by Jeff Skinner
Darren Clarke has always played by his own set of rules. Since he turned professional in 1990 he fostered the reputation of a man that enjoys life. From his maiden victory at The 1993 Alfred Dunhill Open to his astounding win at The Open Championship Clarke hasn’t found a pub he didn’t like. Fast cars, good cigars, plenty of laughs and immeasurable pints were part of his daily routine. Now, just as he did at The Open last year Darren Clarke has shocked the world. He’s stopped drinking.
In an effort to take advantage of all the opportunities that his Open victory has afforded him he has hired a personal trainer and rededicated himself to a new fitness routine. From Clarke’s website, “The 2nd January 2012 has also seen the appointment of Jonny Bloomfield as my new fitness trainer. I’ve been pontificating about my fitness for a while and Jonny, who is based in Belfast, was recommended to me by Lee’s trainer, Steve MacGregor. My golf career has been extended somewhat by winning the Open Championship and I just thought that enough is enough and it was time to get myself into better shape. Jonny’s a sports scientist and he’s got me doing all sorts in the gym, having my eyes checked out, nutrition etc. Therefore my alcohol consumption is taking a massive dint…..currently down to zero! However, no pain, no gain and I’m very excited about the route that we’re going down – it’s a long road but I will give it my best shot.”
We certainly can understand his logic, a healthier lifestyle may help him compete with all the young studs that have laid claim to so many titles recently and prolong his career. But this is Darren Clarke. This is the man that starts his celebrations the second he signs his scorecard and doesn’t stop until his next tee time. This is the guy that showed up to a press conference the day after his Open win with zero sleep and half a load on.
It is strange to hear Clarke talk about getting in better shape. It was only a short time ago when he was slumping and his good friend and agent Chubby Chandler told him to forget about fitness and that he played better fat. Chandler was proven right when he claimed the Claret Jug.
If Clarke keeps to his new regimen and begs off the pints I can see the stock price of Guinness bottoming out. Darren Clarke not drinking? What’s next, Tiger signing autographs?