Egt: Hastings Has Got Talent

ImageGavin Hastings admits he has replaced the thrill of being a Scotland rugby hero by swapping kicking conversions from a pile of sand to driving golf balls off a tee.

The former British and Irish Lions captain " now Edinburgh Rugby chairman " famously helped Scotland win the 1990 Grand Slam during an illustrious playing career before hanging up his boots in 1995.

Now Hastings prefers to get his kicks on the golf course and as part of Edinburgh's Got Talent " where members of Scotland's no1 rugby team show off their other sporting skills " he took on all-comers in a driving competition at Craigentinny Golf School, Edinburgh on Tuesday (22 July).

Hastings, who has a five handicap, said: "I love golf and it is a terrific way to stay in shape after I stopped playing rugby.
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The overall winner was the youngest competitor in the group, 10-year-old Darren Dinse, who attends nearby Craigentinny School and all the participants enjoyed testing their skills against 'Big Gav'.

"I"ve got a handicap of five and I try to play as often as I can. I fully support Edinburgh's Got Talent; it is great way for people to get fitter and learn about what's going on at our club.

"Golf plays a big part in my life and it is one of those sports where you can take your sticks with you anywhere in the world and play a round.
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"I"ve always been interested in golf; even before I started playing rugby."

Golf enthusiasts challenged Hastings and won free tickets to the Edinburgh's Got Talent Finals taking place at the pre-season friendly meeting between Edinburgh and London Wasps at Murrayfield on Saturday 23 August.

And Hastings, who is still Scotland's record penalty taker, reckons getting a golf shot right is similar to taking a pressure kick in front of a big crowd.

He added: "I suppose at times there are some similarities. When you are driving the ball well it is the same as when you kick a perfect penalty or conversion.

"A lot of it is all about facing the mental challenge; it is a challenge keeping the ball on the fairway.

"You"ve only got to look at the Open to see just how challenging golf is to play.

"I have always enjoyed golf, but I"m sure I made the right decision to play rugby competitively."