Harrington cites Howard’s way as key to his success story

Harrington cites Howard’s way as key to his success story


Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington paid tribute to PGA Master Professional Howard Bennett when he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on the eve of the US Open.

Bennett, 87, was Harrington’s first full-time coach and a hugely influential figure in putting the young Irishman on the road to golfing success.

And such is the six-time Ryder Cup player’s gratitude for the part Bennett played in his career he arranged for him to attend the ceremony in North Carolina.

He said: “Howard Bennett, who was Ireland’s national coach, became my first full-time coach and I’m delighted to say that he has travelled from England to be here tonight at 87 years of age.

“As most of my fellow inductees here tonight will tell you, it’s so lucky to get a great coach to start off with – he truly nurtured my strengths.”

Harrington also mentioned two other PGA Members who had played or are playing important roles in his career - Pete Cowen, a Master Professional, and Noel Fox.

“There are many others who have been important to my career,” he continued. “My swing coach Pete Cowen – a great person to be around with an unbelievable love and knowledge of the game - and my old sparring partner Noel Fox.

“He looks after my day-to-day coaching as I continue, believe it or not, to dream to get better.”

Prior to praising his former coach during his speech at the World Golf Hall of Fame, Harrington was quoted in the book Bennett penned in aid of cancer research.

Harrington wrote: “I owe Howard Bennett everything. Not a day goes by that I don't play a round or hit a shot and not be reminded of him.”  

In addition to helping Harrington, Bennett is the father of PGA Master Professional, Tony, and was a key figure in current PGA Captain Peter Laugher’s career development.

Laugher worked as an assistant to Bennett at Duxbury Park, Lancashire, and recalled: “Howard was going to the Lancashire PGA’s AGM on one occasion and said I should go with him.

“When we got there, they were looking for an Assistants’ representative on committee and Howard nominated me.

“He told me it’s always a good thing to put something back and from that day in 1980 I served on PGA committees until 2013.”


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