Niall Horan used golf to 'escape' while on the road with One Direction

Niall Horan has said he used golf to "escape" his hectic life with One Direction.

The 22-year-old Irishman is a regular on the golf course, has caddied for Rory McIlroy and has turned his hand to golf talent management since the band went on hiatus.

Niall Horan said he used golf to
Niall Horan said he used golf to "escape" while in One Direction (Today's Golfer)

He told Today's Golfer that he came to rely on the sport to unwind during One Direction's jet-setting five years together.

"When I was on the road with One Direction it allowed me to escape the hotel for a few hours and relax.

"Harry (Styles) and I used to play a fair bit and travelling so much has allowed me to play some amazing courses all over the world.

"It's a great way to escape from everything for a few hours."

One Direction ( Joe Giddens/PA)
Niall said he would hit the green with Harry while the band travelled (Joe Giddens/PA)

Niall's involvement in the sport and membership in one of the world's biggest boybands has helped improve the image of golf among younger people.

But posing alongside friend and 2013 US Open winner Justin Rose for "The Cool Issue" of the magazine, Niall was in danger of losing his street-credibility as he admitted he was an "anorak" about the sport.

He said: "I love it. I'm obsessed with it, to be honest.

"I watch an awful lot of golf on the TV. I love all the stats and when they break down swings. I can tell you who's top in greens in regulation, driving distance and stuff like that.

Niall has played caddy in the past to friend Rory McIlroy (Darron Cummings/AP/PA)
Niall has played caddy in the past to friend Rory McIlroy (Darron Cummings/AP/PA)

"I'm a bit of an anorak, but I find it all very interesting."

He said working alongside Justin - and Justin Timberlake - at the Drive, Chip & Putt event at the Augusta National this year and seeing the "raw talent" there confirmed his desire to go into management.

Niall said he wants "to catch them while they're young because I want to be involved and at the forefront". 

In the same interview, Justin spoke about his decision to go to Rio for the 2016 Olympics despite the Zika virus threat.

Niall and Justin cover The Cool Issue (Today's Golfer)
Niall and Justin on the cover of "The Cool Issue" (Today's Golfer)

He said: "I know some of the boys have declined to go and I respect their decision... I'm seeing it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and am treating it as such."

Read Niall and Justin's full interview in Today's Golfer magazine, out now.

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