I haven’t really journaled a whole lot over the past month or two. No real reason rather I’m still trying to get my feet under me and get used to being out in the arena ALL the time. The TOUR life is a funny combo of total social interaction and complete isolation. You spend a lot of time Mon-Wed at events, talking to countless people and in that same day, you retreat back to your Hotel and basically Netflix and Chill until the alarm goes off again.
As awkward as they are I have really enjoyed doing the IG “Lonely Lives”. Yes its weird Face Timing with yourself for 20-30 minutes but on the other hand I get awesome interaction and its a mildly therapeutic way of sharing my day with other gear nerds out in the world. There isn’t a ton of golf gear junkies around so sharing my day with my family doesn’t move the needle like it does when I show pictures of a new Toulon or a cool Raw TCB to my IG followers. What a weird life LOL.
I’m on the last leg of this long road trip away from my boys (now going on 2 1/2 months away) and although that part is absolutely heartbreaking I have had some serious “holy shit!! Am I really here?” moments that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Here they are: Not in order of importance, they are all important to me:)
Moment #1 Watching “Rahm-bo” in full flight…
It was Tuesday of U.S Open week and my agenda for the day was to chase Phil, Xander and JR around the course to snap some pictures and maybe grab a video or two. It just so happened that while I was wandering around like a chicken, having no clue how to find anyone I stumbled upon Rahm, his caddy Adam, his coach Dave Phillips….and literally no one else. Not a fan, not a Marshall, literally no one!!
It was so quiet in fact that I had to look around to make sure I didn’t miss a cop or a sniper. Jon had just come out of his Covid lockdown and what I saw in that 4 or 5 holes was nothing short of genius. I had been predicting his win for a few weeks but what I witnessed was simply breathtaking. It’s not often you see players that tuned up when the whole game is firing on every cylinder. He would tee it up, melt it down the middle, chase it down, knock it stiff, kick it in and walk to the next tee. It got to the point where his coach Dave and caddy Adam would just look at each other and laugh. It was that good. I was there seeing it live just days before one of the great triumphs in the past decade of U.S Opens. I felt a little not worthy…..but hey someone had to take pictures.🤷🏻♂️
Moment #2 Spending some time with Roger….
I’ve gotten to know Mr. Cleveland pretty well over the past 3 or 4 years. Between the new gig and GolfWRX, I’ve had multiple opportunities to interview, chat him up, and even enjoy the occasional “hey hoy you doing” phone call. Truth be told my affections for this man were one of the reasons I came over to Callaway. He’s always been very kind to me and EXTREMELY supportive. On the Tuesday of the U.S Open, True Temper held their annual party and I brought my old man as a date lol. It was fun to see my Dad meeting a bunch of the folks around the industry whom I’ve come to know but it was Mr. Cleveland (and Mr. Brewer) that really caught my dad’s attention. To be honest I don’t think he really realized who they were and how vital they are to the whole scheme of things but both men made my dad feel like a million dollars and treated him as if they had known each other for years. That’s the trick with guys like Mr. Cleveland, he cares about you, golf, and the whole thing. He’s a legend and I’m grateful I get to spend the kind of time with him that I do. Feels like hanging out with a Golf God masquerading as a beautiful human being. People ask what my favorite part of this job is, it’s the people. From Mr. Brewer, Mr. Cleveland, and all the way down, everyone in this company just cares so damn much. I love that shit.
Moment #3 Being part of a Team…
In my first 3 months, I have seen and experienced some pretty incredible things but there is nothing like being a part of a big team, especially when that Team is part of two Majors in a row. As much as I’d like to credit my recent hiring to this uptick, sadly it’s not the case🤷🏻♂️. The trick at Callaway is the commitment to domination. It’s not just selling golf clubs, it’s how and why we sell our equipment and giving the end-user as much trust and validation as we can via Content, Fitters, Green Grass, etc.
When Phil won, I saw that #team in full flight. Yes, it starts with the player but it also starts with people like Eric Loper (Golf Ball R&D), Gerrit Pon (Phil’s club guy and master fitter), Scott Manwaring (Iron R&D), our Tour/Sports Marketing Team (Tim Reed), Roger Cleveland, and on and on. That’s just to get Phil dialed with his gear, not to mention Chip Brewer who Captains this Air Craft Carrier. Once Phil won I got to see the Marketing Team go in full #gomode and it wasn’t even 3 weeks later (Jon Rahm) that the machine picked right back up (rinse, repeat) and do it again. Never letting up, never settling, eyes always forward. I have never seen anything like it. I ask again, how the hell did I get here? Someone upstairs is looking out for me, I’m not clever enough to write this story… it’s insane.
If I was to evaluate myself thus far I’d say I’m doing some good things, some not-so-great things but overall I’m evolving, finding my voice, and trying to make y’all proud. Best I got as I sit in my hotel in Detroit. The alarm will go off again tomorrow and I’ll fly out the door and go at it like it’s my last day. Best I got.
My dad always told me that when choosing a job, pick the fastest horse and hold on as tight as you can… I picked a REALLY good horse.