Aker's now a real cracker at golf as he tess off in Noosa
HE WAS the AFL bleach-blonde Brisbane blitz whose footballing firepower was often matched by his blistering verbal blasts.
And now the sometimes grand-standing, always hand-standing Jason Akermanis, is at Noosa Springs to not talk the talk but walk the walk, hopefully on the path towards a professional golfing career at the ripe old age of 41.
This controversial former AFL star who helped Brisbane win three premierships, is competing in three-day Q-School qualifying at Noosa Springs starting today and finishing Friday and has paid $1870 to compete a chance to one day tackle the Australasian PGA Tour.
Aka, the 2001 Brownlow Medallist, knows the going will be tough. He must finish in the top handful of golfers after 54 holes at Noosa Springs to reach the final stage of qualifying at Moonah Links in mid-December.
The leading players after that 72-hole event will earn playing privileges on next year's tour.
Akermanis is a talented golfer, but it was not until he moved to Albury in 2013 to captain and coach North Albury in the Ovens and Murray League, that he took up the game seriously.
He plays nearly every day and has cut his handicap from six to scratch in the past year.
Up against the professionals in the Western Open at Horsham in October, Aka shot rounds of 80 and 81 to finish tied 73rd.
Akermanis played 248 games for Brisbane between 1995 and 2006, and another 77 for the Western Bulldogs from 2007 to 2010. He was all-Australian four times and is a member of the AFL Hall of Fame.
But there was always a rebellious side to Akermanis, and he alienated himself from many of his team-mates and club officials. He left both clubs in bitter circumstances.
In the line-up also at Noosa Springs will be Pelican Waters star Charlie Dann, who turned professional only last week.
Dann had a taste of what it takes on the Australian PGA Tour when he played in the Queensland Open at Brisbane earlier this month and in the NSW Open.
Spectators are welcome to attend.