MCDOWELL STRUGGLED IN 2011

Graeme McDowell's 2010 season was sensational. His first major victory came in the US Open at Pebble Beach and then he topped that at The Ryder Cup. McDowell hit a 6-iron to 15 feet for a birdie on the 16th to take the lead and then win the cup for Europe.

Then completing the season at Sherwood, from a deficit from a four-shot and made a pair of 20-foot birdie putts on the 18th hole to beat Tiger Woods in a playoff. No one had ever come back from more than two shots behind in any pro-trournament and then beaten Woods.

RORY WINS IN SHNGHAI

Golf wunderkid Rory McIlroy is a stunning £1.25m rcher after holing out in the Shanghai Masters.

After four rounds it was still neck and neck between the Northern Irishman and the AMerican Anthony Kim at 18 under par, which meant that they went into sudden death play-offs.

It took just one hole for McIlroy to take the title (and all that money!) - both players ended up in a bunker at the end of the first hole, but whilst Rory got down in 2 for par, Kim could only manage a bogey.

LEHMANN'S TIPS FOR GOLF SUCCESS

Tom Lehman has provided various tips to become successful in golf. And leaving aside who turns in the better score, professional golfer Tom Lehman says we’ll all be, well, potentially better for the game.

Back in the 1990s, Tom was briefly ranked the number-one golfer in the world. And he’s won five teams on the PGA Tour, the winner of the Phoenix Open, darn near, at least twice, Tom, on the U.S. Open. Tom says it is an open-and-shut case; these things are good.

TIPS FOR GOOD GOLF SURFACE

Playing golf on the great lawn is very essential and there are many tips for maintaining that. It doesn’t matter if most homes nearby are only 800 square feet or more than 4,000; either community can have lawns that could appear in gardening magazines or some that look to have grass more crabby than Kentucky blue.

It seems there are three types of homeowners when it comes to lawn care. Some take great pride in their yards and work hard to maintain them. They fertilize, rake, aerate, water and mow regularly, or pay someone else to do it. Many municipal golf courses don’t look as nice.

MERE GOLF CLUB SET FOR RE-BRAND

Mere Golf and Country Club is to undergo a rebrand, having appointed Wodehouse Direct to undertake the work.

As well as the new branding for the club, the Manchester agency will also handle the marketing, advertising, point-of-sale and e-commerce design, with the new website which will carry the branding planned for early this year.

The club is currently investing £15m in developing the resort, which will include a new spa and leisure club.

CASEY STILL UNHAPPY

COLIN MONTGOMERIE last night revealed Paul Casey is still in the huff with him over his decision not to give the Englishman a Ryder Cup wild card.

Monty revealed all attempts to contact Casey in the 10 weeks that have passed since the Celtic Manor victory have been blanked.

The Scot has previously described the decision to not hand a place to a man he calls a friend as the most difficult of his golfing life but it seems he has not been forgiven.

TIPS FOR 2011

Seeing as this is the time of the year to dust off the crystal ball and look into the future, it's never too early to take a look at — and pick the winners of — the four biggest tournaments of the upcoming season in men's professional golf.

GOLFER GETS MBE

GOLF star Graeme McDowell is among 54 people from Northern Ireland recognised in the New Year honours. The Portrush sportsman is the youngest of Ulster's recipients. He also netted a pair of Ascot Hospitality Tickets that he says his wife can't wait to drag him along to!

McDowell said he was proud at being chosen for the "unique acknowledgement".