Brownlow Medallist and triple premiership player Jason Akermanis wants to be a professional golfer by year’s end.
Akermanis has slashed his handicap to one since changing clubs in May and is playing in seven competitions a week in a bid to make qualifying school in December for a ticket on the Australian PGA Tour circuit.
“I’ve been a good golfer for a bit but I never thought I was going to be good enough,” Akermanis, 41, said.
“Then I started caddying for ‘Muz’ (Zach Murray) and I got a new set of clubs from TaylorMade and all of a sudden I was training every day and hitting the ball 40-metres longer.
“I’ve started to score better and my handicap has come right in.
“I think they think I’m the most played amateur in Australia.”
Coached by Melbourne’s Brook Salmon, the Brownlow Medallist has been playing on as many Border and North East courses as possible to fine-tune his game.
“I’m playing all the courses around here,” he said.
“On Tuesday I’m at Howlong, Wednesday at Albury or Thurgoona, then down at Corowa and back out to Howlong and then the weekend comps.
“My handicap had blown out to six and now I’ve come in to 1.1.
“Today is usually my worst day and I was one-over.”
Akermanis has changed from football to golf specific training in the gym in a bid to maximise his distance off the tee and is in constant touch with Salmon.
“He sees my scores and we work out what we need to fix,” he said.
“He’s been great.
“When I retired from footy, I wanted to play on the Seniors Tour but now I’ve progressed this far I’m keen to give it a go.
“I’m working hard.
“I realise I’ve got to bring my handicap down further and I’m working towards that.”
The first stage of qualifying is from December 5 to 12.
Akermanis stepped down as North Albury coach in January last year after four seasons at Bunton Park and played a one-off match for Ovens and King club North Wangaratta this year.