What about when Jhonattan Vegas turned up at The Open without his clubs? How did you work together then?
He played a unique custom iron too. Alex at Mizuno did a fantastic job getting his irons in order.
The way we all came together, and his caddie also played a big role, we had to get all the right heads, grips and shafts.
We literally had half an hour to fit this guy into 14 golf clubs. Nike were there giving him clothing as well because he didn’t even have clothes.
I remember him hitting the woods and he was going through them so quickly that I would miss shots. He was saying ‘yeah that’s good’ and we were having to move onto the next one.
It was a unique situation. But that’s exactly what we are there for – to support the players and make sure they are ready to go out there and play.
That’s a pretty extreme example and at a major too. What about week-in, week-out on the European Tour? What sort of things will you be doing with the players?
Altitude can be a big factor. If you’ve got a player who is borderline a low-spin player then that will really show up at high altitude. His ball to the eye will look like its falling out of the sky.
So he might need to get a bit more loft or get the centre of gravity in his clubs a bit further back to get a bit more spin.
It’s not just the altitude, the temperature plays a part too. In Joburg it’s 35 degrees from 8am to 7pm. In Europe you might get a very chilly morning and then the temperature will heat up and you’ll notice the ball going a bit further.
You might not be changing equipment but you’re getting the Trackman out and dialling in numbers to help them understand the differences between the performance at different temperatures.
We help to educate the players from a scientific stand point.
You’ve got Francesco Molinari using 13 clubs without contract. That’s impressive…
I have a personal relationship with Fran and since the Nike exit we’ve worked together closely.
He has tested a lot of equipment. And he’s said that all of the products out there are very good. But what he found very comforting was the working relationship he had with TaylorMade. I live 25 minutes from where he does all of his work.
He took a liking to the TaylorMade product. Every time something new came out I’d go and see him and show him product in the right environment and I think that has helped out a lot.
He trusts me and TaylorMade and knows we wouldn’t try and get him using something if it wasn’t in his best interests.
He’s the No. 5 player in the world and he has the freedom to use whatever he likes – and everyone want him to use their equipment so it’s a really good testimonial for service that we give.
And it’s a service we’ve offered for a lot of guys who came out of Nike contracts. And when you look at the top of the world rankings and work your way down you’ll see a lot go guys that have trusted our product.