Derek joined Iain Clarke from Cleveland Srixon Golf for the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Follow his diary working on the tour truck preparing for the big event.
Sunday 24th June
Collected Iain Clarke, the top man on Tour for Cleveland and Srixon from Dublin airport on Sunday morning and headed up North. The Cleveland Srixon Tour Truck was en route from Cologne where it had been the week before.
The Tour Trucks all arrive at the course on the weekend head of the tournament to get their respective players ready for the week of play. The week at The Irish Open was logistically a bit of a nightmare as all 8 trucks are parked across the road from the course in a hotel carpark. A nice dry spot but it’s a good 2000 yard walk to the range where most of our work as tech reps takes place.
Once the truck gets parked and powered up we arrange all the heads and shafts ready for a week of clubmaking – Tour style. We then take a walk around the course and check out some of he green speeds, bunker depths and rough. Then its off to the hotel in Coleraine for a bit of dinner and some rest ahead of a busy week.
Monday 25th June
Monday is a mix of building new 1 and 2 irons and stronger lofted hybrid clubs, to deal with the wind and course set up. Keegan Bradley dropped by the truck with his caddy “Pepsi” and Eddie McGrath from Britvic presented him with a Cork jersey, he loved it. Inside the Tour Truck is also great for testing putters so Clarkie showed off a few new putter designs that he is working on for the players. Then it’s off to dinner with Ross Fisher, Denis Pugh and some of the Horizon Sports guys in downtown Portrush.
Tuesday 26th June
Tuesday is a bit of the same with special wedges for Mark Murphy who drops by the truck to get some new wedges set up for the course. Shane Lowry loves a new 58* wedge so we grind and set up lucky new one for him. Iain hooks them both up with some new sole grinds on the high lofted wedges and I get a chance to get some training on a new grinding technique.
Myself and Clarkie then have tore-shaft a broken 3 iron for Shane and head out onto the course to watch him play and I take some notes on his clubs and ball flight. We hook up with Shane’s coach Neil Manchip and the fourball is Shane,Paul Waring, Joel Sjoholm and Thornbjorn Olsen another Srixon staff player. We follow the guys for 14 holes and stay on the course until 7.30pm. I have a late dinner and arrange for a 6.30am start the next morning to work on some clubs for Graeme McDowell.
Wednesday 27th June
Wednesday is Pro-Am day and our last day to get all our work done. I see Harry Diamond on the range and get him a new 58* wedge to use. I see Mark Murphy and check his wedges are all good to go. We help Gmac hand out some freebie Srixon hats, balls and clubs to some of the spectators while he signs what looks like a million autographs.
Mix in a few meetings to do with ForeGolf business and locking down the Cleveland/Srixon Tour Truck ready for its trip to the boat and onto France and that was in a nutshell my work at The Irish Open.
The highlight of the week was hooking up with my good mate and Big Break winner Mark Murphy and having the craic on the range with him and Mikael Lundberg.
The guys entertained the crowd with a range of trick shots and the fact that Murph made the cut with his ForeGolf clubs and took home 6,000 euros in earnings. Result.
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Cleveland Srixon Golf Tour Truck Iain Clarke The Irish Open