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Why Rory McIlroy withdrew support for new book about his early life at local golf club


Huge talent:  Rory McIlroy has endured a difficult 2013 campaign, but can reign again when 2014 comes around

Huge talent: Rory McIlroy has endured a difficult 2013 campaign, but can reign again when 2014 comes around

Getty Images

Huge talent: Rory McIlroy has endured a difficult 2013 campaign, but can reign again when 2014 comes around

Rory McIlroy has withdrawn his official backing from a book about his childhood golf club because it contained family photographs he had intended to use in an upcoming autobiography.

The new book, Rory's Club, documents the relationship between the golfing star's road to success and Holywood Golf Club, including chapters such as Young Talent, Wonder Kid and a glowing foreword by Rory himself.

Royalties from the book will be used to support the club's thriving youth programme, the author said.

Rory's Club is full of snapshots of his glittering career, with more than 180 photos charting his rise from being the youngest member of the club to a world-famous Major winner.

The book was launched at Holywood Golf Club last night but Rory withdrew his official endorsement because of the family pictures.

It is understood the pictures were given to and used by the publisher in good faith. The coffee table-style book was initially backed by the former world number one and he put his name to its foreword.

The professional golfer was not in attendance at last night's event as he was playing in the World Tour Championship in Dubai.

The launch was attended by up to 150 people, including the chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Northern Ireland golfing officials and the various contributors to the book.

One noticeable absentee was Olympic sporting legend Dame Mary Peters.

The 1972 gold medallist was due to be guest speaker at the launch but withdrew from the event yesterday afternoon.

Speaking ahead of the event last night, Claude Costecalde from Booklink publishers, who compiled the book, told the Belfast Telegraph he had not been told if Dame Mary Peters was attending.

Explaining her decision, Dame Mary said: "I have built up many friendships in sport throughout the years, of which Rory is one."

She added that if Rory disapproved of the book she would not do anything to jeopardise that friendship.

NI Tourist Board chairman Howard Hastings stepped in to deliver the main address.

The problem is said to have arisen when Rory was shown the book in Shanghai and he realised that photos had been included which he had wanted to keep for his future publication.

Dr Costecalde, who previously lived beside the Holywood course, said: "The book is out and it's stunning and is a tribute by the club to Rory. I met Rory personally three weeks ago in Shanghai and he saw the book. It is a beautiful book.

"The royalties, rather than being paid to Rory, his family and his management, are being paid to the juvenile programme in Holywood Golf Club and if the book is successful we may go beyond that.

"This book is a motivational book for young golfers to show them how to accomplish a dream through hard work and dedication."


"It all began in Holywood, my hometown. My roots are there, my family and first friends lived there, it was where I went to school, and it was where I started playing golf. Holywood Golf Club, my school and my family encouraged me to take part in local and international championships before I reached the age of ten. Since then I have had the chance to play everywhere in the world, discover new places, make many new friends and inspire many new fans, but Holywood is still my home and Holywood Golf Club will always be Rory's club."

Part of Rory McIlroy's foreword to Rory's Club

Belfast Telegraph