Padraig Harrington of Ireland poses with the trophy after winning the U.S. Senior Open Championship. Image Credit: AFP

Well, that is a big win yesterday (Sunday) for Irishman Padraig Harrington, now he is 50 years old at the 42nd US Senior Open played at Saucon Valley CC, Bethlehem, Pa, USA.

This week with rounds of 71, 65, 66 and 72 he won his first, of what is likely to be many, Senior Majors. The course measured 7028 yards and played as a par 71.

I first started helping Padraig out with his game almost 10 years ago. My first thoughts on Padraig are that he is superbly fit. The youngest 50 year-old around, both physically and mentally.

His key skills are hard work and his mental strength. In recent years he has focused on his swing speed. It used to be 170 mph and he has now got that upto 190 mph. The average for a Tour player is now around 173 mph – 174 mph.

It is a bit like Matt Fitzpatrick who increased his swing speed from 170 mph to 180 mph and added an extra 20 yards and look how that has helped him with both his game and especially confidence.

Suddenly, Padraig has become a bomber on the ‘Over 50’s Tours.’ This last week he averaged 300.4 yards and was ninth longest in the field.

Hard worker

In the DP World Tour statistics for this 2021 – 2022 season Padraig is 53rd of the 196 players listed, at 307.98 yards from 14 rounds and all the Tours are now full of young elite athletes these days.

In 1999 according to more DP World Tour statistics, Padraig hit his drives on average 277.48 yards. That is 23 years ago!

He is the hardest worker I have ever taught and knows what he is doing and what he has to do.

Another strength of Padraig is he is able to compartmentalise things: I have never seen a Ryder Cup Captain still be competitive in the build up to the event with all the stresses and strains involved, both on and off the golf course, but Padraig did just that last year!

He is still competitive on the DP World Tour and he will win many more tournaments around the world.

It is impressive to see the quotes from his peers. I liked the one where a player this week referred to Harrington as ‘playing a 6,500 yard golf course, and I’m playing a 7,500-yard golf course.’

Final thought for today, not a bad week for me, Matt Fitzpatrick winning last Sunday at the US Open and now Padraig Harrington winning the US Senior Open, his first Senior Major and my first as well to go along with my 12 Majors. And Thomas Pieters narrowly losing out in a play-off at the BMW international Open!

Good golfing to you all!

- Peter Cowen is the 71 year-old Dubai Golden VISA Awardees who is regarded as one of the leading golf coaches in the world of golf. The Englishman is based in Rotherham, England, and has Peter Cowen Academies in Dubai: at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates.