It’s been a while!

January 23, 2015 David Howell 20 responses

Hello there, it’s been a while since my last blog to say the least. So what’s been going on? Well quite a lot really, last year I made the decision to leave ISM after 19 years and follow my good friend Stuart Cage to Octagon golf. Hence the new website, a simpler version you will notice but it’s mainly there to host this blog and allow anyone to get in touch with questions should you wish to.

I could go into a brief history of 2014 on a golfing front but lets leave it at this, I made the DP World Tour Championship for the second year in a row but it was an average year and would only make an average read.

Off the course things have been a little more exciting. In case you are new to my world, I am still married to the wonderful Emily, and we have three children, Freddie, Charlie and Sam. Freddie has been playing golf for 18 months which isn’t bad considering he is not yet 3 years old and Charlie and Sam, our one year old twins, have yet to take up the game. However as Charlie walked on his own for the first time today I expect he will probably hit his first shots tomorrow.

So life is pretty darn hectic. The twins have not slept through once yet in the entire first year of their lives, and they don’t seem that bothered about it which is nice for them at least.

We live in Dubai during the winter in our apartment which we bought ‘pre children’, therefore our living room looks like a cross between a sports hall and a recently ransacked soft play centre. I shouldn’t moan though because three weeks ago on a Tuesday, Emily and I had a nice break together, we spent 76 seconds on the sofa in perfect silence before one of the boys kicked off again. It really was a lovely break, just what we needed. Thank god we have our wonderful nanny, Anna, or we would be well and truly screwed. Three under three is no mean feat.
Oh one other thing has changed since we last spoke, (you and I that is, not the wife and I), and that is that I no longer eat bread, well to be more precise ‘wheat products’. I had some advice from Novac Djokovic the tennis legend and I thought I’d give it a go. Actually that’s not true, I was speaking to a colleague who said he was off wheat and I asked him why and he said because Novac had had great success coming off wheat, so he thought he would give it a go and see what happened. I said “I didn’t know you knew Novac?” to which he replied “well I don’t, my mate read it in his biography.” So not quite direct advice from the worlds number one tennis player but anyway,
the result is a mate of mine whose mate read a book, said to him “try coming of wheat and see how you feel”, so he did and he mentioned it to me, so I did and do you know what, I do feel better.
Most people talk about one of the effects of coming off wheat and gluten is having more energy and, after 8 months off of it, I am officially still absolutely knackered. It seems gluten is no match for one year old twins on the energy front. However I am thinner and fitter than i have been for quite some time so I am entering my 20th season on The European Tour, fit and ready to rumble.

That season is well underway now and I’m off to a shocker to put it bluntly. A really poor ball striking week in Abu Dhabi was nearly saved by an amazing short game display but alas a horrible finish saw me miss the cut by one.

That has just been followed up by a hugely improved ball striking display here in Qatar matched with a dismal putting performance which resulted in another missed cut. The disappointment level of that only to fall even further when I was informed by the wife that I am now going to an organic market in the morning instead playing round 3 of the Qatar Masters. However there is light at the end of the tunnel and that light is shining brightly after this ball striking display so I’m looking forward to the Dubai Desert Classic, my home from home tournament. The Classic owes me a good week I feel and there is no better time to produce it than next week.

If my youngest little boy can take his first few steps on his own then I don’t see why this seasoned old pro cant get the 2015 season off and running. Thanks for reading and following my progress, I vow to make this somewhat regular seeing as I have so much time on my hands.


  1. Mike Gerbich January 24, 2015 Reply


    Funny stuff! Good luck at the Desert Classic! Positive vibes going forward!

    You can do it!


  2. Roger Woodward January 25, 2015 Reply

    nice read about. Your life long time since playing with you at Broome Manor do you ever hear. Of Johnny Bryant? Keeping playing hope season goes well regards Roger

    • Author

      Hi Roger, you mean Johnny Brien, long time since I have seen him I am afraid, I see his brother Tim more often actually but I’m not sure what Johnny’s up too I’m afraid, I don’t get the impression he plays golf any more though, thanks for getting in touch, regards David

  3. Alan Ainsworth January 28, 2015 Reply

    Entertaining and informative blog, Mr. Howell. You’ll never make a politician.
    You’re a class act.
    Cost me a nice few quid when beating Peter Uihlein 16 months back, but you’re still a great chap.
    Hard to believe your putting’s not going well. That’s presumably by your standards.
    Not, say, Senor Garcia’s.
    Or Rory’s.
    You’re 700/1 to win this week.
    Darned insulting for a former winner who lives locally. Bookies are never wrong, though.
    Let’s hope you have a little less time on your hands in the coming weekend… and a trophy in them.

  4. Alright David, keep up the good work and I’ll follow your results (while betting on you, so please win a tournament !).

    Arnaud, from France

    • Author

      Thanks Arnaud, I gave you a run for your money last week then, stick with me, the way I played last week my next win could be just around the corner, thanks for having faith in me, all the best, David

  5. Aron Payne February 1, 2015 Reply

    Hi David, wanted to say glad the blog is up and running, I enjoy hearing about your battles with family life and your professional life and the way you put a positive spin on it all.

