My Life in Golf: Conor Moore aiming to break 80

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Conor Moore

Irish Golfer

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Unfortunately, as he admits, his golf game hasn’t kept up the pace, but the summer of 2024 will change all that as he aims to break 80 for the first time and become a single-figure golfer.

A member of Mullingar Golf Club, Moore’s career has turned him from a sporadic golfer into a lover and he is determined to improve.

Handicap? 15.6 but I’m looking to get down big time and I will. I started a series of breaking 80 and getting into single figures. I love coming out here in the evening and playing a few holes with a few different balls. My life goal this summer is golf.

How is your quest to break 80 going? I played St. Andrews and we had the worst day weatherwise. My hands were freezing, and it was so hard to get going, just 70% swings all the time but it was very enjoyable. I ended up parring the last. Even though I didn’t get close to breaking 80 – I shot 91 – but making par on the last made me feel like I broke 80.

What do you need to work on to break 80? Just top and tailing it. The driving, I’m a big slicer of the ball a lot of the time. I’ve definitely improved my putting over the last few weeks but if I can improve those two things, I would come down savagely. Mullingar has a lot of trees, so you are punching out then trying to make five really. If I could hit more fairways, I think the handicap would come down then.

How did you get into golf? My dad became a member of Mullingar years ago. I remember it used to be tough to get in and I remember the phone call coming to the landline where he was told he got in and he was just over the moon. It was like he was after getting elected as a TD or something. It was a huge deal. I didn’t play a whole lot as a junior, I was playing a lot of football and stuff, and my close mates didn’t really play golf so I didn’t have a lot of people other than my brother to play golf with.

I always loved watching it. When I did the video for the Masters in 2018 that went big in America, I really wanted to play golf and I started getting invited to Pro-Ams. I would have played a couple of times a year before that but since then I have fallen in love. While I’ve fallen in love my handicap hasn’t fallen.

Lowest round? I shot an 86 in Mullingar. It’s gone to my 21st score now because I was out of the country a while, so it brought my handicap up! I did it in the captain’s prize the year my father was captain. I came up here and I was a bit hungover, so I thought I was late for my tee time and I landed up on the first tee box and my father says you’re an hour and a half early! I was on at one and I read it as 11 or something. So, I went down and did some practice for an hour which I would never do and shot an 86. I thought I had golf figured out. “I was leading qualifier off 20 and I felt like I was going to do it. I practiced every day but I got the yips on the putting green so there were three putts and four putts. I remember telling Tiger about it at the Bridgestone ad and he just went ‘dude, that’s a lot of putts.’

Ever had a hole in one? No and I’ve never come close, but I did [hole out] from 170 on the 11th hole here I hit a 5-iron, and I couldn’t find the ball when I went up. So, I eagled the par-4. I know it’s not a hole in one but I’m going to count it as a two on a par 4.

Top three golf courses you’ve played? Two in America I just absolutely loved are Sawgrass and Liberty National. Liberty is off the coast of New Jersey and overlooks New York. The course is incredible and there are so many views of New York city and the Statue of Liberty. Sawgrass is the closest thing to Augusta in terms of how perfect everything is. I’ve played St Andrews twice and it’s just the most incredible place. It’s very special if you appreciate golf and golf history. Walking down the first and coming up 17 and 18 is unreal.

You got a lesson off Pádraig Harrington. How did it go? I met Harrington at the K Club last year and I asked him had he any tips on trying to break 80. He asked ‘did I want to enjoy it more or want to get better?’ I said both. He said you have to focus on one or the other. If you want to enjoy it more, the big stick is the focus you’ll always enjoy it. But if you want to get better, short game. 150 and in.

He DM’d me on Twitter and gave me some swing tips. He told me to think Jon Rahm so now my swing is shortened although it’s still quite long! I wrote to him a couple of weeks ago and he said I can get anyone to nine which was music to my ears. He met me then at the K Club and we had the most amazing day of golf. It was brilliant. He didn’t mince his words. He said ‘your good shots are your bad shots, and your bad shots are your good shots’. I hadn’t a clue what he meant. But he said my straight shots are 30 yards shorter than when I pull it left so I needed to learn how to line up properly and make it go right to left.

I was hitting slices off the tee and by the end it was a hook, but he said it was good. After a while I have noticed I was hitting it 210 now I drive it 240, so it has made a difference. My bunker play and chipping have improved unbelievably over the last couple of weeks as well. He texted me a week after saying ‘have you broken 80 yet?’ A bit soon!

What do you love about golf? It’s the most peaceful place in the world to come back here after being away on gigs. I can come down and just play a few holes and play some golf with the AirPods in and listen to a podcast. Twilight golf is the best.

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