Golf Life’s Tubes: “I swapped alcohol for golf clubs… it’s changed my life”

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If you spent your Saturday mornings watching Soccer AM on Sky Sports in the early-to-mid noughties, you’ll remember Tubes (real name Peter Dale) for his hilariously awkward interviews every week. His ‘one question and one question only’ segment ran for seven years and gave him cult status on the long-running show, which he’s been a part of for nearly two decades.

But unless you are part of the TikTok generation, you may not be familiar with his brother, Ange (real name Andrew Dale), and their hugely popular Tubes & Ange Golf Life YouTube series, which has brought their unique sense of humour and comedy to the golf course.

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Since launching in 2019, the channel has featured guests such as England international footballers John Terry and Peter Crouch, as well as world champion boxer Tony Bellew and actor Stephen Graham. The content has proven so popular that it has enjoyed over 18.5 million views on YouTube alone. Even England Golf are directing people to the channel.

Tubes and Ange share a laugh on the golf course while filming for their YouTube channel.

“It’s funny because it started out with Pete doing what he does best: interviewing footballers on a golf course,” explains Ange. “We then started experimenting with a few silly games like a bucket challenge and quickly realised people wanted to see some longer-form, nine-hole and four-hole matches.

“It’s now evolved into Pete and I doing vlogs and then a big star joining us for a challenge. We’re actually astonished by how much it’s grown. I guess it just shows how much more enjoyable it is listening to an interview on the golf course.” 

They’ve just finished filming the first of two weekly episodes, which gives the brothers a good excuse for arriving late to our Zoom call. Naturally, they blame each other and so begins the kind of good-natured ribbing (or ‘banter’ as they like to call it), which underpins many of their videos. They can’t resist reeling off a few of their favourite anecdotes either – like the time Robbie Williams set them a ridiculous putting challenge in a car park during lockdown, or when Tubes needed 233 attempts to make a hole-in-one in his mum’s back garden.

“It’s been brilliant, such great fun,” says Tubes, who still works for Soccer AM full time. “We’ve had Joe Calzaghe on, Jason Fox from SAS: Who Dares Wins, Aaron Ramsdale, super Joe Cole, Jimmy Bullard, Paul Merson, Neil Ruddock, Jack Wilshere, Glenn Hoddle, even Mike bloody Dean! The list goes on and on. We’re hoping to get Mason Mount and Declan Rice on soon.”

“But we’re trying to get out to different sportspeople as well, not just footballers,” continues Ange. “Beef (Andrew Johnston) has been on, so has Matt Fitzpatrick and James Morrison. Shane Lowry and Olivia Cowan are coming on, Poults has been flirting with the idea. Hopefully, England Golf can help us, too.”

Whenever there's a birdie on the channel, Tubes, Ange and guests perform the 'birdie dance'.

With such an extensive contacts book, it is hard to imagine Tubes ever being starstruck. He always seems remarkably at ease in front of the camera, yet there is a vulnerability which only becomes apparent once the conversation turns to golf.

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“I only got into golf when I realised I had a massive issue with alcohol,” he confesses suddenly. “About five and a half years ago I made the decision to stop drinking and upsetting everyone around me. I then realised I had so many more hours in the day so I was like, ‘What can I do which doesn’t involve going down the pub?’ Ange has always been into golf, so it seemed like a good thing to bond over.

“I used to get bored of golf, but now I can play all day, every day. I absolutely love it. So basically, I swapped the alcohol for golf clubs… ”

The New Addiction

Tubes now wears his sobriety as a badge of honour. He admits that it almost became a running joke on Soccer AM that he would go out drinking every weekend.

People would send in pictures of themselves with a cardboard cut-out of Tubes on a night out and there was even a campaign calling for landlords across the country to ban him from their establishments for his own good.

“I planned my life around alcohol,” he says with regret. “It got to the point where I was buying for the next morning.”

Asked by a fan how much his addiction affected his mental health, Tubes once revealed that he often contemplated suicide and would down bottles of vodka like he was “drinking water”.

Tubes and Ange show every golf shot, regardless of how good or bad it is.

On one occasion he even tried to run in front of a moving car. The tremble in his voice suggests he is still haunted by his past, though he admits he probably wouldn’t be here today had he not swapped the nights out for a morning in the gym or an afternoon on the golf course.

