After the circus week that was “week 1” with Callaway, I had the weekend to play a little golf with my friends and actually take a breath. The main thing I learned in my maiden voyage on the Callaway machine was SLOW DOWN…..SLOW WAY DOWN. I’m a hyper guy with a ton of energy and when you put me in an environment like that two things happen; 1) I switch on in a great way and 2) my brain operates at ludicrous speed and I get what I call ‘squirrel syndrome.’ I wanna do everything and anything RIGHT NOW. So much to the point the moment seems to escape me. What can I say? I’m excited and this is a big deal for me. 🙂
This week we were at PGA National in West Palm Beach, Fla for the Honda Classic. The golf course is a MONSTER and it’s mildly cruel that Bay Hill (tough track), TPC Sawgrass (Tough Track), and PGA National (Tough Track) go back to back to back. It’s like playing 3 majors in a row from a difficulty standpoint.
The rhythm of the Callaway Tour Truck changes from week to week. It’s Always busy, yes, but busy takes on different forms. This week it was Drivers and Fairways that seemed to fly outta the drawers.
Epic Speed Fairway Woods kinda snuck up on players in ways you wouldn’t expect. Yes, they are crazy long but it’s the launch that is hooking people in. For example, when you have a 3-wood that inherently launches higher, it creates new opportunities for players to go to a lower lofted head (15 to 13.5 for example), which increases ball speed even further all while maintaining the desired launch and spin. It’s little treasures like this that turn a good club into a great one.
In the Driver category, it was our Epic Max Triple LS that got some fresh looks. Once again, it’s the nuance in this head that makes it attractive. I’d say of all the drivers we have on the truck, the Max LS creates the most fitting opportunities for a wide swath of players. Its lower launch/lower spin profile has its benefits but it’s the ability to turn it over easily that makes it cool. In the days of hitting it as far as you can, the shot that more or less got kicked to the curb is a draw-on command. This head offers that all while keeping the spin in a sensible window, (sensible meaning 2300-2500 RPM of spin.) If you want the breakdown of the driver heads we have on the truck, I’ll be doing a full breakdown of them all VERY soon.
DID I JUST SEE THAT?
My “holy s$$t!” moment came on Tuesday afternoon. Let me set the scene. It’s around 5 PM and the day is slowly winding down. The Callaway team was finishing up work to make it to a dinner with Brenden Grace and his wife (which was epic). I was heading out to my car and realized I left my phone charger on the truck. As I wander back in I open the door to an empty truck….except for one person. Phil Mickelson was in the back work station, alone, checking the lofts and lies of his irons. It was a cool moment for two main reasons 1) It’s his quiet time. His time to tune out and just nerd out for a few minutes, I can’t imagine how precious those moments are for him and 2) The passion he has for his gear. He’s a gear head, a searcher and like me fascinated with the tools that we use to play this great game.
When I asked the guys on the truck if that was a normal thing, the answer was “yes, he likes to do it himself because he enjoys it”.
That is so awesome…..no pics though, I’m not completely insane.
O’ Captain. My Captain
Part of my job is to get pictures. I enjoy the interaction with players and of course digging in bags to see what they got is my life’s work lol. There were two players at the Honda that I was very excited to introduce myself to, Former Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk and Current Captain Steve Stricker. Both of them lived up to their billing, not only were they true gentlemen but once I introduced who I was and why I was there they both said: “wow, that’s awesome congratulations!” Probably meant little to them but so much to me. Both of these guys are two of my heroes.
Stricker is considered a free agent but does have our driver (see below) and irons (Apex Pro ’18 Raw) in the bag which obviously makes me happy. 🙂
Part of this gig is celebrating our staff in off time. Monday we took Talor Gooch (coming off of a Top 5 at the Players) to dinner and mother of god is this kid my spirit animal. Honest, Hyper Wise, and funny as all hell. I want him to win 50 times.
Tuesday we went out with Brenden Grace and his wife Nieke to celebrate his win in Puerto Rico. To hear the story of how they met, where they came from and how much they enjoy each other was a beautiful scene. B. Grace is a good human and has been on our staff since day 1. These players work their asses off and to see how much they appreciate where they are at is refreshing.
What I loved so much about my week at the Honda was seeing my friends. In the time of Covid, most of my interaction with my TOUR crew was via phone and text but to be able to see them in person was huge for my spirit. Reps from all the trucks have become friends and just being able to see these guys in their element was amazing. I’ve been given the chance to be a part of that rhythm and I have so much to learn but it’s an awesome family they have engineered out here. “We aren’t building bombs” is the best way to describe how each truck interacts. Yes, we all wanna win Driver/Ball/Iron counts but everyone supports everyone out here. I’m a lucky schmuck ill say that. How the hell did I get here?
Heading west (Carlsbad) for the LPGA Marketing shoot and to play in the Kia Classic Pro AM.