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Found 5 results

  1. In this week's ‘5 Questions' we chat to Bridgestone Golf's Director of Golf Ball Marketing, Corey Consuegra. Thanks for taking the time to share a little more about yourself and Bridgestone Golf with MGSers, Corey! Tell us a bit about yourself Corey - how long have you been with Bridgestone Golf? How's your golf game? What's in your bag at the moment? I have had the privilege of working for Bridgestone Golf for the past 10 years. Our brand has gone from “middle of the pack” in the golf ball category to the #2 position as a result of hard work and our efforts to better understand the needs of consumers/amateurs. Ball Fitting has allowed us to speak directly with the golfers that are the game's lifeblood and as such we have developed product for a wide range of players from the beginner to the weekend warrior, to the avid golfer and the Pro. Sadly, my bag is in the midst of a major overhaul. As someone who needs more forgiveness (10hdcp), I will be making the switch from the J40 CB's to our new J15 Dual Pocket. They look amazing at address, but the minimal twisting at impact will keep the ball online longer. As for the driver, I will put the new J815 in the bag, again for maximum forgiveness. From a personal standpoint, I live in Covington, GA and have an amazing wife and 2 children (7yrs old and 5yrs old). I am a die-hard baseball fan and love to be outside fishing, running, hiking and just walking! In the US Bridgestone has been better known as a tire manufacturer than a golf equipment manufacturer - how difficult has it been over the last 10 years to establish Bridgestone Golf as distinct from Bridgestone? As a division of the largest rubber company in the world, we have had great success being associated with our tire division. We collaborate closely on golf related efforts including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Performance Center events at 10-12 PGA Tour stops annually and for TV commercials with Matt Kuchar, Fred Couples and even David Feherty. At Bridgestone Golf, we leverage the parent company's expertise in rubber manufacturing and polymer science. In fact, we have 900+ engineers on staff who help with all facets of rubber development and that has helped Bridgestone Golf to create balls that fly farther, spin less off the tee, more around the green and be as aerodynamic as possible. At the end of the day, we are fortunate to be a part of such a unique and diverse brand. We use this to our advantage in all facets of our business and it is a privilege to be a part of an organization that puts its customers' needs first and never stops innovating. What can you share about the plans going forward for the North American market? In the US Market, we are studying consumers' needs and preferences closely, especially through our Ball Fitting program. Consumers are looking for even better feel off of all clubs without sacrificing distance and performance. There is usually a give and take relationship with soft golf balls for feel as they tend to sacrifice distance, but we are working hard to further engineer our core to deliver faster speeds while maintaining the best feeling compression level possible. As for our Ball Fitting program, we now have 25 teams around the US actively reaching 40,000-50,000 golfers annually. We recognize that there are millions of golfers around the US who need a custom fitting and may not be able to reach a live fitting. For this reason, we are expanding our online ball fitting program to be more accessible at retail and online. What makes our online program unique and different from others is the database constantly references live fitting data and compares your needs and information to people just like you to provide the most optimal fit. If you have not completed an online fitting, click here and see for yourself. What is the process like for developing new tech at Bridgestone Golf? Is there a lot of trial and error? Is there much transferability between what the tire manufacturing teams and the golf teams work on? Great timing for this question. Our new Tour Prototypes have just arrived here in Covington and we are actively testing. We immediately take the first versions (3-4 models of each) and test with our PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Champions Tour professionals. During the same time frame, we gather consumers from our Ball Fitting Database and conduct “amateur” testing for maximum data. Once complete, we share this information with our R&D Team along with recommendations for changes and improvements. We will go through this process at least 2-3 times before finalizing the model. At the end of the day, we want the product that hits the shelves to be the best it can possibly be for the end user. This process is expensive and tedious, but critical to creating the best performing golf balls possible. Can you tell us a bit more about the Hydro Core in the B330 series? How is it supposed to improve performance? In 2014, we introduced HydroCore technology to our B330 series. This technology was created by an engineer who substituted water (H20) for another substance used in “baking” the core. Water was intended to be a substitute or additive but actually provided great benefit. It delivered a softer core center than prior generation and a firmer outer region. The direct benefit was a lower spinning tee shot from the softer center while the firmer outer region would produce more speed. The combination resulted in longer distance. Making the core softer or the core firmer is not innovative. Anyone can do that, but what made the HydroCore center unique is that we were able to do both with a new formulation and baking process.
