Son of a gun — A Quick 18 with Roddy Carr
Roddy Carr celebrates his singles win on the final day of the 1971 Walker Cup at St Andrews. 

Roddy Carr celebrates his singles win on the final day of the 1971 Walker Cup at St Andrews. 

Son of the great Joe Carr, Roddy Carr stepped out of that long shadow and made an indelible mark on the game by winning the East and West of Ireland titles in 1970 and 1971 before producing a match-winning performance in the 1971 Walker Cup at St Andrews. 

His sojourn in the pro ranks did not work out but he went on to a hugely successful career in the golf business as a tournament promoter on three continents as well as the manager of the swashbuckling Spanish genius, Seve Ballesteros. He is now Senior International Representative for Nicklaus Design.

  • Name: Roddy Carr
  • Handicap: 6
  • Clubs: Sutton, Portmarnock, Sunningdale, Waterville,  Banbridge, Lisburn, Barbados Golf Club.

1 How’s your golf?

I am now playing off six and finally starting to enjoy the game again after 25 years. Hitting it further than I did when I was 21. It’s a joke really.

2 How did you get started in the game?

I was born with a golf club in my mouth instead of a silver spoon. We played as soon as we could walk. Never had to learn, thankfully.

3 Driver or putter?

Putter. That’s the closer.  It's the one that lets you know if you have the courage to win.

4 When were you happiest to the golf course?

As an amateur, when I never thought about how I was swinging the club. Just pictured the shot and pulled the trigger. It all seemed so easy…

5 Who’s your sporting hero?

Jack Nicklaus. Simply the best and integrity personified. The game gave him a beautiful kiss goodbye for his final Masters with his son Jackie on the bag at 46. Fitting end. He's the greatest of all time - by far. Just look at how many seconds and thirds he had in addition to the 18 majors he won!

6 Who is (or was) your golfing hero?

My father; the most humble and unassuming great champion I have ever met. When caddying for him, I was always amazed how his victims would come up and shake his hand saying thank you with a smile having been dusted 7 and 6!

7 Name your dream fourball.

Jack Nicklaus, Seve, Arnie and me. 

8 If I gave you a mulligan in your career, what would it be?

The three-footer I missed on the nineteenth hole in Portrush to win the North of Ireland against Johnny Faith (in 1970). I was composing my speech in my head!! Expensive lesson.

Roddy Carr and Jack Nicklaus

Roddy Carr and Jack Nicklaus

9 What’s the most memorable hole you’ve ever played? And the course you’d love to play before you die?

The 18th hole in St. Andrews, just because I holed an 11 yarder to win my Walker Cup match in front of 10,000 people. I love the fact that the hole goes into the middle of the town. As for a last round, St. Andrews and Pine Valley again.

10 If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would have gone to Wake Forest in the USA when offered a golf scholarship.

11 What’s the Roddy Carr motto?  And what was Joe's?

It's up to you to make it happen. Nobody else. Pop's was, 'Outwork them and you will be the best.'

12 What’s your most treasured possession (golfing or otherwise)?

My wife and two children, whom I adore and live for.

13 What’s your best golfing tip?

For your last thought, pick a spot on the ball, look at it, relax and pull the trigger.

14 What’s your favourite par three?

The fifteenth at Portmarnock.

15 What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

Watching my daughter skipping down the road ahead of me when out for a walk and hearing my son singing in the shower.

16 How can we make golf faster?

Teach kids to play using three and five clubs.

17 If you had to pick someone to hole a six-foot putt to save your life, who gets the responsibility?

Bob Charles.

18 What’s the hardest thing about player management?

Being the bad boy for your client. You tell him to say OK to everyone but that they must speak to me… I end up having to say no most of the time or telling them what it will cost!

This Quick 18 first appeared in the Irish Independent's weekly Tee to Green golf supplement on 6 April 2017