What's Inside The TaylorMade Tour Truck
If you’ve been fortunate enough to see a manufacturer touring truck in person, you will have surely been impressed by the magnitude of the vehicle. Mirroring the size of an artic lorry frequently residing in the left lane of a motorway, you can begin to hazard a guess at how useful a truck this large would be for the golf industry. Packed with player specific shafts, heads and other accessories, the tour truck is the cog that allows professional tournaments to take place so conveniently.
They’re not exclusively used for tour players, however, and staff from the brands often hold promotional days which allow otherwise non-existent access to the truck. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the TaylorMade Tour Truck and I was like a kid in a sweet shop.
There are four steps to negotiate before you enter through the metallic door, where you are met with an environment that wouldn’t look out of place at your secondary school’s design technology department. There are several vices attached to different areas of the truck - which serve different purposes such as grinding - ensuring there is limited waiting time for the players during competition week.
I was able to get some time with Daniel Morris, a TaylorMade employee who holds the role of Experiential Manager, Western Europe. Wordy, I know. For anyone infatuated with golf, there aren’t many better career routes than working within the sport and Daniel’s job takes him across the continent. “To be honest, I obtained this job by being in the right place at the right time,” he tells me.
His employment coincided with the surge of custom fitting, which didn’t pick up traction until the mid-2010s. “I’ve been with the brand since 2015, where custom fitting was certainly just on the way up. It’s a great brand to work for and if you put the work in, the company will certainly support you in regard to where you want to go within the business - they are a brilliant company to work for.” It would appear that TaylorMade don’t exclusively create ground-breaking equipment, they’re also a fantastic employer.
The TaylorMade Tour Truck
Back to the tour truck and boy, is it impressive. I was accompanied by two amateur golfers who had just been fitted for the TaylorMade Stealth Driver (they were being built as we were on the stationary vehicle), so you can imagine how excited the duo were. Daniel answered their questions expertly, as he showed us where all of the equipment is stored. Each container has the name of the TaylorMade sponsored players, where their custom-fit accessories sit, awaiting to be unleashed at the next tournament.
The big question is how the tour truck operates during competition week, and there are two answers for this, dependent on the prestige of the tournament. For standard tour events, the truck’s commitment to the competition typically finishes before the first ball is officially struck. “If the truck is pulling into the British Masters, it will generally roll in on a Sunday afternoon but it has to be in a certain position because of the hydraulics of the trucks, so there’s a lot of planning and logistics that are thoughtfully executed.”
Once they’re parked up and deemed to be on even ground, a team of three will usually arrive on the Sunday evening, where they will be expected to remain until Wednesday. “The tour team from TaylorMade is generally a trio (builder, fitter and a hybrid of the two) and they’ll head to the range to see if any players need servicing and see what is currently happening.” Typically, a Sunday is a quiet day for the group and work won’t start until the following day. The players will then have until Wednesday to adjust their clubs or even introduce new equipment into the bag - although that’s rare and usually requires a ‘bedding in’ process.
The eve of the tournament is where the work is done for the TaylorMade trio, who will be busy preparing travel for their next event. “The team will then go home and fly where they need to be and the truck will pull out on the Wednesday late afternoon/evening, before moving over to wherever the next tournament is.” That is a standard week for TaylorMade employees on both premium tours but working on a major championship is largely different and more intense, which ironically mirrors the experience of the players during those weeks.
A Major Championship Week
Daniel used The Open Championship as a reference tool for major weeks and as you will see, the process is amplified dramatically. “The tour truck will arrive a little earlier during The Open, on the Saturday afternoon,” he states. As you can imagine, players will want to be on location as early as possible for a major; walking the course to identify where to miss before playing a few practice rounds is essential preparation.
To help further ready their players, TaylorMade ensure their presence is there as early as the Saturday to be on hand for the endless requests from the competitors. “The team will work Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The difference here, is that the truck historically pulls out on the Wednesday, but it will stay until the Sunday as it’s such a marketing asset to have on the range with the attendees and the television audience.” Have you noticed the truck at any of the majors? Considering the volume of viewership around the globe, these weeks are excellent exposure for the brands - which justifies their elongated presence.
There are other benefits too, best highlighted by Jordan Spieth at Royal Birkdale. “One of the most iconic videos from the last few years has been Spieth taking a drop between the TaylorMade and Titleist trucks, when he’s getting his line of sight at Birkdale, which is one of the reasons why we keep the truck there for the whole duration.” We may not have had that iconic moment if it wasn’t for the two trucks associated with TaylorMade and Titleist, and that incident has ensured their long-term attendance for the foreseeable future. Additionally, at least one team member will hang around in case there are any breakages to equipment, which would be disastrous during competition if the entire group vacated.
If you’re attending an event or even The Open at St Andrews later this year, you may want to wait around these trucks to catch a glimpse of your favourite players. Considering they glide in and out of these vehicles, there’s a strong chance you might spot a major winner. If you’re hoping to gain access to the truck, however, that’s sadly not possible. “The only way the public will be able to see the truck is days like this,” Daniel informs me. “It’s not something that has always been readily available, we generally do 2/3 events a year but if having a truck can help another department in the company, we jump at the chance of assisting.” So, if you’re hoping to get yourself on a TaylorMade or another brand’s truck, you’ll need to keep a keen eye open for certain days.
I know you’re also eager for me to reveal if Daniel has been in close contact with any of the players, and the answer is yes. “Week from week, I won’t get on the launch monitor with Tommy Fleetwood or Tiger Woods,” he comments before a slight chuckle. “But certainly at the office there will be times where you’ll see the players. I’ve seen Dustin Johnson and even Jon Rahm when he was contracted with us.” When I quizzed him about his dream encounter, there are no prizes for guesses. “I haven’t met Tiger yet, so that’s on the to-do list for sure.”
The TaylorMade tour truck is a fascinating experience, and if you’re a fan of professional golf, you’ll receive great delight in being so close to the equipment of superstars. Emulating a working environment that has been installed on a truck is not something that I was expecting, but I gained a greater understanding into how much work the TaylorMade tour fitters are tasked with. Considering that the difference between winning and losing can be a matter of yards from the fairway, the builders are under severe pressure to ensure every degree is correct. If you’re interested in visiting the TaylorMade tour truck, then follow Scottsdale Golf who regularly host these experiences.
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