It's not just the players losing out on the lack of tournament golf as thousands of livelihoods are affected. TaylorMade's main man on the road, Adrian Rietveld, opens up
Since the outbreak of coronavirus many of us are working in a very different environment than what we are used to. This couldn’t be more true for Adrian Rietveld, the man in charge of equipping TaylorMade’s star names, who has gone from travelling to different corners of the globe with the tour truck each week to being confined to his house in California. Here he lays out how the lack of golf action has changed his working life at TaylorMade…
It’s crazy to think that just over three weeks ago I was at the Players Championship. Everything that has happened in the last 10 days – it’s probably been the longest 10 days of my life. I mean I think we’re still in March. It feels like the Players was years ago.
But you look at the news and the PGA Tour, European Tour, NBA, NFL is all cancelled, all these mega mega sports organisations. So I guess you we’re all in the same boat across all sports.
I’m looking at going from being someone who travels 35 weeks a year – aeroplanes, hire cars, hotels – to thinking when will this end or when will this contain itself? So you can just imagine how I’m dealing with that.
Rory McIlroy made a good point when I was speaking to him. He’s saying, ‘I can’t practise and play golf when I’m not doing it for something.’ He’s so ingrained into competitive golf and working towards winning and preparing for this golf course or this tournament. Their schedules are so planned. Every tournament that Rory plays or Tiger [Woods] plays is a major field to them. It’s not just, ‘Oh I’m going to go and play a tournament’, they are preparing to win every time they tee it up.
So it is unique times and obviously in the bigger picture you just want the world to deal with this in the best and safest way possible and we all have to play our part.
For the first few days players were requesting equipment to work with at home. We were thinking everything was going to get shut down and it was best to do what we could immediately. So a few requests we were able to get out and as it has gone on it’s gone pretty quiet.
Then you start to split it up into different regions – so, for example, the UK you can’t ship to, Italy have their own situation, Spain have their own situation, so you are crossing borders and a lot of these places have so many restrictions in place that we can’t send stuff anyway, never mind go and see somebody so it has gone really quiet.
In the US it is one country so everything is considered domestic.
When normal service resumes, there will be no middle ground from a player’s standpoint. For players specifically, they are of course the most important part of the puzzle, but it is a travelling circus with lots of pieces to the puzzle.
The tournaments, and the importance of the tournaments, is going to be so compressed and so high profile that you’re either going to succeed or struggle.
In terms of preparing to hit the ground running, once everything gets going again, let’s say its the end or May or June, you’re probably want to use April as your off-season. Then by the end of April there will be a lot more information out there where you can actually start preparing and then start up as if you’re starting a new season.
I do also think that it is a level playing field with everyone being confined to their homes, and gyms closed, all these advantages that certain players would have over other players.
When all these guys come out and play again you’re definitely going to have the guys who have prepared and are ready to play and the guys who have not.
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