LPGA Marketing shoot, Kia Classic ,Pro-AM and the years 1st Official Major🔥
After an absolute whirlwind in Florida, I finally made it back to the West Coast to catch my breath (again), see my folks, and play golf with old friends. The biggest misconception about being in the golf business is that you play a ton of golf…..you don’t. When you actually can play it’s a godsend. To be fair, this post may sound like I play all the time but no, I do not. I played more golf in these 10 days than in the last 18 months. 🤷🏻♂️
I was really looking forward to the week ahead. I haven’t had a ton of interaction with the LPGA but it’s a Tour I follow closely and find more nuggets for my own game than I do the PGA Tour. I love the chess game that is played out on the LPGA, success is based more on precision and course management than the “hit it a mile and find it” style that you see in the men’s game. Make no mistake, I LOVE “Bomb and Find”, in fact, I adore it. I just can’t do it so the LPGA and Champions Tour is more my jam.
LPGA Marketing shoot at The Farms
Like we did with our PGA Tour staff in Florida, once we got to Carlsbad we rinse/repeat with the LPGA. I’ll say this, it was 12 hours of absolute laughs and fun. Our LPGA staff is packed with personalities from all over the globe. That day we worked with Anne Van Dam, Andrea Lee, Sandra Gal, Emma Talley, Yani Tseng, Georgia Hall, Carlota Ciganda, and Morgan Pressel (@ECPC).
I did a ton of “WITB and Why” videos along with some fun challenges. Going one on one with the LPGA was so much fun. I’d consider myself a good player with a junk golf swing (ill fix that) and going eyeball to eyeball against Touring Pros is always a humbling endeavor. Overall I got my face kicked in with the exception of a few lucky shots I pulled off so I’d call the Wunder vs the LPGA scorecard an even split overall. I didn’t win, I didn’t lose but I did realize why I’m a content creator and not playing for dough. I’m just dumb enough to think that thru some act of god my “real talent” will kick in and ill qualify for a US AM or something. The reality, is those days are long gone so opportunities like this are more or less majors for me:)
The shoot wrapped on Tuesday afternoon at ECPC with a putting contest against Morgan Pressel on the Gil Hanse designed and Insane 9 hole putting course…there was an 88-yard putt finale that was a doozie.
The Kia Classic PRO AM at Aviara
To set the scene, I wasn’t planning on playing in the Wednesday Pro-Am. It wasn’t until the Saturday before that I was told via text “BTW no filming on Wednesday, you are playing with Michelle and AVD in the Pro-Am.” Casual text for a holy sh$t moment. This job is full of moments like this, Callaway has thrown me into the mix from jump street and ill make hay while the sun shines. Nervous? No. Excited? Oh god yes. My job that day is to play with two of my favorite players and just have fun? Ok sure. 😏
The day was amazing as I not only got to play with Wiezzy (Front 9) and AVD (Back 9) but also my colleagues from sales/marketing Ethan Ganot, Jen Young, and Jen Turk. We had so much fun. I played like dog crap with a few good moments but who cares? It was a walk in the park with people I adore. 😍
Michelle was really fun to watch, she’s a new Momma and is just coming back to the game after a two-year layoff. The Michelle Wie thing is still very much there. The swagger, the swing, and the electricity. The girl has been doing this for years and I’m marveled at how comfortable she is with all eyes on her. That week especially, everyone wanted a piece of her, she handles it like a Jedi.
Anne Van Dam is exactly what you see on IG. A golfing machine that at some point (as she grows) will dominate. She grabs a club and it just looks like she is gonna shoot 65. I’ve only ever said that about one other player. The name rhymes with Wiger Toods. I did offer up the dumb idea of going long drive against Anne and got waxed, to be fair we both pounded it but mine went into the left rough and she split the fairway like a razor blade….I lost. 😒
One day at the ANA
On my final day before heading back to see my family in Toronto and inevitable Quarantine hell 😩, I spent the day at Mission Hills CC (The Dinah Course) for the year’s 1st official major, the Ana Inspiration. Callaway unveiled its custom bag for the week which is 🔥(see pic below). The mood definitely shifted from the Kia which was a bit more relaxed but this week it was game on…for everyone. The range was lined with players and their teams, getting dialed and trying to find that one last “thing” to get them thru the week. The Dinah track is GORGEOUS, desert golf at its finest with fast greens, carpet fairways, and thick rough. I’d say the rough in comparison to a Men’s major is at about 75% in terms of severity which isn’t a huge difference.
I walked a bit with Emma Talley whom I’ve come to adore over the past couple of weeks. She’s all smiles, all the time, and doesn’t take herself too seriously. This career is a challenging yet blessed one and she chooses to enjoy the time as opposed to grinding every minute. I hope she breaks thru soon, she’s good for the game and woman’s golf.
The last bit I did was some fun little videos with Cally staffer Madelene Sagström and Carlota Ciganda. Both of these girls are world-class players and could literally break thru to win multiple times at any given moment.
- This month has been a buffet of fun, learning, laughs, holy sh$ts, and humility. This new undertaking is like being handed the keys to a 2000 horsepower car with no breaks. The saving grace is none of it scares me. I’m good at growing into new atmospheres, evolving and I love the hustle. I’ve done it multiple times in my career and ill do it again. How the hell do you think I got here? 😉
- I really miss my family in Toronto, this new gig is a huge sacrifice on my girl, my kids, and my heart but a necessary one. Callaway gave me an opportunity I literally couldn’t make up in my wildest dreams. Go big or go home.
- I’ll be back on the road in a few weeks and in the meantime, this new website #worldofwunder will be rocking and rolling with everything and anything a gear head would want. Tell your friends, family, Uber drivers, and anyone in between that we are going to bring it hard and if you don’t tune in, you are missing out on life. Intense yes but if you love golf it’s true.