Rory McIlroy conqueror swaps European Tour for job at Suffolk club

BIG NAME: Barrie Trainor, Old Joe's Golf Club's new professional, alongside world number one Rory McIlroy
BIG NAME: Barrie Trainor, Old Joe's Golf Club's new professional, alongside world number one Rory McIlroy
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Golfers in Sudbury and the surrounding villages now have the chance to learn from a player who will line up at this year’s BMW Championship.

Barrie Trainor, who once beat current world number one Rory McIlroy, has swapped the glamour of the European Tour for a chance to make his name as a coach in the serene setting of the Suffolk countryside.

The 31-year-old, who will still line up at the famous Wentworth course in May, after finishing sixth in a PGA play-off in Turkey last month, is the new professional at Old Joe’s Golf Club in Cornard Tye.

The nine-hole and four-hole site, which also has a floodlit driving range, despite being a long way from his native Northern Ireland, is seen as the perfect place for Trainor to launch life after his professional career.

“I have been playing full time for the last six years since I turned professional,” he said. “My dad owned a driving range up until 2009 so I have always been involved in the golf industry and this was a good opportunity for me.

“when I met Stuart (Smith, Old Joe’s manager) he seemed a very positive guy who was looking forward rather than complaining about the weather as others do elsewhere.”

Trainor, who hails from Warrenpoint in County Down, Northern Ireland, has also guaranteed a start in the Irish Open in the summer, a tournament he made the final 60 of in 2010 to finish in the prize money.

The player who beat current world number one McIlroy in a scratch matchplay event in 2006 will undertake coaching five days a week at St Joe’s and is offering half-price lessons (£10 for 30 minutes) until the end of January.