  2. 1925 was a heck of a long time ago. Fitzgerald published “The Great Gatsby,” Lou Gehrig started his legendary consecutive game streak, the Mt. Rushmore museum was dedicated and Elver Lamkin wrapped his first leather grip. Lamkin, of course, belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of grip manufacturers - either as George Washington or Teddy Roosevelt. And if you're talking legendary streaks, you could say Lamkin is the Iron Horse (or even the Cal Ripkin) of grip makers. 90 years later Lamkin is still getting it done, and it's still All In The Family. There's perhaps not a more iconic grip in golf than the Lamkin Crossline. If you're reading this you've probably swung a club or two in your time and it's more than likely one of them had a Lamkin grip. 2015 marks the 90th anniversary of Lamkin Golf a company that has truly stood the test of time and continues to look towards the future. Today's five question's is with a man truly proud of his family name, Lamkin's President and CEO, Bob Lamkin. 5 Questions 90 years in business is a pretty epic accomplishment, especially for a family business. How has keeping it “all in the family” kept Lamkin going? What are the keys to your longevity? Well, that's really simple… our family name is on every grip we make so we are exceptionally critical of how our product is developed and manufactured. That has always been a very strong motivator for Lamkin to make the best performing, longest lasting and highest quality grips in the business. It's a real source of pride for our family. As for our longevity, and this is also very much a part of keeping it in the family, the company has transformed itself with each new generation. My grandfather started by making leather wrap grips in his garage. He was a true pioneer at the time because no one else was making grips for golf clubs. Then, my father led another crucial transformation for the company when we started using rubber materials in our grips. For a leather grip company, this was a very risky and bold change, but he kept the company moving forward. Again, with each generation, the company has experienced a sort of ‘rebirth'. Another key to our success is that we pride ourselves on being good listeners. We very much want to know what our customers need and want, and will go to great lengths to ensure that Lamkin is their grip of choice. Seriously though, is playing the wrong size grip really killing us and what's worse, too big or too small? I think that might be an overstatement, but I do believe that playing the wrong size grip absolutely impacts a player's performance. And, more importantly, it may be affecting their overall enjoyment of the game… and they don't even know it! There are so many women, for instance, using the stock undersize grips installed on most women's clubs, but a big percentage of those players don't necessarily have ‘undersize' hands and they should be using a standard size grip. Very often, playing with the wrong size grip will force a golfer to use too much grip pressure to compensate for their poorly fit grip. One is not worse than the other (too big or too small). Typically, I tell golfers that are slicing to use a smaller grip so they can increase their hand action. And, for golfers that are hooking, I recommend using a larger grip to slow their hands down. I also believe that grip sizing isn't a perfect science. We recommend using hand measurements as a starting point. After that, it's important that every golfer finds the grip that feels most comfortable and allows the ideal light-pressure grip. What challenges do you face today that you didn't have to deal with 25 or even 50 years ago? The rate of product innovation has accelerated to a mind-blowing pace over the last 15 or so years. There seems to be this unspoken rule that a revolutionary, ‘game-changing' product needs to be launched every few months, every year at the latest. At Lamkin, we rely on a continuous improvement model to ensure we're producing the most functional, innovative and durable grips available, and that certainly has helped the brand maintain its leadership position. How have the recent financial issues within the Golf Industry affected the grip business? What does it take to keep a golf business ‘in the black' in the current environment? Historically, even during the most ‘challenging' dips in the golf industry, Lamkin has been fairly well insulated from market volatility. When golfers aren't buying as many clubs, for whatever reason, they tend to invest more in regripping. And, when they are buying more clubs, we benefit from supplying premium manufacturers with the grips to put on those clubs. As for staying ‘in the black', we are a bottom-line driven company and keep a very sharp eye on spending to ensure we stay profitable. More importantly, though, we work very closely with our customers. Whether they are purchasing a million grips or a single grip, we never lose sight of the fact that they are the most important contributor to our success and longevity. Exceeding their expectations has been and will always be our top priority. What makes a good grip? What is the biggest innovation in golf grips over the past 90 years? Any secrets you can let us in on as to the future of the golf grip? A good grip: There's really no magic formula because different golfers like different types of grips. One golfer may love the feeling of a cord grip, another golfer might hate the feeling of cord. It's incredibly subjective and individualized. In the end, if a golfer plays more comfortably, confidently and consistently with their grip, then it's a good grip. Biggest Innovation: Moving from leather to rubber and then to synthetic rubbers. This was a big game changer and allowed us to improve durability, bring costs down, add new cosmetics and colors and provide a much greater level of ‘feel' consistency from grip to grip. Future of the Golf Grip: I believe the next big development in grip technology will come in the form of another material advancement. At Lamkin, we are always researching and testing new, non-endemic materials that will provide golfers with functional performance benefits. ------------------------------------ Thank you so much again to Bob Lamkin for taking the time to answer these for us. Written by:Dan Mann