On January 28, 2018, Tubes underwent emergency open-heart surgery to repair a hole in his heart after suffering an “unexpected and massive heart attack”. It was only because he had given up smoking and drinking two years before that he was given a fighting chance of survival.

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“I can still remember everything about it,” he admits. “I went home after playing football – really badly, by the way – in the morning. I felt like I had a massive hangover. I was almost trying to burp out a heart attack in the kitchen. It was like I had indigestion. I started feeling worse and worse and as I was walking down the stairs, that’s when my entire left side went numb.”

Golf has proved life changing for YouTube's Tubes and Ange.

While lying stricken on the ground in his front room, Tubes was luckily able to text his mum who alerted Ange and called the paramedics. 

“It’s not something you can really prepare for,” admits Ange. “When we got there, he looked as white as a sheet. His eyes were open but it was like there was nothing there. He was looking through us. It was horrible and something I never want to go through again.”

“It’s a good job we had Lewis Hamilton driving the ambulance,” jokes Tubes. “She was amazing, so quick. The other paramedic just kept telling these really sh*t jokes. He was like a really bad Jasper Carrot. He told my mum afterwards that he was trying to annoy me to keep me awake.

“He did his job and I got taken straight to the operating theatre. The next thing I knew I was having a cup of coffee in the ward with a stent in my chest, thinking, ‘I nearly died’. I was so lucky because they told me I had minutes to live.”

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A Second Chance

Since the ordeal, both brothers have been raising funds for charities promoting heart health awareness – and have even joined the Today’s Golfer Drive For Defibs campaign to help get as many of the lifesaving devices as possible into golf clubs across the UK. Tubes is now urging others to get checked out to help reduce dozens of preventable heart-related deaths each day.

“You can’t predict, but you can prevent it. Even though my dad and his dad both suffered heart attacks, never once did I think I would have one at the age of 36. I was probably the fittest I had ever been. I was playing golf, going to the gym every day, and I had lost loads of weight. The doctors actually said if I had still been drinking like I did back in the day, I would have died on the spot.”

Tubes and Ange are working with England Golf.

Bizarrely, one thing he can’t do now is scuba-diving – “I wouldn’t want to anyway,” he laughs – but he has been able to obtain his first-ever handicap after joining iGolf.

Most of his and Ange’s rounds are now documented in the form of ‘grudge matches’ on their YouTube channel, which has amassed more than 135,000 subscribers. Late last year they caught the attention of England Golf, who approached them to produce seven fun-packed episodes to help get youngsters into golf. 

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“It sounds a bit lame, but what we do is all about having fun, enjoying life on the golf course, and inspiring people to get out there,” says Ange. “I’ve got a kid now so golf is really my only outlet. It helps me mentally and there’s no better feeling than playing golf with people you like and love is there? That’s what we try to portray.”

Tubes (right) and Ange's Golf Life YouTube channel has proved a huge hit.

“We do like to have a laugh, but we also cover some really important points, such as mental health,” adds Tubes.

“One minute Lee Hendrie was talking about his own mental health problems; five minutes later he was doing an impression of one of his ex-managers. It’s real life. If we hit a sh*t shot, we don’t take it out. If we hit a great shot, we celebrate it.

“We want to make it relatable, so people feel like they’re with us on the golf course. We’re not precious about what happens. We’ll try anything and that’s probably why it works. You never know what we’re going to do or come up with next!”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Today's Golfer features editor Michael Catling.

Michael Catling is the Features Editor of Today’s Golfer.

He has been a journalist for more than 10 years and was shortlisted for Bauer Media Journalist of the Year in 2019.

Michael joined Bauer Media in 2016 and has exclusively interviewed dozens of Major champions, including Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.

A former member of Ufford Park and Burghley Park, Michael has been playing golf since he was 11 and currently plays off a handicap of 10.

Michael uses a Ping G driverPing G 3-woodPing G Crossover 3-ironPing G Series irons (4-PW), Ping Glide wedges (52º, 56º, 60º), TaylorMade MySpider Tour Putter, and Srixon AD333 golf ball.

You can contact Michael here.

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