Shane Lowry: A Natural Talent Destined For Greatness?

Shane Lowry – a natural talent destined for greatness
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Neil Tappin looks at the career of Shane Lowry leading to this point. The question is: Shane Lowry - a natural talent destined for greatness?

When talking about the great natural talents to emerge from the Emerald Isle, the name of Rory McIlroy automatically springs to mind. However, watching this week at The Open has been a timely reminder of another Irishman, Shane Lowry: a natural talent destined for greatness?

In an interview with Golf Monthly soon after he became just the third amateur to win on the European Tour (he captured the 2009 Irish Open), he said, “I had no real coaching a kid so I’m quite natural.”

Open Championship Weather Forecast

For those close to the game, this natural ability has been most evident in his short game. He has a freedom and fluidity with a wedge in hand that is outstanding, even among the world’s great players. His ability in this department can be traced back to those formative years as a kid practising at his home club.

“I grew up playing golf on a course called Esker Hills, it’s in the middle of Ireland and it’s not that well known,” he told Golf Monthly in 2015. “I think the reason my short game is quite good is that all the greens there are raised. I used to play a lot of golf on my own and I’d practice my chipping a lot. You’d always have to chip it up with a little bit of spin to get the ball close. I was never taught how to play them but I chipped and I chipped and I chipped and over time I developed it.”

How JB Holmes survived brain surgery to contend at The Open

But Shane Lowry is far more than just a short game wizard. His full swing has that same languid, free-flowing style and over recent years he has added some significant extra length to his long game. In 2010 he averaged 289 yards off the tee and now he is almost 10 yards longer.

What’s more, in his decade as a professional, Lowry has learnt some valuable lessons in the art managing his game.

“Playing professional golf week-in, week-out you learn a lot,” he explained. “You learn to be more consistent, you learn to be clever. You learn to aim away from flags and that’s actually quite difficult for me, to take pars and bogeys when you're out of position. Professional golf is all about just ticking along and taking your birdies when you can. If you can make four or five birdies a day and try and limit your mistakes you're going to be up there at the end of the week.”

The truth is, you don’t win on tour as a 22 year-old amateur if you aren’t incredibly gifted. Older, wiser and frankly, better, Shane Lowry is now perfectly positioned to truly fulfil that early promise this weekend at Royal Portrush. With the Irish fans behind him all the way, the Claret Jug, it seems, is there for the taking.


Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X