Welcome Aboard, G-Mac!
Readers, we have an extremely exciting announcement for you today. We, at Srixon, are very happy to announce that Graeme McDowell is officially a Srixon Staffer! McDowell is coming off the biggest year of his career, which included wins at the U.S. Open and playing a key role in the Ryder Cup for Team Europe, as well as wins at the Celtic Manor Wales Open and the Andalucia Valderrama Masters. McDowell hopes to keep the good times rolling, entering the year ranked 5th in the Official Golf World Rankings and making the PGA Tour a more permanent home in 2011.
We were able to sit down with G-Mac to talk about his recent success, what got him here, and where he wants to go from this point forward. Welcome aboard, Graeme!
When did you start playing golf?
Probably when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I grew up on the North Coast of Ireland on a fairly famous golf course. It was sort of inevitable that I would pick up a golf club at some point in my life. It was love at first sight. I played a lot of sports growing up: rugby, futball, and tennis; but golf was a passion from the word “Go.”
Coming off the biggest year of your career, what made you switch to Cleveland Golf/Srixon?
I was a Cleveland Wedge player most of my amateur career and my college days. I had a relationship with the guys on and off throughout the years, it was just the right time. Obviously the Srixon golf ball was a ball that appealed to me, I had heard so many good things about it. Let’s be honest, nowadays the golf ball is a huge part of the whole deal and it was a ball I wanted to try out. Instantly I really loved the ball. I was at a stage my career where it is great to come on with a company like Cleveland/Srixon and have input of energy into my career. Obviously, I am trying to get to the next level and become one of the world’s best players. I just think this equipment is what can get me there.
What can you accredit to your success this year? Did you change anything recently?
Not really, I think it was a combination of a lot of things. I have been working hard on my swing with coach Pete Cohen the last few years. I have a great team of people with me starting with my caddie obviously, Kenny Conboy. My manager at Horizon Sports. I have been working hard for a few years, quietly going about my business, really accruing a lot of experience. 2008 was a great season for me, I won twice and got on the Ryder Cup team. I played really well there personally, obviously I was on the losing side but I learned a lot about myself that week. I gained a lot of confidence in my game going against the best competition in the world. I really try to pour that confidence into my game and just keep working really hard. I arrived this year, with my long game getting better and better. I had become more experienced in the Majors and was able to put that all to good use this year.
Bigger win for you this year: US Open or Ryder Cup?
Pretty hard to compare the two. The US Open from a personal point of view is achievement number one for me. I think Major Championships define any players career. It was great to get off that mark. The Ryder Cup is something a little different, golf is an individual sport and the Ryder Cup is something a bit special. You get to play with 11 teammates. It was probably the most exciting moment of my life, the Ryder Cup was. As far as personally rewarding the US Open is more important to me. But from an excitement and emotional point of view I think the Ryder Cup is pretty hard to beat.
You are moving to America in 2011: Tell us about what went in to making that decision?
Well, I played college golf in the States and I have a home in Orlando, so I am already spending an increasing amount of time over here. I have always wanted to be a global player, to play the best events around the world. The European Tour, as a Tour, is still my home and I’ll continue to support the European Tour but the PGA Tour is where a lot of the World’s best players are playing. The FedEx Playoffs are something that really interest me and I would love to find out more of what that’s all about. Like I say, I am kind of making my home in the states at the minute. I enjoy the lifestyle and I enjoy the Tour over here. I wanted to give it a season to see how it felt.
More fun to film: Entourage or Jay Leno?
Driver: Longer or straighter?
Longer, I am pretty straight already.
Sinking a long putt for birdie or sticking it close and having a tap in?
Tap ins, love em.
Caddie: just the facts or opinions?
Beer or Liquor?
Sports car or off road truck?
Vacation on the beach or in the mountains?
Night owl or early riser?
American football or Soccer?
I am a soccer guy, although I do enjoy football as well.
So, welcome aboard Graeme McDowell! We are happy to have you on the team!