EDITOR: Our reports and scores services from the Hi5 Pro Tour in Spain has brought one or two inquiries, regarding Ian Redford, the former footballer who is playing on that circuit as a PROFESSIONAL. Some have suggested were are confusing father with son of the same name who is also a golf professional.
Here's an article by the Scottish golf writers' champion which should clear it all up:
By GORDON BANNERMAN, Perthshire Advertiser
HE was once Scottish football’s most expensive signing and an internationalist who bagged medals with Rangers, Dundee United, Dundee and Raith Rovers.
Now, at the age of 51, one-time St Johnstone attacker Ian Redford has his sights set on a unique sporting challenge.
The Errol-born and Perth-educated sportsman has joined teenage son Ian junior in the ranks of professional golfers.
In an honours-strewn footballing career, Redford overcame adversity, including deafness in one ear, to claw his way to the top. But he freely admits his latest challenge is a different ball game entirely.
One-time Perth High School pupil Redford signed for Dundee after his raw talents were spotted at Errol Rovers, alongside Ray Stewart, who went on to play for Dundee United and West Ham.
His impressive CV includes U18 and U21 caps and a full Scotland squad call-up for Rous Cup games with England and Brazil, a record £210,000 move from Dens Park to Rangers in 1980, a Scottish Cup and two League Cup winners’ medals from his Ibrox days and a UEFA Cup runners-up medal at Tannadice.
He helped United defeat Barcelona in the Nou Camp and was also part of the Raith Rovers team which famously won the 1995 League Cup, shocking Celtic in the final.
But football is a thing of the past for the former manager and agent, with golf now grabbing his attention.
Redford’s ambitious plans began to take shape during a November trip to Spain when he was earmarked to join his 19-year-old son for a Hi5 Pro Tour event. But the teenager’s worrying viral problems counted him out.
Redford explained: “The decision was made after spending a lot of time on tour with Ian and I’ve got the backing of my wife Janine. I began to think it might be fun and a real challenge to join Ian, who is the one with the real talent, and play instead of caddying for him or hang around at tournaments.
“I have enjoyed my golf since I hung the boots up and at one stage I was virtually off scratch. My last handicap playing out of the New Club at St Andrews was 1.5.
“I didn’t think there was much point competing as an amateur so I turned professional. I’m under no illusions and I am well aware the golf circuit is fiercely competitive and cut-throat at any level but I have always believed in setting the bar high in terms of ambitions. My longer-term goal, maybe two years down the line, is to get a Seniors Tour card.
“My game certainly isn’t ready to attempt Senior Tour School so to this season I aim to test myself on the Hi5 Tour, the Optical Express Tour in Scotland and then the Jumega Tour with events in England and in Spain to test and develop my game.”
Redford has also signed-up with Spanish based property and golf company Hacienda Golf Properties, based at the smart Hacienda Del Alamo Resort in Murcia, combining his embryonic pro career with a UK marketing director role to tap into the Scottish golf travel market.
“I played with a couple of Senior Tour guys at a Hi5 event last year and they gave me plenty of encouragement. That was a steep learning curve," he said.
“Now that Ian has got over the healthy worries which laid him low year we’re heading out to Murcia next month. Hacienda del Alamo is a stand-out golf resort, one of the finest in Spain, and managing director John Green is also a pro golfer who is giving me help.”
Green noted: “Ian and I have played golf both socially and competitively. It’s a major coup for a developing company like ours to get Ian on board. He will be a great asset.”
Redford, now based at Drumoig, recalls dabbling in Rangers’ corporate days but at 35 he was allocated an official 16 handicap at Gleneagles.
“I enjoyed my golf but never got the chance to take things further. Now it has replaced the gap left by football," he said.
“I know certain aspects of my game have to improve substantially and I require more consistency – but that was the same in my days as a young footballer. I never saw myself as a particularly gifted footballer but I loved practising my technique and made the most of it. My approach to golf is the same.
“I remember a Perth High School teacher scoffing at the notion of becoming a professional footballer and some people will be doing much the same about the golf.
“But it’s all about the challenge for me and a bit of an adventure. I’m still as competitive as in my footballing days. I have experience of the professional side of sport and standing over a penalty is much the same as facing a crucial putt.
“I worked hard on my game as a footballer and that took me a long way. I know I have set myself demanding targets. Believe me, I’m aware of that. But I will enjoy competing and taking my game to another level. If I enjoy some success that would be a real bonus. But it will also be a chance to compete in some of the same tournaments as young Ian along the way.
“Many people don’t realise it but as a footballer I had to overcome adversity in the shape of being deaf in one ear since childhood. As a youngster it was embarrassing and I tried to cover it up.
“At one stage after surgery I was advised not to play contact sport in case it caused irreparable damage to the other ear. It was a real problem during big games trying to identify where team mates’ shouts were coming from. And there was times I would take stick in the dressing room.
“It could be quite hurtful. The more I tried not to make an issue of it, you’d find someone trying to make life difficult. But you come through these experiences stronger. You learn to cope and the mental side of golf certainly holds no fears for me.
“Football showed me how far I could take my game if I tapped into my strengths. I was never a Lionel Messi and I won’t be a Nick Faldo. But I believe you should try to be the best you can be.”