Padraig Harrington - Golf Ireland Ambassador
Padraig Harrington may have reached the dizzying heights of winning three majors but he hasn’t forgotten where his story as a golfer started.
Now you may be expecting to hear that it was on one of Ireland’s world-famous courses like Ballybunion or Lahinch – courses with histories dating back centuries – where the boy Harrington first picked up a club at the age of four. But no, it was at a course called Stackstown in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains where Harrington competed against his father, uncle and two brothers. In fact, Harrington’s father helped build the course with a shovel and his bare hands, and one of Harrington’s earliest memories is helping to level a green with his feet as a young child.
It was here, on this fine course that only opened in 1976 that Harrington became determined to match their impressive single digit handicaps. Of course, he did one better and at the age of 15, the world-class golfer was playing off scratch.
Harrington fondly recalls his days hitting balls here and treasures the memories from his club. “Stackstown golf course backs onto a house that’s owned by one of the members of U2 and in the early 80s U2 were just hitting the big time and they used to practice outdoors. So we all used to get free concerts,” he states.
And Harrington loves hearing other people’s Irish golf stories from clubs like Stackstown which welcome visitors from near and far to their fairways and greens.
“Wherever I travel around the world…people come to tell me about the golf in Ireland that they’ve had… They always regale me with a few stories about what happened to them. And strangely enough, they’re nearly always original stories.”
What will your Irish golf story be?