Graeme McDowell: “Growing up, I
couldn’t afford to play Royal Portrush”
GRAEME McDowell has
revealed that he couldn’t afford to play golf at
Royal Portrush as a young man growing up in the Co
Antrim seaside town.
As he returns to his hometown to compete in The Open
Championship later this week, McDowell recalled how
his family were instead members of nearby Rathmore
“When I think back all those years ago when I was
taking up the game with my brothers and my dad, we
were members of Rathmore Golf Club, which is built
upon land owned by Royal Portrush,” he said
“There’s no point beating around the bush here: as a
family, we simply couldn’t afford to be members of
Portrush. In fact, if we had lived in a part of the
world where golf was more expensive, I would never
have played the game.”
Crowds were out in the sunshine
yesterday, Tuesday 16 July, following the practice
rounds at The Open in Royal Portrush.
In a blog for the
European Tour, he added: “It’s that simple.
Thankfully, places like Britain and Ireland treat
golf as a game of the people for the most part so my
dad got into the game in his 30s and just instantly
got the bug and was able to introduce the game to
McDowell, who turns 40 later this month, would have
to wait until he was 16 and “one of the stand-out
juniors” to join a Royal Portrush golfing team.
Meanwhile, he joked that he “will not be the
hardest-working McDowell” at the hallowed links
course this week.
His younger brother Gary has been part of Royal
Portrush’s green-keeping staff for more than 20
“The level of preparation that has been done on the
golf course is unbelievable, and Gary is so proud to
be a part of the team led by Graeme Beatt who are
working tirelessly to showcase one of the best links
courses on the planet in perfect conditions,” the