    So being off the wheat does actually work then, was thinking of trying this, can you recommend what type of breads etc are good and still taste ok?

    Good luck in Malaysia next week!!

    • Author

      Got to be honest the gluten free bread is useless for a sandwich, but tolerable as toast, same goes for the gluten free pasta, probably not worth having to be honest, I’ll tell you what though, I seem to eat as much of anything else as I like and I still lose weight, mind you I am also incredibly active so it’s no magic pill but I will say it undoubtedly helps. Give it a try, the first week is difficult but after that I have found I don’t miss it at all. regards David

  6. Andy Crook February 2, 2015 Reply

    Nice to read an update David, long overdue! Glad the Dubai Desert Classic seemed a better round, good job too as I needed the fantasy golf points….. Loyalty to our local golfer and all that.

    Hope you have a good season, will be at Wentworth practice with my camera again so keep up with the breadless diet, rather you than me!

  7. Hi David great to see the good finish in Dubai, start of some better finishes hopefully. Question; Are you staying connected with Broome given the new owners have now taken over? Here’s hoping you do as it’s always a delight to see you at the course and is definitely an added attraction,
    Good luck at the next tournament and hopefully see you soon at Broome. Andy.

    • Author

      Hi Andy, I haven’t been to the Manor since it was taken over but I have heard that very little has changed so far, is that a good thing? I’m not sure? I spend the winter in Dubai so I’m looking forward to popping up when I’m back in the spring, the manor is a gem of a place, just needs a little tender loving care to bring back its glory days I think, let’s hope the owners realise that, thanks for getting in touch and following my progress, much appreciated

  8. fred spink March 1, 2015 Reply

    I am watching you try to win the Joburg Open and my wife commented about your weight loss,so I looked at this blog and you give the answer!You certainly look mean and lean!I am just coming off hormone therapy for prostate cancer and I have ballooned as consequence.Therefore am desparate to lose weight.Can you give me a few more details eg does that include all alcohol etc.You have just gone 15 under come on you can do this!!!
    Fred Spink

    • Author

      Hi Fred , sorry to hear about the prostate cancer but glad to hear you are battling on. I call my diet a gluten less diet rather than gluten free!! no bread except for gluten free options which are bearable as toast but I wouldn’t suggest a sandwich, I’m off of pasta too and beer I’m afraid. Gin and tonics for me if I’m in a social setting and need a drink to join in or of course wine if the mood suits. Also three kids under the age of three seems to be a great calorie burner. all in all though the diet has really helped me feel better, less upset stomach and as you can see some nice weight loss, hope this helps and i wish you a speedy recovery, thanks for following my progress.

  9. Frances Bellis March 1, 2015 Reply

    Good to see you playing so well David and a nice opening to the Open.

    The facial fur looks quite good. Didn’t recognise you for a while!!

    Good luck this season.

    Frances Bellis

    • Author

      Thanks Frances, quite good is good enough for me, think I might keep it on until I win again, here’s hoping I don’t end up looking like a member of ZZ Top.
      Regards David

  10. Geoff Hayward March 19, 2015 Reply

    Hi David, well done on having a great couple of weeks in S. Africa and the added bonus of qualifying for the Open. It’s great your getting on with new irons and keep up with gluten less diet it suits you. Hope you have a great season and hope to see you up the Manor. Geoffro.

  11. Paul Turland April 23, 2015 Reply

    Hi David , Looking forward to seeing you at the Manor at the DHC. The juniors ,Tigers and Cubs are flying at the moment. Lyle is doing wonders with them and for my sins I am arranging a team from the Mens section to take them on. To say they are confident is an understatement and I’m sure you will get them fired up. Keep up the form in China.


  12. Ray Sheward May 17, 2015 Reply

    Hi David
    Does your Dad still attend your tournaments?
    I had a brief chat with him at the Algarve open a few years ago, he was standing alone on the seventeenth fairway when I spoke with him, not realising who he was. A very pleasant chap who is obviously very proud of your career and achievements .
    It was at that tournament and that hole when a big Argentinian lad drove his ball into the lake. I think he was in the lead at the time. His ball struck a rock and rebounded further into the lake. I think I was the only one on the course who spotted the ball, Howard Clark was whizzing around frantically asking if anyone had spotted the ball. When I answered him he just looked at me as if I was a piece of xxxx, just jumped in his cart and set off across the fairway without a thank you .Typical Clark, I felt, but he was always like that!

  13. Jane and Chris Perry May 19, 2015 Reply

    Like your new website and blog. We have missed reading that. We believe that keeping off wheat is definitely working. Recent results are testimony to that. As time goes on you will find that your breaks with Emily on the sofa will increase we are sure! Best wishes to you both and good fortune in 2015.

  14. It is so very nice to see you in crans again! You are indeed in a great shape, I saw it today when I was watching you on the driving range! And your swing is getting better! I am not sure it is because of the diet and not eating bread or age! After 40 men’s swing become more elegant…. I am happy that you made the cut today and looking forward to seeing you in the course tomorrow. Tee off at 11:15? Right? Good luck and thank you for coming to crans, ….. By the way your youngest fan was happy that you remembered her!!!

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