  3. I recently caught up with Matty Du Plessis, who you may better know as MD_18UndaPar. He may be only 11 years old, but he's already somewhat of a celebrity with a significant following - and for good reason. As at the time of writing, Matty had 5,457 followers on Instagram (MD_18undapar), has been featured in print and on newscasts, and now he can add MyGolfSpy forum 5 Questions feature to his already impressive golfing resume. We know you're busy so thanks for taking some time out to speak with us Matty! How did you get into golf, and when did it get serious for you? I have always been around the game. Got my first couple of clubs around 2 yrs old. Was just doing what was I guess normal golf stuff. Couple lessons, meet new friends, play 9 and have fun. I only got serious this spring, that doesn't mean I stopped having fun, it just means I got serious about having fun. I was in the back field hitting a couple balls. Each shot I would imagine was for a big trophy like Bubba at the masters from the pine straw. Or Phil at the Masters, from the pine straw. It then hit me, what if you play, could you birdie every hole. That's when the obsession began. Tell us about the ‘12 foota' videos - is there something special about that distance for you? What made you decide to do the ‘Stop, Drop and make a 12 Foota' video? Why 12 foota - cause for me it was the toughest distance mentally... and I wanted to own it. The season was over and had to run errands with my Mom who likes the shops so decided to get to work. Like dodge ball if you can dodge a spanner you can dodge a ball. So if I could make a 12 foota in a parking lot I could make it when on the course. I was finding that many times when hitting from the fairway or out of the bunker or pitching from thick rough I would land 12 feet from the hole. You're home schooled. How do you balance your school work with golf and travel? What are the major challenges? Have you met my mom? I fit in Bookwork where ever possible. Lots of projects, meeting with experts in their field. Like I am keen on robotics and engineering so spent sometime with Arnold Du Toit from RolleyGolf. Getting the swag game right and things like that I like, and have been fortunate to hang out with Rick Buchanan from Biionfootwear. Both great gentleman who really have passion for what they do. Each time I get to spend time with them, I feel like I have learnt a bunch. So I either gopro the time I am with them, make a vid, write a report, journal what I have learnt and when I need school credit, bam son it's already done! There is a syllabus that I must complete so a bunch of these things are extra. The fun part comes in doing the extra. Or at least that's what I am finding out right now. You've clearly got some talent with the flatstick - how's the rest of your golf game? What's your handicap at the moment? Areas you need to focus on? I need work on everything. But making everything work. I have just started to focus on hitting 6 shots. Low, medium and high draw and low, med, high fade. Draws are easier than fades for me. My fades are more like straight pushes. I am working on leveling my hips and shortening my backswing. Will start thinking about distance control probs around July. It's really fun making the ball move. It's like 3D puzzles for me - stuck behind a tree there is only one way out. You say this is what I have to do to have a chance and then bam! Out of jail. You find your way back to the fairway and go... did you see that? please God did anyone see that?! But you know what I am saying anyways. But if I can be a little better everyday then it has been a good day. Love the lab, love the links. I enjoy hanging at the short game area and now that I have time on my side I gotta get the most out of it. What are your golf goals for this year and for further down the track? For this year, I am getting ready so break my personal best of 108 holes in one day. I did this last year in summer solstice and raised a bunch of money for charity. That would be really cool if I can do that. The other thing I am working on this year is try and birdie every hole at my home course in less than 41 days, that's how long it took me last year, and see how close I can get it to 1 (day). I am hoping that some other golfer(s) who love the game and are charitable would join this challenge. Cause it doesn't matter if it takes all season, a month or a week. I am learning when you find something you love and can benefit others then it's like "gravy on a biscuit." As for aspirations for golf, I wanna shoot 54 at home and the go try and shoot 54 on the best courses in the world - St Andrews, Pebble, Quechee and what other courses do you think should be on the list? I don't know about pro or college. If it happens or if I choose a different path, then I will be ok with that. I really just wanna focus on getting better everyday. Videos, they're pretty cool. I like fooling around with my GoPro and trying different things. This Christmas I got a remote control car from my Uncle and a helicopter so gonna see what happens when you mount a gopro to them. I don't always know what is gonna happen when I pitch up and sometimes when I do, something cool happens. I first started taking pics and stuff so my family, in Capetown could see what I am up to and now with social media credit for school it just seems cool to try and use Vine, Instagram, Twitter or Youtube. Always keen for a banter as they say - that's where a lot of my ideas come from for vids or challenges. Thanks for this opportunity. It's been great. --- Thank you Matty - you're certainly an inspiration!
