There is only one thing that ties my haphazard CV together - my seemingly unwavering desire to steal jobs god intended for straight white men. I grew up playing golf competitively and am now a comedian, having spent time in the interim studying engineering and working in accountancy.

Hannah Fairweather

Hannah Fairweather

I played golf from age 7 into my early twenties and was a scratch handicap golfer en route to play professionally until my the sport earned me a scholarship to a NCAA Division 1 college in South Carolina.

I think my background in competitive golf - although I didn’t realise it at the time - is what prepared me best for life as a comedian. Here are the top 5 things that my training ground of competitive golf taught me about comedy:

1. it’s completely up to you

One of the most exciting parts of pursuing a solitary and individualistic endeavour like golf or comedy is that you are in control of your own success. However, one of the most terrifying parts of pursuing a solitary and individualistic endeavour like golf or comedy is that you are in control of your own success.

In both endeavours, for the most part, you are your own boss. You often have to wear different hats, filling various roles - including HR and public relations, which might explain the LIV Tour.

When you hone your craft, whether on the putting green or in the comedy club, it’s up to you how you manage your time, it’s up to you how hard you choose to work, and it’s up to you to ensure you put all that hard work to practice when you’re finally in front of your audience, live and in the high pressure environment you have spent all that time and effort preparing for.

2. it takes a team

While this might appear to be a complete contradiction of my first point, I have learned via undertaking individualistic endeavours, that there is only so much you can achieve on your own, and being successful takes a village.

It takes a lot of support, emotionally, artistically/athletically as well as financially to be at the top of your chosen field, and this is especially true about people at the beginning of their careers. With things like travel and accommodation costs, equipment and venue hire, golf and comedy are both massive financial loss-leaders. This is also unfortunately why a lot of working class talent gets left behind in both sport and the arts, and more needs to be done about this.

One thing that can never be understated is how significant support from people around you is and how no one ever makes it completely on their own. I’m talking coaches, physios, nutritionists, fans, audience members, techs, promoters, agents, managers, family, friends - the list goes on and on, there are so many people involved, behind the scenes, who often go unrecognised for the work they do in maximising the performance of an artist or athlete. If anyone disagrees with me and thinks they can go it alone, feel free to write a piece explaining why I am wrong, and ask the editor to send me a copy.

3. it’s fun to be the underdog

I am often met with surprise when I tell people I am a comedian and I think this is because I am shy and quiet in my day-to-day life but also because I am a young woman. I was met with a similar response in my golfing days, and I have noted in both arenas that more often than not, such surprise is coupled with an underestimation of skill. I enjoy being underestimated - I always loved to climb my way up the leaderboard in golf especially at a tournament that I needed to qualify for and I loved to play off the men’s tees and prove I could go neck to neck with my male peers. I love to do the same in comedy, to walk on stage and subdue people’s expectations - I find laughs are biggest when least expected - a bit like how celebrations peak when Scotland wins.

4. hard work beats talent nearly every time

In both golf and comedy, I have witnessed many talented people not fulfil their potential because they coast on talent and talent alone. I have also seen some of the hardest workers hone their craft and significantly improve their skill - and these are the people who go on to enjoy longevity in extremely successful careers. I have never been a natural, I was on the putting green until dark every day and it got me the results I wanted. Through working hard with golf, I learned to work hard with comedy. Growing up playing golf and learning self-discipline, time management and a strong work ethic is the reason for any success I have had in comedy - in both endeavours, audience members don’t see the huge amounts of effort required behind the scenes that result in great performers seeming effortless. And thank goodness, because if you found out your funny pal practiced their lines on the way to the pub, you wouldn’t find them so funny.

5. you have to love it

Golf taught me that if working towards your goals isn’t enjoyable, you need to ask yourself some important questions. Will I be glad I tried? Will I be ok with the many sacrifices I made along the way despite not achieving what I set out to? If the answer is no - if you’re not willing to decorate your living room with the oft cross-stitched phrase “life is about the journey not the destination” - it’s time to reconsider.

When you grow up playing sport, you constantly hear from coaches, teammates and sporting brand campaigns that choosing to stop playing makes one a ‘quitter’, despite stopping an activity you only started before having a fully developed frontal lobe. I learned the hard way that this isn’t true - it’s a good and necessary thing to reevaluate your life and ensure you are still on the path you want to be on. It is never too late to change paths and to channel your hard work and talent into something that you do love.

I played golf throughout my entire childhood and adolescence, and it was all I knew. I had talent and I worked hard, but it took me a long time to understand I didn’t love it. I loved competing and showing off in front of a crowd, and I loved giving a nice little speech whenever I won a tournament (all foreshadowing moments in my future biopic) but I didn’t love the game itself. I craved success, and I was enjoying the success I had in golf so I equated that with enjoyment of the sport itself. I stopped playing when I realised I wouldn’t do so without reward. I would, however, do comedy for nothing* - I love every minute of it, and you have to, because it isn’t easy, it is hard work for little pay and it’s a lot of sacrifices and no guarantees.

*if any promoters are reading this, please don’t assume I will work for free, while the sentiment is true, I still have bills to pay.

Hannah Fairweather: Just a Normal Girl Who Enjoys Revenge

Just The Tonic at the Caves @ 2.25pm

4 – 28 Aug (not 15)

Tickets from