This last weekend I had the chance to spend four days at a PGA Tour event inside the ropes. My time volunteering at the Valero Texas Open was a really cool experience and it’s something I always look forward to each year.
In my last post about volunteering at TPC San Antonio, I wanted to share with you eight takeaways from watching a PGA Tour tournament inside the ropes.
#1: These guys are great scramblers.
“Drive for show, putt for dough.” You know the saying and as golfers we all know it’s true. After watching the PGA Tour pros chipping and putting over four days it’s time for me to start spending more time practicing my short game. I truly now believe this is where the PGA Tour pros make most of their money. While they might not always get up-and down for par, these guys are really good at chipping it close and then sinking the putt. If I can say one thing, go practice your short game!
#2: Once they address the ball they hit it quickly. It’s the time leading up to address that takes forever.
“What’s the number?” “Where’s the wind coming from?” “How much to carry the bunker?” “Are you sure this is the right club?”
The PGA Tour pros take quite a bit of time just trying to figure out all these things before they even hit the ball. But once they address the ball, most of them pull the trigger fairly quickly without spending much time over the ball. You don’t normally see this on TV but live you really understand why they take 5 hours to play a round of golf.
#3: They rely heavily on caddie.
I can’t tell you how many times on Sunday I heard interactions between player and caddie which relied on the caddie to reaffirm the club and distance is right. It seemed like they needed that last bit of confidence before hitting.
The player would say something along the lines of: “Are you sure you like this club?” or “You feel confident with this number?” The caddie would always respond with something like: “Yes, I am dead confident just commit to the shot take a good swing.”
The players seemed to rely on that last confirmation from the caddie before being totally confident.
#4: More players throw clubs then you see on TV.
Remember when Rory chunked his iron in the lake at Doral a few weeks ago? Do you also remember how most of the players came out in support saying it’s fine and we all need that sometimes?
The reason they all supported him was because they all do it! It’s only on TV when Rory, Tiger, Patrick Reed or Jordan Spieth do it because they constantly have a TV camera on them. The other 125 players aren’t being shown on TV. Believe me when I say, the other players are throwing clubs around as well when they hit a bad shot.
#5: Some guys look like they woke up and put on same pants from yesterday.
Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Matt Kuchar. These guys always have nicely pressed pants and ironed shirts. This is not the case for everyone. Several of the players looked like they had rolled out of bed and put on the same pants from yesterday. Several players had wrinkled pants and wrinkled shirts. I thought it was interesting to see this as I always thought most golfers were wearing nicely pressed clothes for every tournament.
#6: They ask for rulings on the common golf rules.
Player A hits his second shot and it rolls off the green onto a sprinkler head. The rule calls for a free drop… So why does it seem like they need to call an official over to take a drop from a sprinkler head? It seems to me like they are doing it so they can put the ball in a better spot from where they know they should be dropping. I think it’s a joke to have to wait for an official for simple rulings and can explain why the damn rounds of golf take 5-hours.
#7: They looked super stressed on the golf course.
I don’t play golf for a living and I understand it’s completely different. But some of these guys are so uptight and looked so stressed on the golf course that it doesn’t seem like they’re having fun. The likes of Matt Kuchar are always smiling, but this is not the true personality of some PGA Tour pros. A big majority of these guys do not look like they are having much fun.
#8: The sound of a pure hit iron is awesome.
Sunday I spent my day standing on #7 and #13 at TPC San Antonio. The sound of these guys puring iron shots all day long is an amazing sound to my ears. I always look for that sound when I play golf and I can tell you I don’t hear it quite as much with my golf game. It’s just an awesome sound to hear and it just oozes solid contact.
So that’s it! Those are my 8 takeaways from watching a PGA Tour event inside the ropes. It was super fun and I look forward to next year! Let me know what you think below in the comments or hit us up on Twitter, @Front9Back9.