Club's 'homage' to McIlroy
A new book charting Rory McIlroy's rise to golfing superstardom through the eyes of fellow members at his hometown club has been launched.
Holywood Golf Club in Co Down, where a young McIlroy learned the game, was the venue for the unveiling of Rory's Club.
It is the work of French born publisher Claude Costecalde, who lived beside the nine hole course for more than a decade.
While the hard-back coffee table style book includes a foreward from the golfer himself, and was produced with the assistance of members of his family, it is not officially endorsed by the McIlroy management team.
Incorporating many rare images from his childhood, the book has been produced in conjunction with members of the Holywood club and a proportion of the profits will be donated to their thriving programme for juvenile players.
While it was never envisaged McIlroy would attend the book launch, Olympic champion Dame Mary Peters had been billed as guest speaker.
However, the 1972 gold medallist ultimately did not appear, with Northern Ireland Tourist Board chairman Howard Hastings stepping in to deliver the main address.
Mr Costecalde, who said he regretted that Dame Mary could not make the event, said the book was essentially Holywood Golf Club's tribute to their most famous member.
"It's a kind of a homage for their sporting hero that they had nurtured for so many years in their own club and they are really fiercely proud of him," he said.
The 58-year-old added: "Rory's Club follows Rory's remarkable sporting journey which began when he first picked up a golf club at the tender age of 18 months with his father Gerry at Holywood golf club."
The publisher, who is more used to producing niche books on religion and churches in Ireland, said a young McIlroy was already dreaming of hitting the big time as he treaded the fairways at Holywood.
"You could see him using score cards as a young boy with Tiger Woods or Nick Faldo's name beside his, he was marking scores and he was winning, he said
"Only 12 years later he was actually beating his famous hero - Tiger Woods."
Mr Costecalde said he hoped his book would also convey the message that achieving greatest takes a lot of hard work and dedication.