Peebles golfer Darren Howie setting sights on joining elder brother Craig on European Tour after turning professional

Borders golfer Darren Howie says he has has his sights set on making it a family affair on the sport’s European Tour after joining his big brother Craig in its professional ranks.

By Martin Dempster
Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 5:04 pm
Darren Howie playing for Scotland at the R&A Men's Home Internationals at Hankley Common in Tilford, England, in September (Photo by Luke Walker/R&A via Getty Images)
Darren Howie playing for Scotland at the R&A Men's Home Internationals at Hankley Common in Tilford, England, in September (Photo by Luke Walker/R&A via Getty Images)

The coming year looks like being a decisive one for the Peebles brothers, with Darren starting out in the paid ranks on the PGA EuroPro Tour as Craig plays his first full season on the European Tour.

Darren, 22, has joined Craig, 27, in making the step up from the amateur game after finishing in the top 15 in the EuroPro Tour Q-School at Stoke-by-Nayland in Suffolk in October.

“Obviously it’s the first hurdle to get into professional golf, but it’s important to be able to take that step,” said the former, still also working in his home-town’s Northgate Sainsbury’s supermarket.

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Craig Howie, left, with brother Darren as a caddie, during the Rolex Challenge Tour's grand final at T-Golf and Country Club in Mallorca in November (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

“There was nothing really else for me to strive for in amateur golf other than just personal achievement or whatever, and it’s nice to have something else to play for and bigger goals to set.”

Darren, playing off plus-six when he relinquished his amateur status, caddied for Craig at November’s Challenge Tour grand final in Mallorca to get more of an insight into the profession he’s moving into.

“We were paired with people who were also in a position to win cards so it was interesting to see how those guys handled the situation as I can learn from that,” said Darren.

“Obviously these boys are good, so it is helpful to see where I am compared to them.

Craig Howie, right, with brother Darren as caddie, at the Rolex Challenge Tour grand final in Mallorca in November (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

“We haven’t once been paired with a guy that I’ve been overly impressed with, to be honest.

“They just seem to be able to produce good golf over and over again, which is the slight difference between them and elite amateurs and the lower step of professionals.”

To help fund his rookie campaign, Darren is continuing to work at Sainsbury’s, “as was the case when I shot a 59 at Peebles last year and had to do an eight-hour shift straight afterwards,” he added in jest.

Asked how his parents feel about now having two pros in their family, he said: “It was always going to happen and they are excited for me, as was the case with Craig when he made the switch.

“I am proud of him getting to where he is now and hopefully I can join him there one day.”

Craig won the inaugural Range Servant Challenge on the Challenge Tour in May last year at Hinton Golf Club, near Malmo in Sweden, finishing seven strokes ahead of runner-up, Marcus Helligkilde.