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Sky Sports Golf Presenter Iona Stephen Shares Her Journey from Pro Golfer to Media Star

, Sky Sports Golf Presenter Iona Stephen Shares Her Journey from Pro Golfer to Media Star

From Field Hockey to Golf

Scotland-born Iona Stephen, a familiar face on Sky Sports Golf, revealed her unlikely journey from playing field hockey to becoming a professional golfer. She only started playing golf at 19, despite growing up just outside St Andrews.

A Sudden Injury Shattered Her Pro Golf Dreams

After transitioning to golf and turning pro within four years, a devastating wrist injury at 25 left Stephen heartbroken. Doctors diagnosed her with arthritis, ending her professional golf career after just 18 months.

Turning Adversity into Opportunity

Despite the setback, Stephen didn't give up. She retrained as a personal trainer, began coaching spinning classes, and unexpectedly found herself in the world of golf media. Her journey led her to hosting golf shows and interviewing top players like Phil Mickelson.

Chasing New Dreams

Stephen's remarkable resilience and determination have propelled her to new heights in the golfing world. She now hosts her YouTube channel and aims to qualify for the Women's Open at St Andrews, where her golfing passion was ignited.

, Sky Sports Golf Presenter Iona Stephen Shares Her Journey from Pro Golfer to Media Star

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a pre-shot golf routine important?

Pre-shot rituals help to establish consistency and focus prior to each golf shot. This leads better performance in various situations. This ritual can include identifying the target, visualizing the ball flight, rehearsals swings, and aligning the body to the target. A routine is a great way to improve your mental preparation. The golfer can also manage his nerves better and avoid distractions. It’s important to find a routine you can repeat and is flexible enough to adjust to different shots.

What type of golf ball should a beginner use?

Beginners should choose a ball that is durable and offers a good balance of distance and control. Beginners are recommended to use two-piece golf ball due to the solid core and hard outer layer. This makes them more durable, less expensive and can travel longer distances. The balls have less spinning, allowing for greater control. Experimenting with different types (like those that have more spin, or feel softer) as a player’s skill level increases can refine shot-making skills and preferences.

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What is the impact of golf course maintenance on my game?

The maintenance of a golf course includes many different practices. These include mowing, watering, aeration, and topdressing. How a green is maintained can greatly affect the way it plays. In some cases, a course’s maintenance can have a significant impact on the game. For instance, freshly aerated, less smooth greens, or heavily watered, longer, softer fairways, may result in a faster round. The maintenance schedules may help guide your strategy. Always check local rules and notices before starting your round, as they might provide information on temporary course conditions due to ongoing maintenance activities.

Do men and women have different golf equipment?

Men’s and Women’s Golf Equipment are different. This is mainly because of differences in physicality and swing speed. Women’s clubs are typically lighter, with more flexible shafts to accommodate a generally softer swing speed compared to men. The club heads can be designed to offer a higher launching angle for women golfers, allowing them to launch the ball more easily. The grips of women’s clubs are smaller and may have a different aesthetic design. The right equipment for any golfer is determined more by personal preference, individual ability and physical attributes than by gender.

What is proper golf etiquette?

Respecting golf etiquette is as vital as understanding the rules of the game. Recognizing the pace of game play means being ready for your shot at your turn, and walking quickly in between shots. Show consideration to other players by being silent and still while someone prepares to swing. Safety is also a crucial aspect – never play a shot until the group ahead is out of reach. Take care of the course by repairing divots, raking bunkers, and fixing ball marks on the greens. It is also polite to follow the dress code for the course that you are playing.

What can I do to improve my golfing swing?

Improving your golf swing is a matter of practice, good technique, and often, professional instruction. Start with a solid grip, stance and posture. It is essential to achieve a balanced stance with your feet shoulder-width apart, grip the club correctly with neither too tight nor too loose a hold, and maintain a posture that allows for a fluid swing. Slow-motion practice is a great way to learn the elements of your swing path, the alignment of the clubface, and the point contact. Spend time on the driving range or with a professional coach to improve your technique. Consistency and repetition are key. Focus on a consistent swing rather than hitting hard.

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What are the best ways to maintain and care for my golf clubs?

Proper maintenance will ensure that your golf clubs perform as they were intended. To keep your club heads free of dirt, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and soapy warm water after every round. Wipe down the shafts with a damp cloth to remove any debris, and check grips for wear and tear – they may need replacing every year or so, depending on usage. Store your clubs in an area that is cool and dry, since extreme temperatures or moisture can cause them to be damaged. To protect your woods and putsters from dings or scratches, use headcovers.


  • Roughly 60% of golfers who maintain a handicap index see an improvement in their scores year over year.
  • Over 35% of new golfers express the desire to play more rounds after experiencing their first full 18-hole game.
  • Junior golf programs have seen an increase in participation by approximately 20% over the past decade, indicating growing interest among younger players.
  • The average golfer spends about $500 on initial equipment when committing to learn the game.
  • Nearly half of all beginners cite social interaction as a primary reason for continuing to play golf after their initial introduction to the sport.
  • More than 75% of beginners who participate in structured practice report feeling more confident on the golf course.
  • Golfers who use a golf-specific fitness program can increase their drive distance by an average of 15 yards, benefitting their overall game.

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How To

How to Implement Effective Golf Routines

Set goals that you can achieve during each practice session. Assign time to each type of shot: long drives (long drives), iron play, chipping and putting. Use practice drills for specific areas where you are weak and begin each session with a warming-up. Include different targets and lies to simulate the real-life course conditions. It’s important to focus on quality over quantity, so treat each shot like it was on the course. Close your session with shots you feel confident in.



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