Steph Curry has revealed he is considering becoming a professional golfer when he retires from basketball.

The player who is regarded by many experts as the greatest shooter in the history of the NBA believes he has what it takes to transfer his on-court genius to the fairways.

Yes, we have heard this before, haven't we? In fact, we seem to hear it every other month or so.

Recently, there have been reports appearing of Craig Kieswetter, the former England cricket wicketkeeper, earning his card on something called the Mena Tour and of Tony Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, trying - and failing - to qualify for next month's US Open.

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These stories have become less a curio on the sports pages and more a staple.

Except, it is curious, if only because we should wonder what it is about the ancient game which makes so many confident they can crack it at the top level.

No doubt, the scoring/handicap system has plenty to do with this grand deception. When anyone breaks par, they immediately feel comparable to the players they see on TV.

However, they must realise that shooting a 68 at Exclusive Country Club is not the same as shooting a 68 at Carnoustie.

In fact, shooting a recreational 68 at Carnoustie has no resemblance to shooting a 68 at Carnoustie in tournament conditions, off the back tees, with the rough up, with the greens bikini-waxed, for money.

There are also a few success stories which will help convince the likes of Curry that they, too, can fill the void of retirement.

There was athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who, after winning two golds at the 1932 Olympics, took up golf and became the best woman player on the planet.

About the same time, Ellsworth Vines went from Wimbledon winner to 12th on the PGA Tour money list. Frank Conner was another who managed to play in both sports' US Opens.

Yet, what these all have in common is that they happened years ago. Respect to the legend of Zaharias, because she was a one-off and would have made it in any era, but golf has moved on and the strength of the playing ranks now runs so deep that it is difficult to get any sort of foothold.

The vast majority of those attempting to make the switch rely on their names to gain invitations - and professional golf invariably indulges them.

Take Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Of the 15 invitations he has received for the European Tour and its feeder league, the Challenge Tour, he has made exactly no cuts. But then, neither did fellow tennis ace Ivan Lendl or footballer Andriy Shevchenko or American football's Jerry Rice or so many others.

At least, Kieswetter has actually played his way on to the Middle East and North Africa Tour, although the scale of this "achievement" must be put into context.

The Mena claims to be nothing more than a stepping stone and it is proving an expensive one. In his four tournaments, Kieswetter has missed three cuts and finished 52nd.

His earnings? 152 ($284). Remove the expenses from travelling to countries as far flung as Morocco and Thailand and that is one huge financial hole.

Which brings us on to the word "professional", itself, which, in golf, is deceiving to the point of total fraudulence.

The dictionary will tell you professional means "engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation". Yet you, yourself, earn more at golf than the majority of pro golfers, simply because you do not lose as much playing it.

Curry should think of that. In golf, professional is not nearly what it seems. Telegraph Group Ltd