We use the same clubs they do, wear the same clothes and copy their attitudes (we see you, finger-waggers). But what about the reverse? Are there any ways tour pros act like amateurs?
Our unscientific survey of US PGA Tour players at the 2016 Travelers Championship:
Use a ball washer?
Yes 33% No 67%
“I’ve never used one of those things,” Patrick Rodgers says dismissively. Adds Colt Knost: “I don’t think you even see them out here anymore.” The pros’ preferred method is a damp cloth, ideally employed by someone other than themselves. “I’ve used [the ball washer] on my golf cart,” says Martin Laird. “Sometimes, when I’m playing at home and my caddie isn’t there to do it for me, I will.”
Use plastic ball marker from the golf shop?
Yes 9% No 91%
Course-provided ball markers scored the fewest “yes” votes in our survey. Typical was Jon Rahm, who used the same coin for nine years before recently switching to one from his alma mater, Arizona State. Jason Gore was among the few who have no problem playing with plastic. “I probably have one right now,” he says. “I was just in Nantucket last week and haven’t cleaned out my pockets.”
Buy a shirt at the golf shop?
Yes 42% No 58%
Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman will buy one if it’s a memorable course, but they won’t find Chez Reavie among the shirt racks. His answer: “No, no, no.”
Wear sneakers while playing?
Yes 46% No 54%
Some might laugh, but Andrew Loupe sees benefits of training in trainers. “If I’m working on my balance, yes,” he says. “You don’t have as much grip on the ground, so if you’re working on your balance, it’ll force you to swing in control.”
Get a hot dog at the turn?
Yes 69% No 31%
Rahm, a Spaniard, had one once – during a practice round at Oakmont during last year’s US Open. Rodgers always has one at his home course. Martin Piller is more of a connoisseur, considering only top-notch dogs. “Depends on the course,” he says. “If they have good hot dogs, yes.”