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Timana Tahu is first to admit he’s no golfer.

“Oh mate I’m average,” grins Tahu, sitting in the function room at the Newcastle Golf Club.

“I only play once a year with my wife’s dad, but all I do is just lose ball after ball.”

Tahu may be the furthest thing from a pro golfer, but the veteran winger was still on hand to help out at the Knights' annual Corporate Golf Day on Friday.

Holding court at the front of the clubhouse, Tahu takes the time to converse with Club sponsors and share some of the best memories of his stellar career.

He also lifts the lid on how seriously some of his teammates take their golf, including training sessions in the lead-up to this event.

"I think there have been a few secret training sessions going on," Tahu reveals.

"If you thought training sessions were competitive, well this golf day is right up there."

Well let's just say that Tahu didn't lie.

From lock Jeremy Smith through to new recruit Michael Dobson, the Club certainly have their fair share of footballers who are more than capable on the fairways.

There are also a few part-time players too, blokes like Chris Houston and Alex McKinnon.

Sure they may not play golf every week, but they still possess plenty of skills with a golf stick in hand.

So the stage is set for a classic Knights' Golf Day - a social gathering which gives Club sponsors the unique opportunity to play 18 holes alongside their NRL stars.

In the lead-up to the event, the course GM tells everyone the rules for the day and even some wise advice about the local wildlife.

“It’s dry out there guys, so we do have a bit of snake trouble,” he warns with a grin.
“So if you do hit your ball in the rough, probably don’t worry about it.”

With the guidelines in place and sunscreen applied, the players and Club sponsors head for the opening hole.

Skipper Kurt Gidley is one particularly primed for the day of golfing, especially the challenge of taking on his teammates.
"It will be interesting because we have a few handy players, but they think they are better than they actually are,” Gidley laughs.

And with that cheeky jibe, Gidley is off to take on the challenging yet picturesque Newcastle course.

It's well and truly game on!

So this reporter jumps on the next available cart and heads around the course to check out all the golfing action.

We start on the second hole where we bump into the Klosters team, which includes recently retired Club legend Danny Buderus.

Buderus takes to the golf course with the same confident approach he did on the footy field.

Talk to the guys from Klosters and they reckon this self-assurance stands out big time.

“Bedsy is like a pro, he is carrying us,” they enthuse.

A humble Buderus says he loves playing golf and regularly has a hit with his father-in-law.
“It’s hard with kids though, four hours on a golf course is a long time," Buderus admits.

It may be early stages, but there is plenty happening on the course in the opening exchanges.

This includes off the course too, led by winger Aku Uate and his entertaining running commentary of proceedings.

Watching on while his teammates played, Uate was at his best in the sledging department.

Just ask prop Kade Snowden, who was subjected to endless taunts from the Fijian-born speedster.

"Oh here comes Tiger Woods," Uate says as Snowden walks over for his next putt.

It's a joke that's followed up with a classic line from the 90's flick, Happy Gilmore, ‘Just tap it in, just tap it in'.

Remarkably despite the constant verbal barrage from Uate, that's exactly what Snowden does and he calmly slots the ball in the hole.

At this point we ask Uate if he plays golf himself, to which he just laughs and says . . . “Are you kidding!?

“No I can’t play golf!."

So we'll leave Aku to sledging, scoring tries and on this day, taking charge of the donation plate for the John Hunter Children’s Hospital.

Aku may not be able to hit a straight drive, but he sure can fundraise.

With the help of fullback Darius Boyd, the winger brings in over 1000 dollars for the kids with his unique personality and colourful sense of humour.

It's an effort that has Club officials joking they might have to recruit Aku for the Knights' corporate fundraising team.

Back to the action on the course and centre Dane Gagai is excelling.

The Mackay-born outside back recovered from a slow start to impress everyone with a drive that goes the entire eighth hole.

It was impressive stuff, but it still couldn't take the shine off the undisputed star of the day - halfback Tyrone Roberts.

Sure Roberts may be diminative in size, but this guy can hit a golf ball.

It's a fact backed up by his sponsored team, Drayton’s Wines, who were left amazed by the No.7s driving ability.

“He may be a little bloke, but when he hits them they stay hit," they said with a sense of excitement.

In fact, Roberts outdrove big bookend Snowden by some 10 metres.

He also took on the club pro, who was on hand to raise money for the John Hunter Children's Hospital, and beat him too.

As much as Roberts was dominating, there were also a few hard luck stories with plenty of players losing their golf balls.

Winger James McManus was just one of many who had continual troubles.

“I think I’ve lost a ball on every hole,” McManus laments.

It seems Tahu isn't alone when it comes to losing balls on the golf course.

Not that it mattered - because this golf day was all about fun and a few good laughs for the players and the Club's loyal sponsors.


Best Nett score: 54.4 Sunnyside Tavern with Jarrod Mullen and Kurt Gidley

Best Scratch: 63 Sunnyside Tavern with Mullen and Gidley, followed by 64 Klosters with Danny Buderus

Straightest drive on the 4th: Tyrone Roberts

Nearest the pin on the 7th: Michael Dobson

Longest drive on the 17th hole: Korbin Sims