25 May 2023 | Industry news |

Glenn Skuthorpe: Tapping the rhythm

by Australian Golf Media

Glenn Skuthorpe trophy image
Glenn Skuthorpe after his win in Adelaide at the SA Indigenous Championship.

By Jim Tucker

Adelaide singer-songwriter Glenn Skuthorpe always packs his golf clubs alongside two guitars for a run of gigs on the road.

The winner of the recent South Australian Aboriginal Championship has been drawn to the rhythm of both pursuits since he was a teenager.

It’s an intriguing mix. Now 60, the balance of any week is playing or composing music and keeping his swing in the groove.

“Like music, golf is all about the rhythm. For me, they have always gone hand-in-hand,” Skuthorpe said.

“I get a lot of relaxation from golf. It’s me walking in the mornings at 8am with a nine iron … hit-walk, hit-walk.

“I travel with my clubs. If I’m driving anywhere for a gig on tour, the Srixon blades get chucked in the back of the car with the guitars. On a spare day, I’ll be golfing to relax and exercise.”

Skuthorpe plays off a handicap of 5.6 after getting as low as two. He cursed too many three-putts in his 10-over-par 81 to win the SA Aboriginal Championship but he handled the wind and rain at North Adelaide Golf Club (South) superbly.

Skuthorpe is ensconced in composing the music and lyrics for his seventh album. How much he will tap his country origins or a more urban street blues sound is taking shape.

He had the privilege of playing with the late Archie Roach and appears at festivals around the country and abroad.

The story-telling to Skuthorpe’s acclaimed music, which has featured in the 2018 movie Emu Runner and John Pilger’s documentary Utopia, will always be there.

The proud Nhunggabarra, Kooma man grew up in remote Goodooga, near Lightning Ridge in NSW, as one of eight kids in a sporty family.

“How I grew up, my parents would make us sit around the campfire and talk about what we did that day and listen to stories. That’s how the storytelling came into my music,” Skuthorpe said.

He was playing chords on a guitar at six or seven and had a golf club in his hands at 15 to have a whack on the red dust fairways and black sump oil greens of the town’s nine-hole course.

When life took him to Sydney, he played a lot of golf at Barnwell Park Golf Club and within the thriving music community in the 1990s.

“It might surprise you but a lot of the musos played like Tim Freedman from The Whitlams. We’d play golf about the place and the Warren View (Hotel) was like our club rooms (in Enmore),” Skuthorpe recalled.

It took a mate he met at a gig in Adelaide to properly connect him with the game in his new home city.

“We downed a few drinks after the show and I asked if he wanted another. He said ‘no’ because he was up early for golf,” Skuthorpe said.

“I told him I played, joined him and I’ve never looked back. I play Tuesdays with the SA Taxi Golf Club around different courses."

His four-under 68 this year at the Patawalonga course at West Beach Parks put a smile on his face before playing the same 18 holes in eight more strokes 24 hours later.

“You never play the same game of golf twice. That’s part of the appeal,” he said.

Scuthorpe was encouraged that it wasn’t just veterans like himself teeing it up at the SA Aboriginal Championship.

“I’ll be back to defend next year but what I really liked seeing was a dozen or more young Aboriginal kids playing the game and enjoying it,” Scuthorpe said.

To follow progress of Glenn Skuthorpe’s upcoming album and tour dates go to: glennskuthorpe.com

Glenn Skuthorpe guitar image
Glenn Skuthorpe indulging his passion for music.

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