Thursday 18 January 2018

Luke's Cool Hand not on show in his golfing 'handling error'

Luke Fitzgerald takes a wild swing... to the amusement of his rugby pals
Luke Fitzgerald takes a wild swing... to the amusement of his rugby pals
Luke Fitzgerald takes a wild swing... to the amusement of his rugby pals

Brian Keogh

'More Hulk Hogan than Ben Hogan' is the usual quip when a pro watches an amateur butchering their golf swing.

In the case of rugby ace Luke Fitzgerald, his attempts with the driver in front of Rory McIlroy went so badly wrong that we now have a YouTube version of what a caveman might have looked like battering an egg with a blunt instrument.

Forget about an octopus falling out of a tree, the Blackrock man made golf's cardinal error of failing to hit the ball.

As David Feherty once said about Phil Mickelson: "Watching him play golf is like watching a drunk chasing a balloon near the edge of a cliff."

Rory McIlroy didn't give Fitzgerald much swing analysis because he was too busy falling about laughing as the club flew 30 yards and the ball toppled off the tee.

To add insult to injury, a red-faced Fitzgerald was trolled later on Instagram by roommate Ian Madigan as he relived his moment in the mirror in their hotel room.

"Whatcha thing went wrong Lukey?" Madigan asks as Fitzgerald relives his nightmare moment.

"Rory said 80pc of the time it's something to do with your set-up ..."

Cue an evil laugh from Madigan and Fitzgerald's landslide election to the chamber of celebrity swing horrors.

Forget Charles Barkley's golfing version of Tourette's syndrome, Fitzgerald's agricultural swipe makes celebrity swingers of yesteryear like Terry Wogan and Bruce Forsyth look like world beaters.

No rugby-loving tour pros wanted to be unpatriotic and give Fitzgerald's action the once-over for fear of causing a crisis of confidence before Sunday's game with Argentina in Cardiff.

So we called Kilkenny hurling nut and Sky Sports golf expert Gary Murphy for some unadulterated "analysis" of Luke's golf swing.

Glossing over the grip - "it's a little on the strong side" - Gary said: "Great set up, aggressive in transition, but definitely a handling error."

Go on Gary, what about the transition and the, eh, strike?

"Energy inspired knock-on," Gary said. "Stick to the oval."


Laying the sod over the ball, quite literally, is not generally good for your confidence, but like all European Tour pros, old and new, Murphy is ready with the helpful tip for the struggling amateur.

"Literally hit it from shoulder to shoulder," he said.

Thanks Gary.

Fitzgerald can consider himself lucky it was McIlroy and not Feherty who was standing behind him.

Irish Independent

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