This week, we were excited to be a part of Lee McCoy's professional debut at the Memphis St. Jude Classic. We are also extremely proud to announce what will hopefully be a long relationship with Pepsi, who is amongst the great caddies in the game. Steve "Pepsi" Hale has been a long time caddie on the PGA Tour. He has some incredible experience with multiple Ryder cups and major championships, highlighted by winning the PGA Championship with Keegan Bradley in 2011. Pepsi got his nickname from hiding cans of Pepsi all around the golf course. He places them strategically behind trees and bushes in the days leading up to the tournament to not add extra weight to the bag while still enjoying the sweet taste of Pepsi!
When you're out on Tour you realize how strong the competition is, and the value of having a team along with the role each team member plays.
For the instructors Adam Porzak and Mike Pitt, our role is to watch Lee's pre shot routine, set up and stroke. Each component affects the other, so it is important to make sure that he remains sharp until the putt is on its way to the hole. If anything is off, we will offer our opinion and talk it through with Lee to make sure he understands, agrees, and is willing to trust the change.
As the caddie, Pepsi must give his opinion on the line and speed of the putt. More often than not, his purpose is to concur with Lee's insight, therefore, promoting Lee's confidence and commitment towards the shot at hand.
Tip: The caddie's role is crucial as we would rather have a player confident and committed to the wrong line, than unsure and uncommitted to the right line.
Lee, being the man to get the job done, must come to a conclusion as to how he is going to approach the shot based upon what he has heard from his coaches and caddie, but most importantly, trusting himself and his instincts to execute.
In the pictures you can see the team working together around the green. The coaches watch and give feedback while the player and caddie go through their game time process. This is a crucial part of preparation, practicing it on the putting green exactly as it would be done on the course come game time. Lee will take his time making his read, stalking the putt from many angles, and he may call in the caddie for a assistance or reassurance if needed.
Our mission here is to help golfers understand how the best in the world prepare, but more importantly to help our competitive golfers of all ages to understand the importance of going through "game time" moments. This will make practice more like a competitive round on the course, and in turn make competitive play feel more like practice.