GolfDifferent Strokes

Shane Lowry ‘worn out’ and looking forward to some time off over Christmas

Mair makes move into novel writing to highlight dementia; Word of Mouth; By the Numbers; Twitter Twaddle; On this Day; In the Bag; Know the Rules

As pay-days go for finishing 18th of the 20 players assembled for the Hero World Challenge, Shane Lowry’s take of $102,000 wasn’t exactly to be sneezed at as he finished off his year’s work in the Bahamas, where Viktor Hovland successfully defended his title in the tournament hosted by Tiger Woods.

“I’m worn out and that’s me done till Abu Dhabi next year,” Lowry told Irish Golfer magazine of a tournament where his haul of 17 birdies, eight bogeys, four double-bogeys and two triple-bogeys pretty much summed up how his body was craving for a rest.

Lowry, who dropped from 20th to 21st in the updated world rankings, is home for Christmas and a break that stretches over the festive period before resurfacing in the Middle East in January where he has the Hero Cup, the Abu Dhabi Championship and the Dubai Desert Classic as a string of tournaments to kick-start the year.

Renowned golf writer Mair shines light on dementia in new novel

Veteran golf writer Lewine Mair – who is author of a number of golf books, including The Real Monty, a biography of Colin Montgomerie and Carefree Golf, an autobiography with Laura Davies – has departed into the world of fiction.


Her first novel Tapping Feet is loosely based on the period her husband Norma, a former Scottish rugby international and also an award-winning sports journalist, was suffering from dementia.

“I have loved the challenge of writing more of a novel. I kept a diary while Norman was in the care home because I found it vaguely therapeutic during what was a tough time for the family. My hope is that many of those who have friends or family members affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia, or both, will draw comfort from reading of the condition’s brighter moments as well as its sadder side,” said Mair, who has nominated Head for Change, an international charity pioneering positive change for brain health in sport, as the recipients of a percentage of the book’s sales.

Mair became the first woman to be president of the Association of Golf Writers in the body’s 84-year history when elected to the position last year and was the first woman chairman when holding the position in 2007-2010.

Word of Mouth

“I told him, ‘Don’t copy my swing, copy Rory’s. Have you ever seen Rory off balance on a shot? No’”

—  Tiger Woods’s advice to his son Charlie. Woods and McIlroy team-up together to face off against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in the latest edition of The Match, a special 12-hole event which takes place on Saturday.
By the Numbers: 9/28

In a ballot to elect new members to Portmarnock Golf Club, nine of the 28 elected were women, representing almost 33 per cent of the new admissions. In all, there were 40 candidates – 30 men and 10 women – for membership with 19 men and nine women elected through the ballot system. The north county Dublin club voted to end its all-male membership rule last year and now has 37 women members across all categories, from girls to full members.

Twitter Twaddle

– Guess what’s on Tommy Fleetwood’s mind as he puts the clubs away for, yes, Christmas.

– words of wisdom from Pádraig Harrington.

Gary Hurley on a decent start to his rookie season on the DP World Tour. The Waterford man continues his African odyssey when he joins Tom McKibbin and John Murphy in the field for this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

On this day: December 6th, 1992

David Frost of South Africa captured what was the biggest prize in golf – $1 million – when he beat the limited-field of players in the Million Dollar Challenge at Sun City, his third career success in a tournament that was like a personal ATM in dispensing money.

His task had been made somewhat easier by the disqualification of both Nick Price and Nick Faldo in the third round – Price for refusing to sign his card after incurring a two-stroke penalty when his caddie moved an advertising hoarding in the play of a hole, Faldo for including an incorrect score on his card – with Frost finishing with a final round 69 for a winning total of 12-under-par 276, four shots clear of runner-up John Cook.

“I just didn’t play any bad shots out there,” said Frost in a tournament which had started out with 10 players but finished with just eight after the two Nicks were disqualified.

In the Bag: Viktor Hovland at the Hero World Challenge

Driver: Ping G425 (nine degrees)

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (15 degrees)

Utility: Titleist U510 (3)

Irons: Ping i210 (4-PW)

Gap wedge: Ping Glide 4.0 (50 degrees)

Sand wedge: Ping Glide 2.0 (58 degrees)

Putter: Ping PLD DS 72

Ball: Titleist ProV1

Know the Rules


On the first hole of a stroke play competition, a player uses his distance-measuring device before they hit their second shot and then again before their third shot. The device had the ability to make an adjustment for slope and this was turned on. What is the ruling?


A player may get information on distance or direction from a distance-measuring device, however such a device must not be used to measure elevation changes. As the player used the device on two separate occasions they would be disqualified (Rule 4.3).