Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World of WunderWorld of Wunder

WOW Journal

W.O.W Journal #001

“They gave an inmate the key to the asylum, the candy shop, and gave him a camera to document it all.”

My first week with Callaway Golf…….Holy S$$T!!!!

 “I feel like I’m drinking out of a fire hose!”

That’s the best way to describe the experience I had in “week one” (and basically, since I accepted the position) at Callaway. 😉

The amount of support, enthusiasm, and excitement from my new crew has been humbling, to say the least. Like any of the major companies in the golf industry, Callaway is a giant machine, but what I found most surprising was how tight-knit it feels, here — right outta the gate. It was kind of like the wedding scene in Goodfellas where the moment you said ‘yes,’ you are greeted by the whole family and everyone wants to take the time to make you feel like you’re a part of the family. If you haven’t seen Goodfellas, please stop reading and go watch it! It’s kind of a life necessity. Long story longer, I know I made the right decision, and my instincts continue to be validated with each passing moment. 🙏

DAY 1 (Monday, March 8th 2021) THE MARKETING SHOOT

I need to kick this off by saying I got thrown into the fire immediately. You see, my first day working was Day 1 of the annual Callaway Golf marketing shoot. The shoot is held on the week of The Players Championship and where Callaway Media Productions (“CMP”) films/photographs a huge portion of what you see on our website, TV, Magazines, and Social Media as the year unfolds. So, if I had to better illustrate the life of a new employee, here, I’d say, it’s like teaching your child to walk on a treadmill at top speed. 😅

To be fair, I’m wired for chaos so the fact I had multiple pieces of content to create  with a TOUR staff I’d barely even met didn’t move my needle. Let’s be honest, if you keep the conversation to equipment I could chat up anyone quickly…and all day. 🤓

The list of players I worked with on  Day 1 included Dylan Frittelli, Jon Rahm, Kevin Kisner, and Tom Lewis. Each player not only lived up to my expectations but surpassed them.

Rahm was the only player I’d already met. Dylan is a blast and a mild gear head which I loved, of course. He’s the kind of player that knows every inch of his clubs and is also a seeker, looking for any new edge he can find. He’s been a fun story to track over the last 12 months –going from an average hitter to one of the longest on the PGA Tour. The guy has worked hard on his body but also found a recipe with his equipment that got him to EXACTLY where he wanted to be. 

Jon Rahm was up next and what else can I say about the guy? He’s a superstar…and like me, he’s the “new guy.” We had fun doing his WITB, although my version would have run for 45 minutes  (I keep having to remind myself not everyone needs to know how many grams of hotmelt are in his 3 wood and the tipping on his 5 wood), and for the record, my goal is to turn EVERYONE  into a crazy gear head but let’s take on one miracle at a time. 

JR is pure feel and doesn’t dig into his sticks the way some others would. He’s a creature of habit in many ways  (Aldila Tour Green 75TX in Driver and 3 wood 10+ years and PX 6.5 in his irons 10+ years) but if you press him a bit to go deeper, the guy has an equipment sensitivity that is rare. By feel alone, he can tell if a club or a ball will work off just a few shots. That may sound trivial, but it isn’t.

Although the first two segments were a blast, it was the afternoon show that brought all the laughs. Kevin Kisner is EXACTLY what you see in Barstool videos or anything else. Honest, quick-witted, and gracious at every turn. I consider myself pretty witty but Kiz has it in spades and with a Southern drawl to boot. When you’re hanging out with him, all you can do is shut up and laugh. 

In between segments I had a chance to run over to our Tour Trailer at Sawgrass and say hi to my crew. Our tour truck team is ridiculously good, Tim Reed (The Boss) and Jacob “JD” Davidson (The Manger) run a fun but insanely busy ship. The rest of the team consists of Johnny “JT” Thompson (Surfer guy club guru), Kellen Watson (This guy is gonna be fun), Simon Wood (Wedges and an old friend), Joe Toulon (Putters, it’s in the blood), Dean Teykl (The Wizard), and Greg Shaw (I love this guy). I cannot wait to spend more time with these guys, I hope my nerd out sessions don’t annoy lol.

DAY 2 (Tuesday, March 9th 2021) The Phil Day…and I throw Henrik’s 3-Wood in the lake…

I woke up early Tuesday morning with one thought. I’m going to finally meet Phil Mickelson. 

My relationship with Phil goes back to the beginning. It was a Golf Digest cover of Phil in 1994 that my Gear Junky voyage began. What cemented it even further was seeing him at Fred Couples ERNST Championship in Seattle that same year. At the time, Phil was a Yonex staffer and the moment I saw his bag up close I not only became a serious Phil Mickelson fan but a degenerate fan of all things gear. His bag was full of sticks from not only Yonex but from TaylorMade, Ping, and a stunning Arnold Palmer “The Original” putter. The lead tape was everywhere and even the way Jim “Bones” MacKay pulled a sleeve of Balatas out of the bag and put the empty box on top of the umbrella was epic. The whole thing was just cool.