  4. This week's “Know Your GolfSpy” profile is GolfSpyMBP - MyGolfSpy Equipment Reviewer & Digital Media Strategist. Check out what he had to share with us below! Was Golf part of growing up for you? The year was 1980, I was 7, the Padres still wore brown, yellow & orange and my shorts barely covered my ass. Our family had a summer home just south of the border in Birch Bay, Washington. My brother and I would hunt for snakes in the hillside behind our place and one day he stepped on something not reptile; it was a small, white dimpled ball. Upon returning home dad informed us it was a golf ball. Apparently beyond the tall grass and barb wire fence lay an 18 hole tightly mown mecca of joy. So we had the ball, now we need to try the golf. Our neighbor gave us some random clubs to cut down (think I had a 5 and 9 iron), we joined the junior club late that summer and got into the group lessons before heading north. That winter was terribly long because all I could think about was getting back and playing this golf. The following summer we started playing the tournaments, yes, I had a lot of apparent natural ability. I won once and the season produced my first birdie as well. That birdie is burned in my mind too. During the second tournament of the year we're on the third hole which is playing about 300 yards for me. The hole is perched on top of a hillside with a rolling drop off running the entire length of the right side. I slice a drive that goes about 160 and I'm a good 30 yards off line half way do the hill. From there I hit a miraculous 3 wood that barely trickles on the front of the green. Next thing you know I'm rolling in a 50 footer for birdie, that in my mind must have broke 15 feet, but I'm sure if was only 5 inches of break. The following year I won all tournaments in my age class, 4 maybe 5, including the Junior Boys 8-10 (or 12 not sure) championship. That course doesn't exist anymore, but my real claim to fame does. I'm on the Fraserview Golf Course Junior Club Championship trophy from when I was 17 and had to beat out some real talent that year. The last time I did anything substantial in a tournament was 1999. I'd maybe broke 80 once all year and was sitting at a 12 handicap. Bunch of us roll out on a late September weekend for our favorite annual fall tournament; The Autumn Leaves Hope Open. There's just something about that course that makes me feel comfortable and I shoot 74-75, yes... with a 12 cap. Geez, I was even going into 15 on the final day. Ooops. My net score was so low I guess they didn't even consider it come prize time because they awarded it to the second place guy. We quickly called to their attention the minor clerical error and I got my due lol. Crazy weekend, my buddy I drove up with won low gross as well. We both picked the biggest prizes and somehow managed to get two 25 inch CRT TV's into the back seat of my lowered, 2 door Honda Accord. Remember CRT TV's?! I've basically lived my last 20 plus years of golf in my once great childhood memories. Pretty much haven't played to better than a 8 cap at best since. It's made for some frustrating times because you believe you can pull off these great shots, but you've formed so many bad habits it's just not going to happen. I finally sucked it up this year and took lessons, if I stick to everything I worked on in 2014 I can see some great golf in 2015. [D. Mann showing off his trophies and on-course style] Why golf? What is it that you enjoy the most? What are your golfing ‘pet peeves'? I never know how to answer this one… Why golf? I'm not going to give you some philosophical answer about the ultimate quest to get the ball in the hole either. It's just addictive and I love everything about it. Early mornings, fresh cut grass, playing exotic locations, all the gear & equipment (I'm becoming a serious gear junkie) and the social aspect; I can play with anyone, anywhere, regardless of skill level. Think about it, you can be a 32, our buddy a +1, me a 10 and we all have to get around the course the same way. The +1 one may bang his head against a tree waiting on the 32, but ya'll still got to spend a day out together. Ahhh can you feel the love? And dude! I got to meet you in Hawaii because of golf. Seriously, no matter race, religion, ability, dietary beliefs or if you like the movie “Man of Steel” or not; we're all human, all equal and we can all golf together. BTW, Man of Steel is a grossly underappreciated movie, I watched it again yesterday. I can't forget the moments I've shared with my wife on the golf course either. Oh and there's a story in itself. We were married on Master's weekend 2007. That Sunday after all the festivities we were sitting at a restaurant with