Pep Guardiola is widely considered as one of the greatest football managers of all time and we recently made the trip to catch up with him during the PUMA Legends Trophy at Pula Golf Resort in Mallorca, Spain. Read on below to discover where his love for the game of golf began, what Pep Guardiola's favourite course is & so much more in our exclusive Golfposer interview.
"Pep Talk" with Pep Guardiola
GP: Hola, Pep! Firstly, congratulations on your fourth Premier League title with Manchester City! But you’ll be happy to know that we’re not here to talk about ANY football today – only fashion, PUMA and golf.
PEP: Good! That’s good.
GP: So, we already know that you’re “mad into golf” to quote your friend, Tommy Fleetwood, but when did you start playing the game and what is it that keeps you interested? Why do you love golf so much?
PEP: I would have loved to have started playing when I was 4 or 5 years old, but at that time my dad didn’t really know what golf was. Not even myself, I didn’t know golf existed at that time. So I was late to start; maybe 25 or 26 years old. But then I got so addicted to golf for many reasons. Any time that we have time, always we play.
GP: We loved the story from Tommy about the two of you being on the course when you won your first Premier League title. So, does that mean that you see golf as a sort of escapism, a distraction? Was that deliberate that you were on the course at that moment – to avoid watching the game?
PEP: Yeah – golf is a really, really, tough, tough, tough game for us amateurs. So yeah, you can escape because you have to be incredibly focused to hit the ball properly more or less every time from the amateur side. You don’t think much about other things; your job or any other issues. So, it’s a perfect scenario to do that - to escape.
We have been living in Manchester for the last six or seven years and there, the weather is completely different to here in Mallorca. I don’t know what people in the UK and Ireland think, but golf is nicer when the weather is like here in Mallorca. But yeah, it’s an amazing game.
GP: In the past we have seen you wearing some golf specific PUMA items on the touchline. Does that tell us that you’re heading for a round straight after the match? Or do you simply love and appreciate the PUMA Golf line up?
PEP: Well, throughout the season we have a game almost every three or four days – which means it’s difficult to golf. Even when I say “Ok, tomorrow I’ll golf” – I’ll open the curtains and oh my gosh, it’s raining. So I’ll stay in bed and I don’t go. But yeah, when I can - especially during the winter breaks, international breaks or Summer time – I’ll try to find places where I can play.
GP: We can safely say that you’re one of the most fashionable managers in the game – but we’ve also read that you credit your wife Cristina with your elegant sense of style. Does her influence also help you on the golf course? Do you put a lot of time and consideration into your outfits?
PEP: One thing I can say is that we met each other a long, long, long time ago and she gave me the proper advice. That’s for sure. Her family boutique is really, really amazing and I’m a big fan of her in those terms. Sometimes, I’ll wear something and if she doesn’t like what I’ve combined she’ll say “Pep, no. You have to wear this one...” and I’ll always follow her advice.
GP: Naturally, the Legends Trophy attracts some of the biggest names from the world of sport. Can you pick out anyone playing this week who you would say is “best dressed”?
PEP: Well, most of them are all dressed in PUMA! I think Paco Jémez; but maybe not because he is wearing Nike! I have to say thank you to Golfposer for providing me with the outfits for this week. And you know, since we started being together in PUMA – the evolution of the shoes, the clothes and even the fabrics – honestly – it’s much, much, much, much better. It suits perfectly. It’s comfortable, I love the designs. Hopefully you can give me a few more shirts to wear next time!
GP: You're welcome! That was our intention in choosing your outfits for this week – to make you the best dressed! And we also chose the Man City colour of the RS-G shoes that you’re wearing just now. Will they make their way onto the touchline any time soon?
PEP: I don’t know about the touchline because I usually wear shoes, not sneakers or something like that. But in every day when I go into training sessions or in other daily moments – for sure I will wear them because I feel comfortable. Honestly, I feel so comfortable!
GP: We were lucky enough to play in the Legends Trophy Pro-Am yesterday and that was definitely one of our favourite moments on the golf course. Do you have any favourite moments or memorable moments on a golf course? Any holes-in-one to report?
PEP: Playing with my son is the best I can experience. Yesterday I could not play with him because I was playing with Bjorn (the CEO of PUMA). But today, tomorrow, now and the holidays and everything – the best moments are when I can play with him and he plays amazing. Already, I cannot compete with him. He is too good to fight against him.
GP: We saw Marius on the course yesterday wearing PUMA, too. He was looking great!
PEP: Yes, really good!
GP: We have heard that your favourite course is (or was) on the island of Fiji. Are there any other courses that you have on your list of favourite places to play?
PEP: There is another one I like a lot. It’s in Scotland, Skibo Castle. It’s a small links course and they have amazing people there and I like it a lot. I am used to playing in good weather, so Fiji Island and the course we played there was incredible. But I am not an expert; I am a complete amateur. For me, just being on a golf course – wherever it is – it looks beautiful, it looks fantastic. I am not an expert on the design, the fairways or the rough, the flowers, the greens, the flags – you know? I don’t understand all of that! So just walking in this environment is good enough for me.
GP: And finally, do you ever attend any golf tournaments? Maybe the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews – will you get yourself there? Or will you just be watching from the comfort of your home?
PEP: I would love it, to follow golf more. After football – I am pretty sure I will take some time to travel to some events. I did go to the Masters when I was in New York and then also the Ryder Cup when it was at Medinah, in Chicago. We flew there and it was one of the most incredible experiences. We had the comeback on the last day for Europe and with Jose Maria Olazabal as captain; it was like something I could not describe. You just had to be there, you had to feel it to understand what it means. All of the crowd cheering for the USA; it should have been impossible to come back after the first two days.
PEP: I love to follow golf. But I will say something…when you can be inside of the ropes – it is perfect. But when you are not inside the ropes like what happened when I was at the Masters – you see less shots. So, I prefer a good beer or nice glass of wine in front of the TV on the sofa – watching every shot and to see all of the players playing. I find that much, much better.
GP: Amazing. Thanks once again for your time today, Pep!