Q&A: Touring Pro Turned Radio Host Mark Allen

Former touring professional Mark Allen spent close to 15 years as a regular competitor on the Australasian circuit throughout the 1990s and early 2000s before trading life inside the ropes for a career as a sports radio host. 

Allen has spent more than the past decade working for Melbourne sports radio station SEN including his role as host of its weekly golf show Chasing Birdies each Wednesday night. He’s built a reputation as someone who speaks his mind and it’s Allen’s candid nature which makes him the perfect subject for the inaugural iSeekGolf Q&A.   


Q: What is golf’s greatest appeal for you? 

Mark Allen (MA): Exercise, friendship and the competition.


Q: And what is its biggest turn off? 

MA: Slow golf.


Q: You can only play one course for the rest of your life: which one is it? 

MA: Royal Melbourne Composite Course.


Q: What is the most under-rated course in Australia? 

MA: Royal Melbourne East Course.


Q: How long should it take four club golfers to play a regular competition round? 

MA: 3 hours 20 minutes.


Q: Who do you regard as Australia’s greatest golfer? 

MA: Greg Norman.


Q: Would you support a genuine world golf tour (in the same way that ATP tennis has its global circuit)?  

MA: Very much.


Q: Which, in your view, is the best-run professional sport in the world and why? 

MA: Golf. The size, scale & benefits for its players. 


Q: The popularity of golf is waning. You’re the boss of the entire game globally: what one thing would you do first to arrest the slide? 

MA: Simplify the rules to quicken play. Gimme putts in par & stableford comps as well (unmissable putts).


Q: Does golf need to get radical and say ‘yes’ to denim and cargo shorts on the course, music-blaring speakers on golf carts, bigger holes on greens, and other innovations that will appeal to non-golfers? 

MA: No


Q: Who, in golf, embodies your idea of a ‘good sport’? 

MA: Jordan Spieth [and] Adam Scott.


Q: You are given the ability to time travel: which player, shot, tournament or historical moment in golf would you like to witness? 

MA: Walter Hagen winning majors on the gas.


Q: You can choose ANYONE - dead or alive - to play in your group next Saturday: who would make up your dream four-ball? 

MA: I hate this question. 


Q: If you were given $5,000 to splurge on your game, how would you spend it?

a) A series of lessons with Butch Harmon

b) A golf getaway at an exotic location, such as New Zealand or Hawaii

c) A new set of custom-fitted clubs

d) At the 19th hole

e) Other: please explain


Q: What shot makes you most nervous?

a) A long bunker shot

b) A short putt in a close match

c) Any shot over water

d) First tee shot of the day

e) Hitting in front of strangers

f) Other: please explain - A putt to go 6 under or more.


Q: What most annoys you on the course?

a) Slow players

b) Poor course conditions

c) Players talking on their mobile phones

d) Players talking during your setup/backswing

e) Someone not yelling "Fore!"

f) No drinks cart

g) Other: please explain


Q: The Tiger Woods Question – Will he:

a) win another major?

b) if Not, will he win another tournament?

c) if Not, will he ever finish top-10 again?

d) if Not, when do you think he’ll decide enough’s enough, and walk away?

Tiger is cooked.



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