Meet the former England footballer taking on Prostate Cancer UK’s Big Golf Race

Jay Bothroyd played in the Premier League, in Italy’s Serie A and for England – and now he’s taking on the Big Golf Race with Prostate Cancer UK.

“I’m addicted to golf. I play three of four times a week. I love football and always will – but golf easily fills the void.”

Jay Bothroyd played in the Premier League, in Italy’s Serie A and for England – and still even turns out for a Sunday League side – but these days, it’s all about golf for the former striker.

He’s not just content with getting playing golf though, he is involved in the game in two admirable ways.

The Londoner creates the ‘The OuttaBoundz Show’ on YouTube with PGA pro Trey Niven, hoping to bring golf to the attention of those that wouldn’t usually know about it.

And he is supporting Prostate Cancer UK’s Big Golf Race – the UK’s biggest golf fundraising challenge – this summer because the charity is close to his heart after his dad was diagnosed with the disease.

Meet the former England footballer playing 72 holes in a day for Prostate Cancer UK

“I missed football when I retired, but not because of the banter of camaraderie – I have that in other areas of my life,” he tells TG.

“I missed the challenge. That is what I love about golf. And that’s made me obsessed with it.

“I’m lucky that my work on TV or radio are in the evening or weekends so during the day I get to play my golf. It might not always be 18, it might just be nine, or I just get a lesson, but generally I’m playing three or four times a week.

“My home club is Hadley Wood – the same designer as Augusta. Hertfordshire has some really good courses – Brocket Hall, The Grove – even in winter it doesn’t get wet – Berkhamsted, Old Fold Manor. Surrey has Wentworth and the like so gets more exposure but we have some good ones too!

“My handicap is 7.2 but my driver’s a bit of a weakness. I’m working on that. My short game keeps my scores down. I need to get driver sorted….

“I treat golf like I treated football, which was my career. In the same way I obsessed about football boots, I have fitted golf clubs, weather apps, a rangefinder… I can feel if there are just one rather than two or three wraps under my grips!”

Meet the former England footballer playing 72 holes in a day for Prostate Cancer UK

Bothroyd, clearly, is consumed by golf these days. But it wasn’t always that way – and he wants to bring our great game into the lives of others quicker than it came into his.

“We started ‘The OuttaBoundz Show’ because golf is a middle-class sport and it can be hard get involved,” says the 41-year-old, who picked up the game during lockdown while playing in Japan.

“I grew up in central London and didn’t know golf existed until Tiger Woods came along. Trey and I want to try to give the younger generation, and people who don’t necessarily have the means, the opportunities to try the game.

“We want to make golf look more fun, more accessible and more inclusive. Break barriers down and show golf is for everyone.”

His other passion within golf is arguably even more admirable – fronting Prostate Cancer UK’s big golf day this summer.

Bothroyd says he “jumped all over” the chance to be involved because he had seen the impact prostate cancer had had on his dad.

“I could see fear in in his body language; to see my dad vulnerable for the first time, it was shocking, because I’ve never even seen him cry. It really hit home. My dad’s always looked after me so I gave him the same kind of support.

Meet the former England footballer playing 72 holes in a day for Prostate Cancer UK

“He has had his operation and hopefully he’s never affected by it again. But we need to spread awareness; men need to understand one in eight will get prostate cancer. One in four black men.

“And of course we want to raise money, to fund research. There is no one reason we get prostate cancer – that’s why we need money for research, so men can avoid the issues that may cause it.

“This is prostate cancer’s biggest fundraising day – over £3.4m has been raised since 2020.”

Bothroyd is relishing the ‘Big Golf Race’. And surely his base fitness from football will make it a doddle…?

“I’ve only played 36 holes in a day in my life! It’s going to be really challenging mentally. And imagine how many steps I’ll get in!” he says.

“I remember saying before I started playing golf ‘how is golf a sport?’ Now I know! It is mentally gruelling, and over 72 holes you obviously walk a lot.

“Me and [ex-England star] Joe Cole still play Sunday League – but football fitness is not the same. Joe likes golf but hasn’t been playing as much as he should so I’m getting him back into that now. So he’s got the hook.

“I still go to the gym… but for golf fitness! I’ve got a golf fitness coach and we work on flexibility and my core strength. Told you I was addicted!

“But we’re going to go out there – friends who are footballers and musicians will play too hopefully – and enjoy ourselves and hopefully we’re going to raise a lot of money for the research for prostate cancer.”

How to take part in Prostate Cancer UK’s Big Golf Race

  • Sign-up here
  • Get your team together (or play on your own)
  • Choose your distance; Half-marathon (two rounds); Marathon (four rounds); Ultra-marathon (five and a half rounds)
  • Choose a date that suits you
  • Pick a course
  • Fundraise to save men’s lives


Chris Bertram, Golf World Top 100 Editor

Chris Bertram is the Golf World Top 100 Editor.

He was born and brought up in Dumfriesshire and has been a sports journalist since 1996, initially as a junior writer with National Club Golfer magazine.

Chris then spent four years writing about football and rugby union for the Press Association but returned to be Editor and then Publisher of NCG before joining Golf World and Today’s Golfer as Senior Production Editor.

He has been freelance since 2010 and when he is not playing and writing about the world’s finest golf courses, he works for BBC Sport.

A keen all-round sportsman, Chris plays off 11 – which could be a little better if it wasn’t for hilariously poor lag putting which has to be seen to be believed.   

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