our friends who had come into town and Zach Johnson was cruising down the back nine to victory on the TV's. As you can imagine I was distracted by the annual Augusta drama, when Nidine turns to me and says “I guess I'll have to take up golf or I'm gonna be a golf widow”. She took her first lesson that week and we've played almost every weekend since. Spent my honeymoon at kapalua playing every day too Oh a Pet peeve? Ball marks - fix your damn ball marks people. Golf is clearly a big part of your life, but what else have you got going on? (Job, Hobbies, anything else interesting that we don't know about you) A first glance I read that as “don't NEED to know about me” and boy you would have loved what I just erased. The day job is Quality Assurance for a digital media agency specializing global interactive marketing. We do websites, strategy, branding etc for some pretty big name clients. Nothing goes out the door without passing by my desk for approval. This isn't always a good thing either as it becomes a rather stressful position because if there's one mistake all eyes are back on you. As for hobbies I'm into lots of A/V related things like TV's, home theater, headphones etc. A big former hobby of mine was custom show cars and trucks. My wife's a wedding planner on the side. So I guess you can call me a wedding planners assistant, as I seem to end up helping set up every gig she gets. I'm very proud of my work in the area of cupcake-cake building and presentation. You've become well known for your ability to create things – design, images, etc – are there any tips/tools/secrets you can pass on to help all of us make our own threads look more professional? Keep all your photos the same size and scale. Nothing kills an article or review with photos that are all over the place. Tall one here, wide one next, then a little tiny one. I think we get the picture. Oh and proof read your copy people! I took a peek at a review on another site last week and could barely get through the first 2 sentences. I think there were 2 spelling mistakes and not to mention a blatant disrespect for grammar and the English language in general. Really if I was the company being represented I wouldn't be happy. With your photos you want to shoot in as much light as possible. If you can get outside or next to a window with lots of natural light even better. Nobody wants to see your grainy, blurry, irregular size, shaky cam pics. Oh and for every 10 pictures I post in a review I've taken 100 to choose from. It's digital you can always delete. What are the strongest and weakest parts of your game right now? Top 3 goals for the 2015 golf season… go! ...We'll circle back with you at the end of 2015 to give you a performance rating Seriously? We're going here? The only thing I can do with an consistency and well is putt, I'll toot my horn (brrrrrph) I'm rather good at it. Chipping's always decent, my irons are hit & miss and the driver has a tendency to do horrible, horrible things. With that said I may have found a new friend in the G30 Goals Break 80 every time out consistently shoot 75 by end of season Break par You have a 5-year 13-club sponsorship contract (excluding putter and ball) with one OEM - who do you choose, and why? Who supplies your putter and ball? Way to put a guy on the spot…. Isn't this MyGolfSpy? Aren't we brand agnostic or something? Fine… Well currently putter wise Odyssey is supplying the putter, but that could change by the weekend. I just keep going back to those soft, white inserts. Balls… I'm gonna hear some groans from the peanut gallery, but I've had my most success last 3 seasons with the Wilson FG Tour. 13 Club sponsorship? I'm going to say Nike just so I can be in commercials with Tiger and Rory. Is there any particular review or article you're most proud of this year at MyGolfSpy? I get excited working on everything I write and each has a special place for me. Sometimes it's the way the photos turned out, or a product that dramatically changed my wife's putting. I really loved the Tiba Putt this year and I can see that really picking up good traction in the training aid segment. Heck even Hank Haney retweeted and commented on our review. But if I had to pick one it would be my part of the work on this year's Holiday Gift Guide. X asked me to help produce it again and I tell ya, what you see on the blog is pretty damn close to what I'd envisioned from the get go. You'd never believe I shot that in the lunch room at work, would ya? Thanks for sharing with us MBP! (check out the straight arm on that shot from 1982... great form! ...the shorts... not so much...) If you have any questions for Dan, please ask them below and I'll bug him until he answers!
