What are the attributes of the game that really appeals to you?
Overall, the game conjures up a lot of positive images for me and the attributes that stand out the most are those of honesty and integrity and that appeals to me. I like the fact that you can have fun, especially playing in a four ball. I also like the fact that you are out in the fresh air and that every course poses a new and different challenge.
How regularly do you play?
I try to play a couple of times a week and my handicap is 9. Recently, due to some surgery I have not played as much as I would like. However, as Dubai Duty Free continues to sponsor around six tournaments a year in Dubai, I am regularly at the prize presentations, though not on the receiving end I hasten to add!
Which is your favourite golf course in the UAE?
I like all the courses for different reasons, and have been lucky to play in most of them. From a convenience point of view, I love the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club course as it is located so close to my home. Also, as former captain [Colm is also a former captain of the Emirates Golf Course – Ed] , I am familiar with many of the present members and I like the fact that I can drop into the Clubhouse and chat to the staff and members and just relax.
How do you rate the UAE as a golfing destination?
I remember when the Emirates Golf Club first opened, someone said: ‘This is the only golf course between Cyprus and Singapore’, and they were right! It remains a fantastic course to this day and is home to the Dubai Desert Classic and the Ladies Masters. Dubai and the UAE have come a long way in just over 20 years and is rightly regarded as a golfing destination in its own right.
Which is your favourite golf course in the world?
Druid’s Glen in Co. Wicklow in Ireland. There is a Celtic theme throughout the course, which is appealing and I think I must have had a good game on that day.
Also in Ireland, I enjoy playing at the K Club, the home of the 2006 Ryder Cup. Dubai Duty Free sponsors the Irish Derby at the Curragh Racecourse each June and three years ago, we introduced a golfing element to the weekend. So the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Golf Classic is rapidly becoming a fixture at the K Club and seems to be growing in tandem with the racing weekend.
One shot that you will never forget?
Several years ago, while playing golf with my wife Breeda and friend Sandy McPherson at the Dubai Creek on a Monday afternoon, I had a hole-in-one on the 14th. It was pretty memorable!