Lawrie’s new lease of life
His oldest son, Craig has a picture of Sergio Garcia on the wall of his bedroom while a poster of Rory McIlroy looks over youngest son, Michael while he’s asleep in bed.
It’s probably hardly surprising Paul Lawrie’s only two children admire golfers nearly half their father’s age.
New lease of life for 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie
Lawrie is currently one of the European Tour’s pin-up golfers and very much on course to return to the European Ryder Cup side later this year for only the second time since making his debut in 1999 at the now infamous ‘Battle of Brookline’.
But even while his career has been rejuvenated, in the eyes his two sons, the former Open Champion is ‘an old fart’.
Craig, 16 and his 14-year old brother Michael are unlike any other teenage boys, as they’re simply going about defining their personality, and all the time inching closer to an eventual move to professionalism.
“The boys think that I dress like an old man”, said Lawrie smiling.
“They’re into wearing white belts and I have never worn a white belt in my life. They like the tight Lundberg shirts and there’s no way I can wear that as I’m 43 and over-weight.”
“So they give me huge grief with the way I dress as I only ever wear grey, navy or black trousers and I will never wear white trousers.”
“They’ve got all the kit. Michael likes his shoes to match his hat or his belt and all that carry on, and I’ve never done that, so they give me huge grief for my dress.”
“They’ve got t pictures of Sergio Garcia and Rory on their bedroom walls.”
“But you won’t find any of the old man. I’m an old fart!”
“But then I also give it out and if you give it out, you have also got to be able to take it pretty well.”
In fact, it was son Craig who can take credit for a resurgence in Lawrie’s form with the Scot now lying an equal career-best of 29th on the world rankings and currently fifth in the Race to Dubai.
But of more importance to Lawrie is that he’s lying second overall on the Ryder Cup points table and just a handful of months short of ending a 12-year wait since representing Europe for the only occasion in 1999 at Brookline.
And Lawrie’s push for a second Ryder Cup began not on the competitive fairways of the European Tour but on the short nine-hole Deeside Club course at Bieldside in Aberdeen.
“I was playing a game against Craig at Deeside about the time of the 2010 Ryder Cup, and he was playing off one at the time,” said Lawrie.
“We were just having a bit of fun and I wasn’t really paying attention and we’ve come to the ninth hole and realised he was two shots ahead of me, as he was three-under and I was one-under.”
“Then I said to him ‘you realise you’re winning here?’ and he said ‘yes’.”
“I was hoping he would make six or seven but that didn’t happen. He had about a five-footer to win, and before he hit his putt, I said to him ‘you do realise this putt is to win?’ And knew exactly that and he holed.”
“He gave me a wee fist pump. “
“I shook his hand and said: ‘Well done son, I am proud of you’ but under my breath I was saying under my breath ‘you little so and so’.”
“He thought it was good fun as he ran up to the clubhouse and told all his mates. But fair play to him.”
However it wasn’t the shock of being beaten by his oldest son but a realisation Lawrie had been spending far too much time on the practice range than out on the golf course.
Since then Lawrie’s won twice and improved his world ranking from 242nd in the world the day Europe won back the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor to 29th.
He’s lying fifth on the Race to Dubai money list and second overall on the European Ryder Cup points table.
And all thanks to his two boys.
“I had gotten myself, as a lot of players do when they’re in a bad run, you start hitting balls and you start getting technical and start changing your swing,” said Lawrie.
“So when the boys started playing a bit of golf they didn’t want to stand on the range hitting balls. They wanted to play, so I found myself enjoying the game a lot more as I was very relaxed playing with them.”
“My tournament play then started improving and so much of that is to do with playing with the boys. I got out of that rut of hitting balls and working on my swing and getting too technical.”
“So along with [wife] Marian it’s very much a family affair.”
“I can’t do what I do without the proper people behind you.”
“I get text messages all the time from the members at Teeside Golf Club, who are sitting beside the boys in the TV lounge, and they would be watching me competing out on the Tour, and the messages would say how the boys have been cheering me on which is great.”
“You can’t beat stuff like that.”