Netting Goals to Sinking Putts: The Transition of Osaze Odemwingie

Peter Osaze Odemwingie, born 15 July 1981 in Uzbekistan, to a Nigerian father and Russian mother, started playing football at a very young age. He moved to Nigerian after playing in the Russian youth team such as CSKA Moscow.

Football Career

At the age of 17, he began his professional career in the Nigeria Premier League. After which he earned a move to European football in Belgium where he spent three seasons winning the Belgian Cup before moving to French side Lille then moved to Lokomotiv Moscow.

He also made his debut for the Nigeria national team in a friendly against Kenya in May 2002 and has represented the country over 60 times, including two World Cups and four Africa Cup of Nations, as well as winning silver at the 2008 Olympics. He also captained the national team at some point.

Odemwingie joined West Brom from Lokomotiv Moscow in August 2010, shortly after Nigeria had crashed out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

There were fears Odemwingie would struggle to settle in quickly, just like most foreign players arriving in the Premier League, but he never had those problems.

Speaking in an interview, Osaze, who has played in Nigeria, France and Belgium, revealed he could not understand why footballers struggle to settle into a new environment.

“I don’t know why some people can’t settle in another country. The dressing room is full of boys, it’s always lively, and you can always find someone to get close to and bond with. I never struggled to adapt. I really enjoyed the football itself, and that is the language more important than anything.”

Some of the teams he scored against include Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. His performance earned him September 2010 and April 2011 Premier League player of the month (in his debut season).

After West Brom he went ahead to play for the likes of Stoke City, Cardiff, Bristol City, Rotherham, and Madura United where he retired.

Four Nigerians have won the Premier League player of the month award, but only Odemwingie has won it multiple times.

Odemwingie is one of the best strikers from Nigeria to grace the Premier League. He scored 37 times and registered 13 assists in 127 Premier League games.


After retirement in football, Odemwingie then began his PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) training in a bid to begin a new life as a professional.

Having passed his playing test on the number at The Belfry, making his debut on the Clutch Tour (formerly the PGA EuroPro Tour) the tier below the Challenge Tour, as well as the Jamega Tour and the TP Tour.


He has graduated from the University of Birmingham and a full member of the PGA.

Describing the sheer hard work involved in reaching this point, Odemwingie told The PGA board.

“I’m proud because I challenged myself not only to apply effort in a sport but also academically.”

“Coming from a football background, I had a decent level career. Now I am in a different sport. Sometimes you can be lonely in golf, but I pass the playing ability test, and I am still excited today as I was that day. I started playing just at the end of my West Brom days because a few of the boys played, and I could see the excitement they had for it.”

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