  5. In this week's “5 Questions” installment we go undercover with SpyZinger, MyGolfSpy's resident Apparel guy and unofficially The Best Looking Man in Golf. Check out what he had to share with us below! I understand you have a pretty interesting day job? What is it and how did you get into that line of work? How do you balance work/golf/family? [Laughs] I suppose some folks would find how I pay the bills, interesting. However, the job I enjoy the most, the one that is most important to me is the one I do on the evenings and weekends. Being a father. I can tell you exactly what I did to get into that line of work, which starts with a velour bathrobe, and Brian McKnight music. [Zinger scratches the facial hair on his chin, tilts his head and pauses for approximately 30 seconds.] I've got a six year old girl and two year old boy that have become my life. You don't really understand what people tell you about parenthood until you're actually living it for yourself. People would tell me that my golf would be impacted with kids. They said I'd play less and would have to refocus my priorities. While that was true to some extent, especially in the beginning, I figured out a way to combine both passions. I introduced my daughter to the game around the age of three, and my son is already interested in it since he's interested in everything his sister does. I set out to lay a foundation for golf which is focused on “fun.” I bought them a bag and set of clubs, “like dad's.” I started out by bringing my daughter to the range, and showed her some of the basics on my own. I gradually incorporated private instruction from a PGA Professional. After she could make reasonable contact and could make the ball fly somewhere, I brought her right on to the course with me. I play my game, then her course starts at the 100 yard plate on each hole. Although I want them to be successful, and will continue to provide the means to do so, the focus isn't about being good. It's about having fun. It's about doing something together, active, and being outside. At first, I would worry a bit about having a five year old sitting next to me on a golf cart, clubs in the rear basket, during a 9 a.m tee time on a Saturday morning. Rewind 7 years ago, the sight of teeing off behind something like that scene would drive me nuts. So, I am conscious of that, so when you play with dad on the big course, it's fun, but it's got to be focused and fast. Today, I wouldn't have it any other way, I am at peace when my kids are with me out on the course. People talk about the importance of growing our game now more than ever. I guess this is how I am doing it, and it's been working out pretty well. How did you get involved in golf? And when did you realize that you were the best looking man in golf? My father introduced me to the game, much in the same way I am introducing my kids to the game. My dad was a fire fighter, and played in a weekly department league. He would bring me along, letting me play the par three holes and drive the golf cart. You know, there is a theme at the Whisper Rock golf club in Scottsdale, AZ, the one Phil Mickelson designed. The club motto is, “It's all about the hang.” That saying really embodies the approach my dad had with me, and the one I am trying to incorporate with my own kids. It's about being together, having fun while doing something you enjoy. I [officially] joined the MyGolfSpy staff in October, 2012. I've been a part of the internet golf forum community since 2004, beginning with “Golf Opinions” and the infamous, “Bombsquad Golf.” I remember reading equipment reviews that made absolutely no sense to me. It seemed as though everyone on the internet was a plus handicap and drove the ball over three hundred yards. It was almost as if writers had something to prove and created this fantasy of magical equipment with fabricated results. I began writing about my own personal fittings and equipment experimentation as a 12 handicap, chop-hack. The response was amazing, and the discussions were real. Guys would come out of the woodwork to comment on my posts and equipment projects. The content was real, and something a lot of guys could relate to. The formula of, here I am, this is my game, and these were the results seemed to be the secret everyone was looking to read but didn't want to admit it in public. I wasn't a staff writer, just a member of the site putting words together. It didn't matter what I said, or what the results were. If I thought the club or shaft was terrible, I just said it. It was the equipment I purchased, and this was my game. Take it or leave it. In many ways, this was the spirit in the design of MyGolfSpy. TMZ meets Consumer Reports but for the golf industry. The site appealed to me because it was exactly what I wanted to be reading when it came to golf information and news. So one day I sent Golfspy X an email, two years later I am still around. Best looking guy on staff to this day. To answer the most important question you've ever asked anyone. When did I realize I was The Best Looking Man in Golf? How do beautiful people know they are beautiful? People tell them. Let me ask you this, Brad. Have you ever run into someone in golf that comes close to challenging my title? Maybe Harry Arnett over at Callaway? Possibly Dave Cordero down on Fermi Court? The little rat bastard himself, Jose Miraflor (on a good hair day) from