 years taught Daniel how to play various sports but he would never let him win easy.

Jim, wasn’t a boxing fan, his passion was for Golf. He taught Daniel how to play golf from a young age, but he didn’t follow in his father’s footsteps. In fact, it was Jim’s eldest son, Paul who has and plays golf in Brighton at East Brighton golf course. 

Jim explains below how he got into golf: 

“Since a very young child, I always liked watching sport on our old black and white television. Only 3 channels I remember with strange dials and having to hit it on the side to get a good signal.

I loved watching rugby, cricket and football and listening to some of those great old commentators, in particular Bill Mclaren, it always sticks in my mind with him saying with much excitement “it’s a monstrous kick”. I think this is where I got to use outlandish adjectives to describe people and events.

Jim Knight Refereeing
Jim Knight refereeing Rugby

I enjoyed playing cricket and football at my first school, in fact cricket I was a bit of a dab hand at bowling and batting, so guess I had a natural eye for a ball.

I watched what was a limited amount of golf on TV but thought I would much like to play this game. In my mind though and talking with my friends this was a game for the rich. We were of a limited means family, so golf with its expensive equipment was completely out of the question. For years we bashed an old cricket balls down the local recreation ground or made goal posts for football with our jumpers.

On holidays we would play pitch and putt or crazy golf but never the ‘Big’ full 18 hole game.

When I got into my teens and got myself a paper round I now had a little bit of money. I knew of this second hand golf shop in Trafalgar Street, Brighton, right next to the railway station. I managed to cobble together enough money to buy a really old fashioned bamboo shaft 4 iron for 50p I recall, some scraggy old golf balls and tee pegs.

It was also near my 14th birthday, my mother knew my keen interest in golf and bought me the paperback “Play Better Golf” by Jack Nicklaus who was and still is my golfing hero.

I started studying Jack’s techniques and went to the local park to practise.
I wasn’t too bad, I liked this game.

I then cheekily starting ‘bunking on’ Lewes Golf Course late evenings when no one was around, no way could I afford a round of golf on a proper course! Or for that matter would be allowed on the course without the right attire.
I would also hunt for extra golf balls in the rough.

Jim Knight with former PM Theresa May

From there I never looked back, I have loved the game ever since and have played many courses all over the world. I would send postcards to fellow friend golfers from famous courses and say “but have you played?”

I have had a hole in one at the 16th at East Brighton Golf Course, so called bomb crater hole. I have also won a few pieces of silverware along the way.

The years do take their toll on your driving distance and I have had a few niggling back problems and muscle injuries over the years. I however keep supple by daily resistance band exercise.

Hopefully many more enjoyable years on the golf course to follow.”

Jim had many years in golf and won lots of trophies. He has watched the top professional golfers over generations of the sport.

So, Are professional golfers better today?

Back in bygone days golf clubs had wooden shafts and woods were really wood as opposed today’s metal heads and steel or graphite shafts. Golf balls also did not fly as far as they do today.
Clearly the modern golfer can hit the ball much further but what if these previous great golfers had the same equipment.

Golf is a game of more than just the ability to hit the ball big distances. One still has to hit the ball straight, play delicate chips or bunker shots and of course there is the putting!

Who was better Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods?

Well I think it is a tough one to compare, remember Nicklaus won the masters at the age of 46 and won 18 golf majors in the 60’s and 70’s, Tiger Woods currently has 15 major titles.

Read our article ‘What is the hardest sport on earth’ here.