Meet Lando Norris, an ace F1 driver who's in love with golf in the UAE

‘Teeing off in a Pro-Am is far more nervous for me than motor racing’ says McLaren’s 24-year-old British pilot

By KT Golf

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Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren. - AFP File
Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren. - AFP File

Published: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 4:31 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 Nov 2023, 8:03 PM

British Formula One ace Lando Norris confesses that he has an addiction.

The 24-year-old McLaren driver admitted that he was in love with golf and was now ‘addicted’ to the sport.

A day after competing at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Grand Prix 2023 in Abu Dhabi Norris visited the Tommy Fleetwood Academy (TFA) at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

On the sidelines of a video shoot before flying back to his home in Monaco, Khaleej Times met up with Norris who opened up about his love for the sport.

Lando Norris and Tommy Fleetwood during a DP World video shoot challenge at the TFA at Jumeirah Golf Estates.- Supplied photo
Lando Norris and Tommy Fleetwood during a DP World video shoot challenge at the TFA at Jumeirah Golf Estates.- Supplied photo

“‘I did not initially like golf a few years ago, but then I started playing, at Topgolf a little bit and on golf courses, with a few friends and I fell in love with the game and I am now addicted to it,” he revealed.

“The competition and success in golf helped, and then I connected with the people playing the game.”

Norris travels around the world and usually tries to take his golf clubs with him. A back injury issue this season has meant he has to cut down a little on his golf.

However, he uses it as a form of recovery, especially mentally as it helps him ‘take his mind off racing.’

McLaren's British driver Lando Norris drives during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit in the Emirati city on November 26, 2023. - AFP
McLaren's British driver Lando Norris drives during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit in the Emirati city on November 26, 2023. - AFP

Norris has played with Austrian Bernd Wiesberger in the HERO Dubai Desert Classic Pro-Am as well as with England’s Tyrrell Hatton at Wentworth at the BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am.

He also recently played with Rory McIlroy in Colorado, as well as with Joaquin Niemann, Mito Pereira and Jon Rahm at Silverleaf Country Club, Scottsdale, Arizona in the US.

“It was the first time I have met Tommy Fleetwood this week,” he said.

A bucket list visit to play Augusta has also been ticked off.

“Actually, I have played Augusta twice. I feel very privileged and lucky to have done this after just three years of playing, through my management team and contacts. I play off a 9 handicap index,

“I watch all the golf on TV – I feel so connected with it. I stay up late to watch at 2, 3 or 4 am.”

McLaren's Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri during a drivers parade. - Reuters File
McLaren's Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri during a drivers parade. - Reuters File

Norris highlights the similarities between motor racing and golf.

“The mental side of racing and golf is identical. Missing a corner is like missing a shot. Mistakes are mistakes. Frustration is the same in both sports.

“Teeing off in a Pro-Am is far more nervous for me than motor racing – but it is getting easier.”

On his love affair with golf in the UAE and Dubai, he continued: “I have spent five New Year’s in Dubai. My favourite golf course in this part of the world is perhaps Dubai Hills Golf Club or The Els Club, Dubai.

“Sujjan Singh from the CH3 Performance Academy at The Els Club, has helped me a lot and also coaches one of my best friends.

“All the golf courses are excellent and I have played them all - Jumeirah Golf Estates, Emirates Golf Club - the Majlis and the Faldo Courses under lights, Dubai Creek, Montgomerie Golf Club and Topgolf at EGC.’


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