In this edition of Fourball I’m joined by Steve Carroll, Alex Perry and James Savage to discuss the romantic notion of being a tour pro…
It’s still that time of year where we’re optimistic and dreamy. So, just imagine for one second, that you’re a tour pro – do you have an equipment deal or go your own way?
Steve: Given that I want a piece of every new club that comes on the market – and particularly drivers – I’d have to go my own way. If I have a club that’s been in my bag more than 12 months I start to get a nervous twitch. Out with the old, in with the new.
Alex: I quite like consistency through my bag, so a deal for me. I don’t think it’s OCD but it must be a form of that. I’m very loyal though, so it’s going to take some serious dollar from one of the brands to tempt me away.
James: The last four majors were won by free agents. Can I just leave it there?
My verdict: Obviously it would depend on what stage of my career I was at but, if I was even moderately successful, I’d be a free agent. I get too envious of other people’s bits and kid myself that it would make all the difference. It would also be great to go and bother every single tour truck to see what’s hot. I’d also like the romantic thought of having at least two clubs in there for maybe a decade; probably the 3-wood and putter.
Would you be happy to be dressed by your sponsor in their (probably dreadful) scripting or happy to dress yourself?
Alex: I’m 36 years old, I can dress myself thanks. I’m quite particular about what I wear, and I’m not a fan of garish colours. I’ll take some nice black, white and grey numbers out of Sergio Garcia’s wardrobe, please.
James: I’ve got some horrendous previous for this. And I know you’ll probably dig out the electric blue Galvin Green outfit I was given to wear at the Madeira Islands Open Pro Am. Look good, play well so I’ll be picking my own clothes. Following approval from the wife of course.
Steve: As someone who once owned a floral print polo shirt and cyan pants, I am in no position to lecture anyone on golfing fashion sense. Hand me the clobber, and I’ll wear whatever I’m told.
My verdict: I had to look up cyan, oh dear. I’d try very hard to get signed up by Wolsey and then they could do with they want with me. If that failed the thought of having to wear spongey, stretchy golf trousers would probably lead to a medical exemption for the following season.
What would you be like to deal with the media and other obligations – stick your head in your phone or, no problem happy to talk?
James: I’ve always got time for fans. I’m in a very privileged position so feel it’s important to give something back. That’s part of the job. As a tour pro I’ll pretend to be on my phone when a journalist comes within 15 yards.
Steve: I’d love to think I’d be all aloof and surly but one of my major personality flaws is that I can never shut up about anything. So if anyone asks me a question, expect a 15-minute answer. Eventually, they’d get tired of listening to me drone on (everyone else does) so I’d win in the end anyway.
Alex: As someone who still can’t get over being blanked for an autograph (when I was 9) and an interview (when I was 29) by the very same person, my childhood hero, I like to think I’d always be welcoming to attention from the media and fans.
My verdict: The mind boggles, am guessing that was a certain English major champion? Again, all a bit dependent on where I stood in the game, but in the strong likelihood that I was struggling to keep my card then I’d be only too happy to help with anything save for some short-game instruction. I’d also keep a very downbeat blog which would most likely ward off most requests.