Our first nerd session.

There are a few bags I know inside out and upside down, but I know Lefty’s at a Ninja level. I know it so well, in fact, that I actually pleaded with him via email to be a guest on my WRX podcast. Needless to say, he never made it on the show, (TBH I’m not sure the email even got to him) but it was worth a shot. At some point, I’ll post that email in here for s$$ts and giggles.

The funny thing about all the interviews I did was there was ZERO warm-up or “get to know ya” time. The CMP team would bring the player over from the previous station, Mic them up, stand them next to me, and press record. Just like playing in a Major, for me, if I didn’t know my stuff it would show quickly. But I’m still alive so I guess something went right. Lol. 🤷🏻‍♂️

The Phil segment went great but I’m not gonna lie, I was mildly having a seizure. I don’t get star-struck. Ever. But this time I did. If you watch the vid you’ll notice I chew on my tongue for about the first two questions 😂😂😂. Thank God Phil is a Pro’s Pro and gave long thoughtful (nugget plenty) answers while I attempted to bring my mind and body back into the planet. I owe him one 😊.

Phil is a gear head of the highest order so after we wrapped up he started talking about the leading edge and bounces of his wedges along with the extra grooves on his irons. Like a flash, we just became two nerds talking gear, so much so that we held up the schedule a bit, which probably gave my new boss Jeff a mild heart attack. Point is, I have another gear geek in the Callaway Family and I cannot wait to get some more time with the guy. 

After my spiritual episode with Phil, I had Marc Leishman (nicest guy ever), Maverick McNealy, and Henrik Stenson. Lots of WITB content, Chrome Soft X vids, and a prank on Henrik that almost gave me a heart attack.

The gist of the prank was for our producer to ask Henrik if I could hit his beloved 3-wood to see how a normal schmuck like me would fare. After I hit the shot, my job was to go scorched earth and fling Henrik’s beloved fairway wood in the drink. I did. It was epic. BTW the helicopter 3-wood wasn’t his, of course. We built a replica on the truck that morning and swapped it out. Here is the picture to prove it and of me going #fullsend in the pic below.

The Fake Build
Me throwing Henrik’s “3-Wood” into the drink…it was quite therapeutic.

DAY 3 (Wednesday March 10th 2021) In my new office….

With the marketing shoot extravaganza over, I finally had a full day on the truck with my crew. There was no real contenting going on as it was Players week and the mothership asks that we honor that, but it was still a great time to get to know the guys on the truck and go see some of my friends from the other companies (also some players I’m friendly with). It’s actually the first time I had ever seen Sawgrass in person and it’s absolutely stunning. The 17th hole is what I expected it to be but it was the tee shot on 18 that just hits different when you see it live. I can only think of two other final tee shots in all of golf that could stir the nerves like 18 at TPC: #18 at Pebble and the #18 at Augusta. Especially if you have to birdie. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Since this entry was a bit long-winded, I’ll end with this…This opportunity is a gift from the heavens. Yes, I did work my tail off to get here, but what I was able to experience in just week one of my new job at Callaway made a lifetime of memories. They gave an inmate the key to the asylum, the candy shop, and gave him a camera to document it all. I’m grateful, inspired, and make no mistake, this platform will be everything you gear degenerates want. Trust me, I’m as sick as anyone.

Buckle Up.

JDub

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rob

    April 5, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    So you’re saying there’s a tour issue Callaway 3 wood with a Hzrdus Smoke green Hulk shaft sitting at the bottom of that lake…? BRB

    (exits to get snorkal and flippers)

    • Johnny Wunder

      Johnny Wunder

      April 5, 2021 at 5:51 pm

      There was…….someone fished it out lol.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Sticky Post

Putter Specs:  MODEL: White Hot OG Rossie SINSERT: Micro Hinge StarSHAFT: Steel SteppedLENGTH: 37 Inches EOGGRIP: Odyssey 56 (4 Wraps) LOFT/LIE: 2.5/68TOTAL WEIGHT: 544 Grams  #rahmbo WITB Posts from 2021: 26

101's

The title says it all. I get pounded with questions on what the difference is, comparable model and who should play what. Yes, we...

Equipment

Putter Specs:  MODEL: White Hot OG Rossie SINSERT: Micro Hinge StarSHAFT: Steel SteppedLENGTH: 37 Inches EOGGRIP: Odyssey 56 (4 Wraps) LOFT/LIE: 2.5/68TOTAL WEIGHT: 544 Grams  #rahmbo WITB Posts from this year: 21

Sticky Post

The title says it all. I get pounded with questions on what the difference is, comparable model and who should play what. Yes, we...