- Alex Prewitt, ESPN Playbook
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The rigorous demands affixed to the PGA Tour’s grueling schedule can take a toll on any golfer.
Graeme McDowell has found more than a few ways to bypass the stress.
In New York promoting on behalf of Guinness and the beer company’s new Black 9 promotion in celebration of its new Black Lager, McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open winner currently ranked 18th in the world, spoke about the balance afforded by his new Orlando bachelor pad.
Albeit several months behind construction schedule, building a house has always been a dream of McDowell’s. The “modern and contemporary” residence will be furnished with more than a few custom bits and pieces, including a bar area with a snooker table, a movie theater, a pool and a wine cellar. Oh, and a locker room for all of his gear.
“It’s certainly proven to be a great motivator for me when I’m out there playing golf, trying to pay the bills,” McDowell said. “It’s been a lot of fun, great to come back on my weeks off and throw myself into the project. I’ll go to pick out tiles and faucets and kitchenware and ridiculous things.”
That isn’t to say that McDowell hasn’t found time to relax. He was in the middle of a day of phone interviews, but said he was staring at a bottle across the table, one that probably had his name on it in a few hours. That didn’t stop McDowell from speaking about Guinness like a true pitchman. The Black Lager, for instance, was tested in Northern Ireland, McDowell’s home.
“I guess they didn’t want to take it out in Dublin and have all of the hardcore drinkers shoot it down before the evening begins,” McDowell joked.
But for the 32-year-old, there’s something alluring, perhaps even soothing, about a cold beer, not unlike the catharsis provided by his housing endeavor.
“I certainly enjoy celebrating wins and giving myself that pat on the back,” he said. “If things don’t go so well, it’s nice to kick back and realize there are worse things than playing golf for a living.”