Golf: Interview with Justine Moss (Singapore)

Justine Moss (Singapore)
Justine started golfing for fun in her late teens in New Zealand, though started to play more often when she moved to Australia in her early twenties. After moving to Singapore in 1998, she started to write and edit golf articles and was invited to play in club flights and pro-ams. These days, she plays about twice a month. Her favourite job in the world is announcing the players on the first or tenth tee as part of the HSBC Women's World Championship. Work wise, Justine runs her own business, Jay Jay Communications, which includes radio presenting, voice coaching, voiceovers, media training, writing and editorial.
How long have you been playing golf and what was the motivation to start?

I first picked up a club for a few hits when I was staying in New Zealand, and then, at 21 years, had a couple of golf lessons in Sydney. My coach said I hit the ball like Laura Davies! I didn't take it further and just played the odd game with my mum when I visited her in the UK. That's how most people start, I believe - because of a parent who already plays.

I then played some social games with friends on the beautiful Australian courses - on weekends and when we went away for holidays. On moving to Singapore, I started to write about golf, and now get to play much more often.

What qualities has it called upon in you?

Golf teaches you a lot of human qualities. Number 1 is that you don't cheat in golf! Etiquette is important and for a good reason. Golf has taught me discipline, integrity and mental focus. If you sneak a look at your phone, you're likely to play a bad shot. I've also learned more about kindness - looking out for fellow players, helping them find a lost ball, passing them a club they need.

What do you like most about playing golf?

I play socially and in competitions. You can make a whole day of it - getting there, pre-golf routine like stretches, lunch at the club... It's so beautiful to walk on a golf course, noticing the local wildlife. And you must always stay for a drink at the clubhouse, even if you don't particularly feel like it. Never rush home!

It's ultimately a competition between you and the course - you're not playing against another player. This is the only game I'm aware of, where I could play with someone like Tiger Woods and he wouldn't mind.

What challenges do you face?

Golf isn't like riding a bike. If you haven't played for a while, you need to hit up before you play again. It can be frustrating. All you need, however, is one good ball a game, and you'll come back, because it reminds you that you can play!

What have been some personal and health benefits you've gained?

Golf is great exercise, especially if you walk the course, or at least some of it. So that's a big benefit Also, the fresh air is lovely and you get out into the sunshine to get your fix of Vitamin D. As you age, you can get stiffer in the body so the swings definitely make me looser and more fluid.

It gets me out and with people. What I like is that you can play with people you don't even know, so it's a great way to meet people. This can stop you feeling down. As a result, I'll definitely play this into my retirement. My mum is 85 years old and still goes down to the range and hits a bucket of balls!

What's an interesting or funny story you can share?

I was playing in Lord Howe Island at a club where you leave your money in an honesty box. It was beautiful. The only other players included a girl who was simply wearing a bikini and had a beer in hand! The beer is fine, though I don't recommend the bikini at most golf courses!

Who do you think could benefit from learning golf and what advice would you give them?

It's never too late to learn golf. You can play into your 90s! I recommend getting a coach to learn how to swing and hit the ball, just for a few lessons. Go to a golf range and whack 100 balls. Don't buy fancy stuff to start with - it's all about feel. Make sure you read the etiquette rules.