Don’t get too close!

One of the highlights for many club professionals is the hosting of PGA events and generally the bigger the tournament, the more outstanding the field. At the BMW in 2012 , Crooked Stick hosted one of those outstanding fields; the top 70 tour professionals competing on the second leg of the Fedex Cup. Rory McIlroy was the eventual winner with runners up, Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood. During the days leading up to the opening round of the tournament, the tour pros all utilize the facilities at the course for extensive practice sessions. This was a good opportunity, my boss said to get all the visiting pro swings on camera so that we could use the database for instruction. I was assigned video duty and had to approach the players & caddies to ask permission to video one swing for the club. As a professional for the host club for the tournament, I was generally well received but there were a few funny stories. One player, who I won’t name, refused saying he was not swinging well and didn’t want his swing captured at that point in time. Lots of light hearted banter about what I was videoing followed (the tour pros have a great sense of humor BEFORE the tournament). It was with some trepidation that I approached Tiger and his caddie, Joe LaCava. After introducing myself and explaining what I was doing for the club, LaCava says “You can, just don’t get too close”. I responded “why?, is Tiger going to tackle me? Tiger overheard and laughed and said “No, it’s not me you’d be worried about, it’s the 3 guys behind you” Tiger was great though, he made sure I got the video I needed. As a general rule, the tour guys are really personable – the constant attention & media might be challenging at times but ultimately they are regular guys that happen to play golf as their chosen profession.