Cobra. That's the short list. In all seriousness, the title was derived from an interview I did with Meghan Hardin after her appearance on Golf Channel's, Big Break. At the end, I jokingly asked her if I was the most attractive golf journalist she's ever met. Who asks that anyway? I do. Given the discussion, the question fit the context. Since that time, I have assumed the self proclaimed title, and have yet to meet anyone that has questioned it. Mostly because it's the truth. You come across as a pretty fashion-conscious guy – what's your take on the golf apparel industry and the rise of smaller brands we've seen lately? Much like equipment, the golf apparel industry is dominated by what you see guys wearing on T.V. It's also the most readily available at big box retailers, and can be found with the deepest discounts. The golf apparel segment is easy to enter, but tough to sustain success. I hear this all the time when I present brands selling shirts for $150. “Why would I buy a golf shirt for $150, when I can find last season's Nike or Adidas for $20 on a discount website.” They're usually the same guys buying equipment that are one or two product cycles old as well. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and figuring out what works well for them and their budget. It's also just more of the same thing, in a different color. You'll blend in with everyone else on a Saturday afternoon. The smaller companies are making attempts to differentiate themselves by offering something that is off the beaten path of the constant normal in golf apparel. There are a lot of brands that are doing the different thing really well. Alial Fital for example, they took the common golf shirt, and threw a dress-shirt collar on it. They look amazing, and the fit is fantastic. Q.E.D. managed to come up with a golf shirt that could be worn to a Vegas nightclub or on a golf course. That's actually pretty tough to do, and in my opinion, they nailed it. Iliac Golf is another one of my favorite niche brands that people seem to either love or hate depending on the day. These brands are differentiated by being different, unique, and are usually being driven by an identifiable individual with a passion. The guys that are doing it right, are offering something a little different from a design approach. You're not going to look like everyone else, and chances are you'll be the only one at your club with that shirt or those pants. There seems to be a definite push by the smaller companies to offer “lifestyle” selections that can be worn on or off the course. So while they may cost a bit more, you can wear them on the course, to work, or out to dinner without looking like you are wearing a golf costume. What's important to consider for you when considering purchasing golfing apparel? What tips do you have for all of us? I believe that the fit and presentation of the apparel is just as important as the design. This can be a challenge when purchasing from the smaller brands since you can't try them on in the store. I recommend finding three brands that appeal to you from a design standpoint, and then figure out which of those fit the best. Don't be afraid to try something new or spend a little more than you're used to. If you really like the fit and design, its added cost is worth it. Just because you are a Large in one brand, it doesn't always apply to the next brand. Once you find a brand that fits just right, with designs that appeal to you, stick with that brand. It will take a lot of the guess work out shopping. These companies usually have something new at least quarterly. You'd be surprised by how much you can differentiate your look within the same brand as the seasons change. Don't be afraid to reward yourself with new selections in your wardrobe. After all, you deserve it! That old golf shirt in the closet looks old because it is. Get rid of it and keep fresh. Don't be afraid to fine tune something that fits pretty well into something that fits perfectly. Find a trusted tailor in your area. Trust me, they're not just for suits or dress clothes. A tailor can turn something that fits “pretty good” into something that was made just for your shape. Taking in the waist and length of a pair of golf slacks can make a huge difference in their appearance. Finally, just because they're not labeled a “golf apparel” brand, doesn't mean they can't be worn on a golf course. There are two companies that are rarely seen on a golf course that make incredibly functional clothes for golf. Lululemon Athletica and The North Face are two of those brands. Give either of them a look, and you won't be disappointed. If they had a place in the golf apparel market, they would be in my top five golf brands for sure. You've played at some pretty great tracks. What are your top-3 courses you've played and what makes them special? When I think about some of the courses I've played, it's not just about the course itself, but who I was playing it with. Also, how I played the particular course plays into that a bit as well. It's tough to pick out just three, but I believe I can narrow them down. Olympia Fields: I was fortunate to attend the U.S. Open with my dad at Olympia Fields in 2003, the year Jim Furyk won. I was living in Seattle at the time and flew into Chicago to meet my dad there for Father's Day weekend. We got there early and sat in the bleachers on a particular