We here are GG HQ have long been fans of Greystones golfing guru Paul Dunne – even if the bugger hasn’t agreed yet to take part in My Greystones.
Still, with his second year in the spotlight proving that he’s more than just a hole-in-one-wonder, Dunne has opened up to Rob Lawless, for the latter’s golfing blog, Straight Down The Middle. Which is some sex orgy term, apparently. There will be a Back Nine series of questions at the end of the season too – we’ll keep you posted.
Naturally, Rob’s skills as a journalist are nowhere near as good as ours – we would have asked about drug use, any homosexual experiences, if Paul has ever killed a child – but, you do get a good snapshot here of a future legend just at the beginning of his incredible journey…
From what I’ve heard, you could have played at a very high level in a few different sports, from tennis to soccer. Can you remember what shot or competition it was that made you throw all your eggs into one basket and focus purely on golf?
I played a lot of football, Gaelic football and tennis when I was younger. I played them to a decent standard but I was streets away from the best. I started golf at 10 and as I got older the appeal to me was that you could practice, play and improve with others and by yourself. In other sports you need other people to play with to improve but in golf you can put the work in whenever you feel like it and can always do something to get better. I think I started focusing mainly on golf at around 14, when I started making national teams. I was playing with the best in the country and thought I could beat them, which gave me a lot of motivation to keep moving up through the ranks.
You’ve played at the highest level of Amateur Golf. How big has the step up to the paid ranks been, standard-wise?
Not as big as people would think. I would say that top level amateur golf is as good a standard as the European Tour. However, the European Tours fields are much deeper. The best players in amateur golf will have no problem competing and doing well on tour, the only issue is doing it at the right time when the opportunity arises.
If you had to swap one part of your game with any player on tourright now, who and what would it be?
I think I’d take Dustin Johnson’s club head speed. I know I can improve all areas of my game myself but it’s very difficult to increase the speed in your swing. I will pick up some MPHs as I develop, but will never get into the 130s with swing speed like DJ. So, I’d have to go for that.
Your go-to Swing Thought?
Hold your posture through impact, and stay in the shot. But to be honest, I usually have a few.
What’s playing in your earphones at the moment in the gym or while you’re out jogging?
Drake, Eminem, Jay-Z, Avicii, Galantis, etc. Along the lines of rap and dance music.
Do you have a motivational speaker or book you check in with regularly?
Unfortunately, the only one that works is the one between the ears. If there was a secret motivational video, everyone would have used it.
Describe your average Tuesday on the week of a tour event.
It depends on if I’m in the Wednesday Pro-Am. If I am, then I will get to the course around 10-ish. I like sleeping in a bit and resting on days leading up to an event. Sleep is so important. I’ll play 9, grab some lunch, and then do some work on the range, and a couple hours of short game, mostly putting. If I’m not in the Pro-Am on Wednesday, then I don’t get to play the course Wednesday, and will play the other 9 after lunch on Tuesday.
You’re teeing off at 1000 on a Thursday; what does your morning consist of?
Alarm for 7.20, and then get up after a few snoozes. Grab some breakfast, some light stretching/foam rolling, a shower, then head to the course. Get there an hour and 10 minutes early. I do approximately 15 minutes putting from inside 15 feet, then head to the range and work up through the bag for half an hour. Afterwards I do about 10 minutes on the chipping green, then do some work on long range lag putting, before heading to the first tee.
Your short game practice routines are legendary around the Greystones area. Could you give one drill you’d recommend for the average player to use?
Par 2’s is the best game to play. It’s most like practising as you play. Set 18 holes out around the chipping green – six easy, six medium and six hard – and try get them up and down, and see how many over you are after 18. If you can go around in level par then you can say to yourself that if you miss every green on the course you can still shoot level par. We did this game in college with Alan Murray about 4 times a week. Put some effort in and you’ll get a lot out of it.
You can also follow Rob Lawless on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. You can follow his buddy Paul Dunne here.