GOLF was originally part of Sam Astbury's football training schedule.
The Merrivale reserves footballer would run between shots in the summer to build his fitness.
But times have changed.
Once just a summertime golfer, the 26-year-old added to the Warrnambool Golf Club A grade championship he claimed in March with a triumph in the Shipwreck Coast Golf Classic on Sunday.
He shot 74 in the first round at Port Fairy on Saturday and brought home the title with a 76 round at Warrnambool on Sunday.
It capped a remarkable rise - Astbury was playing D grade golf just four years ago.
"Both my grandpas played golf and tried to get me into it when I was younger, but I didn't have a bar of it. I wasn't interested," he told The Standard.
"I actually got into it through football. I'd grab one club, hit the ball, run the course as fast as I could.
"That's how it happened for me."
Astbury said he regularly played both Port Fairy and Warrnambool and used his familiarity with both courses to map out his victory.
"I knew I had to play it low, particularly with the wind at Port Fairy," he said.
"You had to be mindful of putting as well."
Despite his youth, Astbury revealed golf was his long-term focus.
I still really enjoy footy, but golf is a lot easier on the body, that's for sure.Sam Astbury
"I still really enjoy footy, but golf is a lot easier on the body, that's for sure," he said.
"I only have a couple of years left in it and it'll be golf after that."
Women's stableford champion Cate Monahan, of the Bellarine Peninsula, echoed Astbury's tactics.
"All I wanted to do was keep it low and find the fairways," she said.
"I had a very good round at Port Fairy and an OK round at Warrnambool. The first round set it up for me."
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