My morning is finally coffee in hand, and a couple stories have been filed so it must mean it’s time for a few random thoughts on the Blog.
As a journalist you try to be as impartial as possible but every now and then there’s a story that has a more personal aspect.
I have to say I was pretty excited this past Saturday when Kingston’s Matt McQuillan qualified for the final stage of PGA Tour Qualifying to be played early next month. Having known the 29-year-old since he was a preteen, he has always been like a little brother to me and we have shared some fun golfing moments through the years. I’ve been around him at junior tournaments, amateur tournaments, club championships, major Ontario amateur championships, the Four Nation’s Cup, the Canadian Amateur and countless professional events, so seeing him finally get his shot at a PGA Tour card is pretty gratifying.
There were plenty of ups and downs in those years, just like there is on any road of a professional golfer. Good play, poor play, decisions about colleges, whether to leave school to turn pro, and the endless pursuit of funding to keep the dream alive. Through the years I even managed to caddie for Matt a few times. It was a nice treat for me to be there inside the ropes but I can’t always say it is the best situation for a friend to be looping at big events.
A caddie is somebody you need to lean on, maybe not often in the event, but it helps to have one who has experience and that can be trusted. In the most extreme situations, even though a friend may fit that description, you need a real professional to keep you on task.
It looks like McQuillan will have just that in his corner on December 1-6 as he vies for a PGA Tour card. Through a few friendly supporters in the industry it looks as if Gary Matthews will be on the bag for McQuillan at Q-School.
Most golfers will not be familiar with that name but almost everyone will know who his regular boss is. That would be former Players Champion, Sergio Garcia.
“It should help a lot to have somebody with his experience there with me,” said McQuillan about Matthews who has also looped for Camilo Villegas, Tim Clark, and Michelle Wie.
I won’t reveal exactly how the arrangement came about, but let’s just say there are a few golf industry (as in, around the tour) people in McQuillan’s corner that happen to share a nation of birth.
I’m glad to see Canadians supporting the process of getting more Canadian players on to the top golf tours in the world.
Of note, McQuillan told me he will be playing a few of his practice rounds at Orange County National with Ty Tryon. They have some mutual friends and became acquainted while McQuillan was playing the various Florida mini-tours over the last few winters.
It was over two years ago that I played a round of golf with Kim Braly, the man behind such golf shaft innovations as the Project X shaft and the wildly popular KBS Tour shafts that have quickly developed into a major player in the steel shaft market. One of the topics we discussed back then was a possibility of him developing a stepless shaft under the KB label.
That day he alluded to the genuine possibility and just over a month ago got a hands-on look at the KBS Tour Stepless Prototypes.
Playing to approximately 130 grams (variance in various flexes) this low launch shaft with a satin finish has a lot of characteristics that many low index players who hit the ball hard are looking for.
I got to spend some time testing a set of these shafts yesterday in a set of TaylorMade R9 TP B series heads and have to say I was left impressed. Not only did they deliver in the stability and low launch department but they had one thing I always felt was lacking in other stepless designs, feel. Braly has once again ensured that feedback was not compromised in achieving flight characteristics and based on that, when these shafts debut in 2011, they should be a winner for the company.
No release date has been determined yet but we will be sure to update you when we hear one.
As some of you are aware Flagstick co-hosted a GolfWRX.com webinar with Titleist Craftsmen Bob Vokey on November 16th. In the end, I did not have a lot to do but feed questions electronically to Titleist GM of Golf Clubs, Steve Pelisek. Peli was rolling with the questions for Voke so by the time the hour was coming there was not really much more that we needed the Quebec-born golf club design guru to add in. I have embedded a copy of the conversation below for those who missed it.
For those golfers looking to learn more about the forged composite technology that Callaway Golf will be using in a few of their 2011 product lines we will be participating in a GolfWRX.com chat with their R&D team on December 3rd. See GolfWRX.com for more information and and how to sign up or submit a question. We’ll provide more links and news on that event as it draws closer.