NEW IN -TAYLORMADE | PETER MILLAR APPAREL! SHOP NOW
Your Shopping Cart is Empty
The BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth is the flagship event on the DP World Tour, but for us in the Tour Team at TaylorMade it's much more than that. Our long standing relationship with Wentworth is extremely important as we use as our base for Tour player and elite player fittings. We consider it our UK home, when not on the road for DP Tour events, it's become integral to our Tour operations.
Every one of us loves to work this event for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it attracts a strong field so its always great to have Rory and co in the field as it gives the tournament that extra edge. Secondly, being the flagship event, there is always a buzz about the place with players, agents and fans getting in early. The infrastructure and media around the place elevates the feel of the event, even down to the organisation of the parking and security, it really has a ‘Major Championship’ feel. Finally from our standpoint, it's the best event to work because you have the range, the putting green and the first tee all within 50yds of the Tour Truck! Believe it or not that hardly EVER happens. We often have long walks to the range or putting green simply because venues aren't set up to take 7 or 8 Tour trucks so we are often parked well out of the way. Having access to the driving range, putting green and course like this is a dream come true for a Tour Rep!
So let's get into all the action of the week, I'll take you through some of the key details of our preparations and work carried out on the ground.
Friday 2nd September 2022
The TaylorMade Tour Truck has been on the road for a long stretch! 11 Weeks in total. We hadn’t seen the truck back at base since before the Irish Open in early July. Stocks were depleted, so we arranged for the truck to divert to HQ on Friday prior to heading to Wentworth.
The truck carries a lot of stock! 180 driver heads, 2500 shafts and approx. 300 dozen golf balls when stocked up to give you an idea. But after all that time on the road, things like balls, gloves, hats, towels especially are at a bare minimum so the priority here to get these stocked up for the final truck stretch to take us through to Portugal. With UK events such as Wentworth and Dunhill Links where the weather can be less predictable, we also add winter hats, mitts and a ton of umbrellas.
The full team were on hand and we all pull together to take ownership of a certain area of the truck to go over and top up as necessary. Not only do we stock up on equipment, it's also important to stock up on coffee pods, drinks and snacks at this point!! This re-stock will take most of the day, from around 8am – 3pm, in which it will also get a jet wash before the truck can head off up the M3 to site up at Wentworth.
Monday 5th September 2022
As with a 'Major' we always start earlier than usual. The team were on site from 07:30am and straight in to action. This week we introduced Hi-Toe 3 to players, so any product launch adds further emphasis to the week. Tour Technicians Alex Marine and Henry Carter were busy earlier on building Hi-Toe 3 options for players in the field. I myself got stuck into the Monday morning jobs of organising accreditation, parking passes, supplying the driving range with premium practice balls which were also loaded on our truck Friday. We then go over the entry list, highlight our players and flag up any work to follow up on or any players that need work that week, so between us we are on the same page with work that needs doing.
Several players will message us over the weekend with bits they need or want to work on, my first slot of the day was a 10am session with Romain Langasque who wanted to do some ball testing as he had been struggling with distance control the past couple of weeks. We dived in to this with his coach- a session with player, caddy, coach and rep is always best as all parties are aligned on striving for the right outcome.
The coach spotted something right away with his technique, I was looking at numbers and ball data and as soon as the technique was tweaked, Romain instantly started delivering better numbers and the ball data complimented that. So we ended off just doing some loft and lie checks through the bag. We recommend our players check their loft and lies every 4-6 weeks as with the quantity of balls they hit its easy for clubs to move very slightly. When the best players in the world are that dialled in to their distances, even half a degree can leave them and the caddy scratching their head when a ball comes up short or long from a perfectly struck shot, which can be something as simple as the lofts moving.
We then introduced Hi-Toe 3 to Romain, building him 4 options for the 2 wedges that he carries. He instantly liked the finish and new sole design of the low bounce option and has the new wedges in the bag this week- A great start for Hi-Toe 3!
As mentioned there is an extra air of importance on the week, this is the time of year we begin to talk 2023 strategy and as such there are many agent meetings to be had throughout the week. Because of this, we usually have some of the PGA Tour Team attend, which is great for us to align on strategy and for them to catch up with any agents that are on site that week. We also had our PGA Tour Putter Rep, Bucky Coe in town this week which was a strong addition to the team as we got to talk over what’s hot and what’s not with our putter game, and what’s coming for 2023!
‘Can I get the putter Rory is using’
Following Rory’s win, there has been a lot of requests along the lines of ‘can I get the putter Rory is using’. One such request came from Nicolai Hojgaard so my afternoon was spent out on the course walking holes with Rasmus Hojgaard, Nicolai Hojgaard and Romain Langasque who played a practice round together where it was great to see on course ball flights from the guys and talk tweaks to their set up and of course test some ‘Rory’ putters on the course.
The day finishes up around 6pm when we lock the truck and head off for a well-deserved team curry!
