I started this Callaway gig on March 8th, 2021. I cannot believe it’s been almost 6 months since this crazy journey began. Looking back it’s actually quite insane the number of planes, rental cars, hotels, Uber eats orders, new people, and countless moments of jubilation and yes even some doubt.
Doubt? Yes. Just by nature, I’m always questioning whether this is all really happening. I guess some would call it self-doubt or lack of confidence but in my case, it’s just I care so fu$$ing much. Those that are close to me know that confidence isn’t my problem, but being a bit of a maniac is. 🙋🏻♂️
The countless mental questions. Am I doing this right? Am I any good? Is this working? Is this real? All of it. I guess I wouldn’t be human if those thoughts didn’t occur. The point of beginning the journal like this is to emphasize that this WOW Journey is still so very new. My expectations are high but right-sized, I knew that I was going to be a mild 💩 show in year one until I was able to find my footing.
However, I got lucky here, yes the job is a unicorn situation but the cherry on top is the belief from my bosses Jeff and Nick. What they have allowed me to do in this early phase has been exactly what a person with my brain needs to find his way. It has been the perfect amount of freedom all while a clear understanding of my lane. I need that. Let me run as fast as I can but when I get off the track use the whip and i’ll get right.
So how would I grade my first 6 months?
I’d give myself a B.
Not awesome. Not bad. But plenty of signs to see that this is going in the right direction.
Ok, that’s done.
Life On Tour
The Players Championship
The Honda Classic
The Kia Classic (LPGA)
The ANA Inspiration (LPGA)
The Wells Fargo
The Byron Nelson
The PGA Championship
The Sr. PGA Championship
The U.S Open
The Rocket Mortgage Classic
The WGC Fed/Ex St. Jude Invitational
The Northern Trust
The BMW Championship
That’s every tournament I’ve been to since day 1. When I was at WRX I always wondered what constant life on Tour would be like. I had a small taste of it from my buddies on the trucks but being out there week in and week out gives you an entirely new perspective. The easiest way to explain is to section it off by what I thought going in VS what I know now…kind of a Fact VS Fiction kinda thing lol.
Fact or Fiction:
Its Company VS Company warfare: FICTION. Yes, we all want to win club counts, majors, medals, etc. HOWEVER, everyone roots everyone on out here. We aren’t building bombs or curing cancer. If a company is on fire, no one is trying to tear them down rather they acknowledge the work and continue to push on their own. I dig that. Let the golf do the talking. I’m pretty good friends with a bunch of reps from “competitor” trucks and to be honest, we talk more about 1990’s college sports than golf. It’s def a bubble golf family out here and we are definitely colleagues and not so much competitors.
Players just hang out on the truck all day: FICTION. On some occasions, our staff will pop in and wait for a club to get tweaked or built up but typically it’s the caddies that we see more often than not. It also depends on where the truck is located. Take this week at the BMW for example, I didn’t see one player or caddy on the truck. Why? It was 9,000,000 miles from the range. Some venues are like that, PGA Championship, Memorial, U.S Open, the trucks were a Mickelson “Nasty Bomb” from civilization. Just how it works some time. Now there are some that come in more than others. Sam Burns for example will pop in to grab a drink and hang for a few, Kiz, even Phil on occasion. It’s not rare but it’s not constant either.
The grinding wheel is spinning all the time: FICTION. Maybe in the past, they were but these days with all the options we offer, it’s a rare occasion that Woody or Kellen will get on the wheel. I can count maybe 5 times in my head since I joined Callaway.
It’s a glamorous life: LOL. Well, it’s fun but glamorous? FICTION. I learned this as a batboy for the Anaheim Angels. Working on the truck is VERY similar in feel and rhythm. Yes, it’s a seriously awesome work-life but it’s a service job pure and simple. How can the team serve our players at a maximum is the main objective. We aren’t going from plane to plane and Marriot to Marriot for free limos and swanky dinners. It’s 10-12 hour days on-site and even more work back at the hotel. These guys never stop. It’s a grind but in a great way. Tim Reed and Jacob Davidson instill a ton of pride into what is done out here and seeing it first hand I understand why this company has had the year we are having. It’s relentless and the work is showing.
I’m just gonna build clubs all day and never leave the truck: FICTION. I literally thought this LOL.!!! The truth is I don’t spend a ton of time on the truck. I have kind of created a routine for myself that keeps me on the course or around the range most of the time. WHY? That’s where all the action is. Periodically I’ll head back to the truck to see what’s being built and try and bug Kellen for 5 minutes. It’s one of my many joys. To be fair when I’m in picture mode I will stay on the truck and try to snap anything cool I see laying around. The real gems are when players dump their bags off for loft and lie checks. That becomes WITB photo mania. I’ve gotten some serious gold when that happens. It also must be said that the more I’m on the truck, the less I want to keep trying things. WHY? I became fascinated with the why of the equipment than the equipment itself. I definitely have a new understanding of why certain clubs work for certain players and why my sticks work for me. I already knew a TON but now I’m bordering on a Doctorate. I’m evolving into a gear master Jedi. It’s true. I know my 💩.
The fitting process on Tour is a bit different: FACT. This has been one of the most fascinating things to learn. On TOUR, fittings are more of a testing session than anything. Our team tracks so much data and knows our players so well that when someone needs to see something new, it’s already in the ballpark right out of the gate. It’s a rare occasion for a player to try multiple heads/shafts etc in a session. Most of the time it’s a small tweak here or there OR a player will have something new built to their current spec and it’s already pretty damn dialed. Modern technology has sped up the process by a hundred. Kellen Watson does most of that work for us and he’s as good as anyone on TOUR. The guy is a beast.
When we win, things get nuts: FACT. That’s 100% accurate, the whole company goes into a sort of a military-type position, and the entire Callaway machine fires. It’s quite the thing to be a part of. “Make hay while the sun shines,” I say…and we did this year…a bunch.
I’m gonna be buddies with all the players: FACT and FICTION. I relate it back to my time with the Angels. This job and the life lived off of it are two different worlds. We all have TOUR life and home life. Yes, I’m chummy with a bunch of players out there and some I would even say I’m fairly friendly with but do we hang out, play Sega Genesis, and golf on off days? No. It ain’t like that nor is it supposed to be.
When we see these guys it’s in battle time and we all have a job to do. Our Tour Team gets our players ready and I try and tell as many stories around that as I can. Those functions require a ton of interaction but when the day is done, it’s quiet time. We all need it. I’m sure as time goes on my relationships with everyone will become more but it’s not required at this point, I’m the new guy and it takes time to grow past that. I’m not blind to that. Been here. Done this.
Going from WRX to Callaway will be hard for a gear head: FICTION. Callaway Golf is a HUGE company with a ton of avenues to explore. The ball has been my obsession thus far and if I was tasked with just that, I would have years’ worth of things to talk about. What Eric Loper and Co. are doing there is fascinating. Speaking on one company is easy when it’s a monster like this one.
I was made for this gig: FACT. This is exactly where I belong. Here in this role, with this company, these bosses, and of course Mr. Brewer who is the best CEO in golf FYI, the guy has ZERO fear of failure. I dig that about that guy.
I WAS built for this. How am I so sure? I know I can do better, grow, evolve, and none of that scares me. Everything in my life that feels comfortable turns to 💩. It’s when I see more walls to bust thru, more growth, more struggle ahead that’s when I get excited. That’s how I know.