hole waiting to see Tiger. It was the first time we had seen Tiger in person at a golf event. Being a spectator at a major championship sucks. Following Tiger Woods in his prime at a major? Forget it. So we decided to camp out and get a great position on a green so we could see the greatest player to walk the earth for about ten minutes. Anyway, Tiger was about three groups away, so my dad decided to grab us lunch while I saved the spots. Tigers group came and left and my dad never came back. I went looking for him and found him kneeling by the tree and he said he was having an acid reflux attack. Fast forward a week, and my dad was having open-heart surgery. He was having a heart attack while I was watching Tiger play in the U.S. Open. Despite those circumstances, we had a special weekend together for Fathers Day. Ten years later, I got to play Olympia Fields with MyGolfSpy courtesy of TaylorMade Golf, and go through a fitting at the Performance Lab. To be able to play such an historic course that was a special part of my life with my dad was one of the best golfing experiences of my life. If it were not for this great site, MyGolfSpy, I would probably have never had the opportunity to play Olympia Fields. Southern Highlands: I had the opportunity to play Southern Highlands, just outside of Las Vegas this past October. It was arranged [again] by TaylorMade Golf, and was part of the launch of their new RSi irons. Southern Highlands is in a beautiful spot with fantastic views. It's also probably one of the best conditioned courses I have ever played on, the course is immaculate, and the clubhouse is spectacular. Heading into the trip, I was a bit nervous because I was going to be playing with guys from TaylorMade as well as a few from WRX. Sure, I am a plus handicap in the looks department, but I am never sure what will show up as far as a golf swing goes. Yes, I am a 12 handicap, and should expect some bad shots, but I didn't want to chop it around those guys. I ended up shooting an 81 which would have been a 79 if I pared 18. It was the adjusted net low round of the day. It was probably one of the best rounds of my life with irons I just put in the bag the day before. It was so relaxing and enjoyable to be playing well. We did play 36, and I'll leave the details of my second round out of this interview. But I was glad to put on a display that proved I was more than just looks and muscles. Troy Burne: This is the course I call home, and get to play it weekly. It's about a half hour east of the Twin Cities in Hudson, WI. It's a Tom Lehman design and probably the best public access course in the area. What makes this course special is the priceless time I get to spend on it with my friends and family. Every Saturday, I find myself playing it with either my dad, my kids, my friends, or a combination of them all. The course is always in fantastic shape and the layout of fantastic. But what makes this course special is the time I spend on it with the people that mean the most to me in my life. How's your golf going? What do you see as your strengths/weaknesses in your game at the moment? And, what are your top-3 goals for the 2015 season? I am at a point in my life where I have comes to terms with where I am in golf. I get to play one day a week, and that day is usually Saturday morning. That's my day to practice, play, and talk to my good friend, Ryan about equipment industry. I have to fit all of my golf into that concentrated period of time. So, what you see is what you get. There is little time for practice or improvement. After I arrive, it's time to find a swing that will work, and head to the first tee. If my kids are along, practice time turns into getting breakfast and using the potty. I tweet a selfie (for my fans) and the ball is in the air. One of my greatest strengths is that I do not allow the poor shots to affect me mentally. Sure I get frustrated, but I do not allow my play to affect my mood or enjoyment of being at a place that I want to be. I am on a golf course, the sun is shining and I am with people I want to be there with. I rarely let a sideways shot impact my mind. I've never thrown a club or sworn on a golf course in response to poor play. I mentioned my weakness earlier, it's simply that I do not have the time to dedicate to getting better. But one of the areas that is the weakest specifically is my putting. That needs to get better for lower scores, but it's the most unenjoyable for me to practice. It's even something I could do at home. I need to devote time to correcting that to lower scores. The putter fits, it's the guy using it that needs some work. Let's see, my top three goals for 2015? Continue to exposing my kids to the game of golf. Providing them with the opportunity to play if they choose, and the means to do so. Putting. If I want to improve, that's where I need to start. I am considering taking the AimPoint class and working on the fundamentals they prescribe. That's a start anyway. Work on playing the game rather than testing equipment. For once, I would like to put a bag together at the beginning of the season, and just forget about equipment. Just focus on the game, hitting shots, and trusting the bag rather than thinking about equipment. If I can accomplish those three things, I think it can be an enjoyable and successful 2015.
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