Luke Donald's Diary


I'm making a break from my faithful caddie and taking on a new man

Three major milestones in the life of Luke Donald are coming up – Diane and I are expecting our first baby, I’m making a break with my faithful caddie and taking on a new man, and I’m going to be using at least two new clubs next year, maybe several.

I was a little bit rusty for the Dubai World Championship, having had five weeks off. Four three-putts and I struggled to get any momentum going. But it was by no means a disappointing week because I hit the ball okay. During that five weeks off I had to get a couple of stitches removed from inside my wrist – yes that wrist – that just weren’t dissolving. That left me a little bit of time on my hands. The wrist felt great during Dubai week so everything regarding the injury I feel is behind me now.

I haven’t decided yet whether to start next season in the Middle East or Hawaii but it all feels like a new chapter in my career.
My best news, though, is family news. Diane’s pregnant and March 25 is the official date when she is due. We’re so looking forward to it and we are both very excited. We’ve had lots of scans but we’ve decided not to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl. That takes out all the surprise. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in our lives.

Another chapter is closing, though. My brother Christian, my caddie, and I are parting – for the time being anyway. We felt it was time we had a break from each other. Eight years together is a long time and it was time for a change. Chris has been an unbelievable caddie – he’s a great brother but he’s been a great caddie. I couldn’t have asked for any more than he has given me. But sometimes when you spend that much time together the relationship gets a little bit stale. Not as a brother but as a caddie. Who knows, down the road we may get back together. Dubai was our last event together. I would have loved to have finished a little bit better for him. I wish him all the best in whatever he does. It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make in golf. A change will be good for both of us and hopefully we can both go on to bigger and better things. There have been a few players asking about him, so he’ll have plenty of options.

John McLaren is going to be on my bag. John has been with Anders Hansen in recent times and has caddied in America for a number of years. He was with Duffy Waldorf and Scott Dunlap. He’s an English guy who I got to know quite well when I first got out on tour. John’s a lively chap with a lively personality and I think he’ll be a good fit for me.

Equipment-wise, Mizuno have given me a set of MP68s to try. They're more like my old MP-33's that i did so well with - so i'm curious to see how we get on.  I’ll be testing them after Christmas and I’ll see how I get on with those. More than anything during the winter I think I’ll do a lot of work with the Trackman to try to figure out how far my clubs are going and whether I need to tweak them here or there. But I don’t see any major changes.

I will be doing some more driver testing with Mizuno in the Xmas break at the Bears Club in Florida.  The new MP woods have come out looking really great, the shapes suit my eye.  But with 45 different weight settings on the driver, I’ll need some help to get it really dialled in.

Obviously the new groove law affects me like it does everybody. My irons are all legal but I’ll have a couple of new wedges in the new year, to work with. That’s going to mean a little bit of a different feel around the greens.  I think the new rules will favour me, someone who isn’t a ‘bomber’ and who has good technique around the greens. I’m someone who doesn’t rely on the grooves as much as others. We’re not going to be able to get as much check and bite around the greens. The ball isn’t going to come out low and biting, it’s going to come out a little bit higher and with more roll.

It will take a few weeks to get used to – but I think it comes out in my favour.

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