Tuesday 6th September 2022
Tuesday is the day the big guys are due to arrive, so the team get to the truck for 7:15am.
Tommy’s caddy arrives early and he has no staff bag! His clubs were changed over to a carry bag and he forgot to change it back. Fortunately we carry a few spare staff bags and one spare panel for each player on the truck for emergencies so we were able to put together a new bag for Tommy for the week. Henry gets to work on going through Tommy’s bag checking loft & lies and he has also asked us for a full set of re-grips. Tommy is quite specific about the orientation of the grips being a little off-centre to most peoples eye, but having done many sets of re-grips for him previously we know just how him and all our other guys like them!
Rasmus talked to me on the course yesterday about swapping out his hybrid for a 5 or even a 7 wood this week. So I got to work with putting together some options for him to test. This seemed to be a common theme at Wentworth this year. Its playing slightly wet and longer than usual so a 5 wood out of the rough or higher flight in to the par 5’s appears to be a popular option. I think I put 4 new 5 woods in players bags this week.
Robert MacIntyre discusses with Sam the option of taking out his 5 wood and replacing it with a rescue! He found from the practice round he had 2 very specific shots where the 5 wood was too much and the 4iron was too short or low, so Sam goes to work on a LH Stealth Hybrid and has a very successful fitting session with Bob loving the versatility the hybrid offers. Look out for this club being hit second shot in to 18 this week!
It's not that common for us to see Victor Dubuisson before we switch on the TV on a Thursday! But he messaged the team to say that he's in need of some work that afternoon when he arrives. So he must be desperate for something for him to arrive on a Tuesday to see us. We get to work building new wedges, long irons to test and some new woods based on the feedback he has given us. Victor arrives and takes a liking to the TP Del Monte putter, explaining he is looking to move away from a mallet and go back to a more feel based putter and so Bucky gets to work with Victor on the putting green. We set up a time to work on the long game for Wednesday.
The Tour Truck is in full flow throughout Tuesday! Meetings in our office at the back of the truck are in full flow all day, Tours of the truck as Wentworth team bring on various guests and juniors for a look behind the scenes, as well as players and caddy’s constantly popping on to talk kit or simply collect their soft goods for the week. Each time I stepped on the truck there was a minimum of 7-8 bodies at all times. Between Alex, Sam and myself we try to stay on top of the work required on the range, back and forward with clubs for check-ups, orders from the range as well as producing a few back-ups for players of their favourite driver. Sam does work with Lucas Herbert on driver whilst Alex works extensively with HaoTong Li on wedges and a 3 wood particularly.
The day wraps up around 6:30pm and the team head off home and to the hotel to re-charge for another full on day tomorrow.
Wednesday 7th September 2022
It's always a highlight day in our annual calendar! The fans are out in force, we get various celebs and VIP’s coming by the truck throughout the day, a couple of these players such as Mia Baker, Seb on Golf etc we support in some capacity and many more we know and look forward to seeing annually here at Wentworth. We start early arriving at 7am as the Pro-Am tees off at 8 so we need to be open for business first thing.
We get to see Rory warming up, naturally as the recent Fed-Ex champions and being the main draw for the week attention around him is high and cameras fight for space behind him. We say hi and check in with him and his team, congratulate him on the recent win and discuss with Harry his caddy any relevant info such as soft goods and anything else they might need. Rory heads to the putting green in good spirits around 07:45.
Once the Pro-Am tees off, there is usually a little quiet spell as players start to gradually arrive for final preparations. The truck is unusually quiet from 8-9am, which usually means a busy afternoon – we all know this by now- quiet spells or quiet days on tour are usually followed by the polar opposite. And Wednesday was no different. In fact, in my 10 years working on the Tour Truck Wednesday was one of the busiest days I have ever known on our truck !!!
We all slip in to our own flow of work, messaging players for what time they are arriving, trying to plan the day with important follow up work and trying as best we can to fit in conversations with agents and the many other tour related people around this week, such as the launch monitor teams, coaches and media. We take our turn in giving Tours of the truck to guests and following up specifically on the putters and wedges we have handed players throughout the week.
8 New Clubs
In the afternoon, we dialled Victor in. Switching from a Stealth to a Stealth Plus driver, from a Plus to a Stealth 3 wood, and adding P770 irons in 3, 4 and 5i to give him some extra height and spin in the long end of the bag. He goes away and heads into tomorrow with 8 new clubs in the bag (which is rather unusual for a Wednesday I might add, but VD is unusual in that sense!).
No doubt about it, the TM truck was the busiest door on Tour with a constant flow of people. The team start to wind down the day around 5pm, satisfied with the weeks work, how the Hi-Toe 3 wedges have been received and a new desire and energy around our putter game thanks to Bucky’s support. We all have a lot to follow up on following conversations with our wider team and players throughout the week so Thursday & Friday will be taken up with admin days before we prepare to fly to Rome next week for the Italian Open.
Follow Mark on Social!