“It’s a little bit like a wedding” – Harrington tweaking Hall of Fame speech

Ronan MacNamara

Padraig Harrington (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

Feature Interviews

Latest Stories

“These are the happiest days of your life,” is what Bob Torrance used to say to Pádraig Harrington as he walked from the practice range to the first tee of a tournament and as he makes the walk on stage for his World Golf Hall of Fame induction on Monday he will remember to take the time to enjoy the moment as he celebrates a glittering career.

Harrington will deservedly enter the golfing hall of fame but if there was a roll of honour for the greatest speakers, he would also be in with a shout as he toils with having to cut his induction speech from a 30 minute draft to an eight minute autocue.

“It’s a little bit like a wedding at the moment,” laughs Harrington. “Trying to get speeches done and things like that, trying to fit everything in. Yeah, it’s becoming quite real, it’s about to happen because it’s been a while, it’s been a couple of years since they said I was going to be inducted and maybe it was expected for a little while longer so it’s been a while coming and it’s coming around quickly.”

Harrington enjoyed a glittering career that included three major championship wins, fifteen European Tour wins and six PGA Tour wins as well as a 1997 World Cup of Golf victory alongside Paul McGinley.

A latecomer to the professional game at 24, the Dubliner has always been someone who wants to ace a level before he moves on whether it be winning at Boys level, senior level, Walker Cup, on tour, Ryder Cup, Irish Open and the majors. Obsessed with winning and reaching the top, time to reflect and enjoy victories can be seldom but he is fully intent on soaking in his Hall of Fame induction next week as validation for a wonderful career.

“Yeah, for me and I’ve said this all along, when you’re in your career and you win tournaments and you receive awards and accolades, you always assume they’re going to be there and you’re going to keep winning, you always think there’s going to be another one.
“So you go through the motions a lot of the time, you brush over them, you maybe don’t enjoy them the way you should at the time.
“So by getting into the Hall of Fame it brings a lot of emotions. Validation, no doubt about it. Satisfaction, no doubt about it. And they were the first emotions, 100%.
“It’s a deep-set satisfaction that I’ve done it and I’ve done well, it’s marked now. But as the weeks went on and it’s a couple of years now, there’s certainly a sense of joy that I get to enjoy all these past glories again and maybe take it in more than I might have done 20 years ago.
“So yeah, those emotions and you’re right, there were different emotions, there was validation and satisfaction to start off with but afterwards there’s a sense of ‘you know what, I’m going to enjoy this, I’m going to take time to enjoy it rather than worry about it.
“At this stage of my career…there’s a quote by Bob Torrance, he always said it to me as I was going to the range, ‘these are the happiest days of your life’ which basically means not yesterday, not tomorrow, today is the happiest day and you’ve got to make the most of it, and 100%, it’s a subject to enjoy.
“I’m not getting into another Hall of Fame, I’m not going to have the same successes on the golf course that I had in the past, there’s nothing there. So why not enjoy this and take this moment to enjoy it.
“I am reflecting and there’s no doubt about it, there is a sense of satisfaction, I am enjoying my success because of what it means.”
Harrington’s son Patrick is famous for running into his father’s arms after the 72nd hole of the 2007 Open Championship in Carnoustie, before he would beat Sergio García in an eventual playoff meaning ladybugs would be placed in the Claret Jug in celebration.
It was an unexpected yet cherished moment for Harrington who will be introduced to the Hall of Fame stage by Patrick in another unforgettable moment.
“He’s not so young now, 20 years of age! He really wanted to do it,” Harrington explains. “I was delighted that he wanted to do it, he feels it’s his responsibility to do it so I’m quite chuffed about that. I haven’t interfered with his speech whatsoever so I have no idea what he’s going to say. But it’s his responsibility now. He wanted it.”

Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

More News

Leave a comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.