Football managers enjoy a day on the golf course as much as anyone – but who would emerge victorious from a Premier League Head Coach competition at Topgolf? We took some time to imagine who would sink endless hole-in-ones – and who would storm off the range in a humiliating strop.
*Results might not be 100 per cent in line with golfing ability
Cantankerous Neil must have spent a decent amount of time playing golf, judging from the sheer amount of times he has been hired, fired, then hired again. On this basis alone, he deserves to place high up the table. Unfortunately, every football fan’s favourite anagram is also quick to anger – and reportedly spends his Friday afternoons drinking raw eggs and sherry, which is about as good for you as Sean Dyche’s diet of earthworms and mud.
Traditional golfers often get upset at Topgolf. It isn’t long before the Cardiff City boss works himself into a self-righteous fury, snarling at Chris Hughton as he tops up his score with a series of boring gimmes and complaining that golf wasn’t what it was back in the day. After snapping his iron in a rage after Eddie Howe flukes one into the bullseye, Neil receives a ten point deduction, and finishes bottom of the leaderboard, left to console himself with a cocktail of old Harvey’s Bristol cream and raw dairy product. Oh, Colin.
Leaderboard position: 20th
The only man on this list who never played football professionally (contrary to popular belief, Jose Mourinho played as a pro in Portugal), we reckon Chelsea’s new boss would make a far better caddy than Topgolf player. The Italian is a prolific smoker (RB Leipzig even built a special indoor smoking chair just for him), which could leave him gasping for air after an intense Toppressure round.
Leaderboard Position: 19th Maurizio gets off to a sparkling first round – of banter with his fellow cigar aficionados in the smoking area. Unfortunately, Sarri’s aromatic smoked-filled lungs refuse to support a full swing; the Chelsea boss gives up after a couple of rounds and wanders off to the car park in search of a place to enjoy his Cubans. Still, at least he beat Neil Warnock.
Leaderboard position: 19th
Mark Hughes appears at a mediocre club once every other season, gets off to an initial good start, starts losing matches and is then fired before being replaced by Sam Allardyce.. He usually goes on to blame “the situation” on the chairman or directors.
Mark appears, gets off to an initial good start, then loses the first two rounds. He desperately scans the venue for a pint of wine, hoping Big Sam is in the vicinity and ready to swoop in and save the day. Alas, Big Sam is in Marbella at this time of year, drinking jugs of vodka-flavoured bisto, and body-popping to Rihanna, leaving Mark to sink further into the depths of despair and the bottom of the leaderboard.
Leaderboard position: 18th
Everyone knows you win at Topgolf by landing the ball as close to the middle zone as possible. Just like everyone knows that in English football, you win by having a skilful, physically imposing team. But Pep cares not a jot for the rules. Full-backs shouldn’t be deployed as central midfielders? Nonsense. Kevin De Bruyne , David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan are too small to win the league in midfield? Move aside, philistine. Fabian Delph can’t be transformed from a midfield hatchet man to the most versatile left-back in the country? Don’t be absurd. Pep knows how to win, and win his way.
Unfortunately, there’s not much bending the rules at Topgolf; hit the ball in the targets and you score points. Pep’s efforts to reinvent the entire system by hitting the balls over the fence while handing his clubs upside down and blindfolded does him little favours, and it’s only individual brilliance that allows him to snag a few mini-victories. Just like his first season in the Premier League, Pep is a victim of his own genius.
Leaderboard Position: 17th
The mini-Klopp revels in his underdog role – but there are no underdogs at Topgolf. How is Wagner supposed to motivate himself without building a siege mentality? “Everybody is doubting me!” squeaks Wagner from underneath his unnecessary baseball cap. “But I’ll show them how tremendous this terrier is.” Of course, nobody is actually doubting Wagner’s ability to play Topgolf and without the sneers of others to drive him to victory, he can’t find the bite he needs to jump up the table.
Leaderboard position: 16th