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McDowell’s Challenge of Balancing Golf and Fatherhood

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell and his wife Kristin Stape have a growing family. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

It wasn’t the long putts that worried him but the short nights. It wasn’t the golfing luggage and the family suitcases he had to haul around but the golfing luggage, the family suitcases and the baby’s paraphernalia. When a baby arrives it’s a new life, and a wonderful one, but it has taken Graeme McDowell some time to get used to the change a baby brings.

Graeme, the birth of your daughter Vale in 2014 did affect your golf for a time, didn’t it? Is she partly why you didn’t play so well in 2015 (your best finish on the European Tour was T9) and why your victory in Mexico in mid-November last year was so important?

“Getting married and having kids is obviously a big part of life and I’ve certainly enjoyed every part of that,” McDowell, 36, said. “But when you’re struggling at your profession … it’s hard and you’re not making money it’s frustrating. So you go through a period of introspection and trying to work out what to do with yourself. Vale is a year and a half now. She’s breaking my heart. She’s great.”

Colin Morrissey, McDowell’s manager, was close by when McDowell’s golf was off key.


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