The European Tour is at the Irish Open this week and we sent a couple of our local sales reps out to play in the Pro-Am. Read their personal tales of playing a Tour-caliber course with Swede, Pelle Edberg. Pelle, known for his signature headband and for a pre-shot habit of licking his right pinkie finger, was a great teammate for the guys! More players are wearing FootJoy golf shoes (69%) at the Irish Open than all other brands combined.
Team FootJoy got a taste of life on tour Wednesday when Stuart, Adrian and Keith from the Acushnet Company Ireland office played in the Pro-Am before the Irish Open at Adare Manor. Our Professional was Pelle Edberg from Sweden, easily recognizable as he wears a large headband every time he plays. We were all smartly turned out in new DryJoys P.O.D.S. (Stuart and Adrian), while Keith was a little more adventurous in a pair of Ian Poulter-esque purple and white Classics. Pelle was more conservative in his white Classics...not often the Irish outdo the Swedes in the fashion department!
The format for the Pro-Am is the best single net score of the four players, which wasn't good news for a team whose handicaps are scratch, 3 and 6. However we did O.K., Adrian making a fantastic birdie 2 on the tough par three 16th, Stuart hitting the longest drive of the day on the 9th (a mere 310 yards) and Keith holing a ridiculous 40 foot putt on the 18th hole which was going into the river if it had missed. We finished in the middle of the pack with a 66, 6 shots behind the winners, but pretty good for three guys who work as hard as we do to get around the course. Pelle was great to play with, very helpful and keen to learn more about our shoes and gloves. His wedge play in particular was excellent, and it can only be a matter of time before he wins on tour.
After the game, we spent time on the range with our Tour team, congratulating the recent Irish Tour winners Peter Lawrie, Damian Mc Grane and Graeme McDowell, and catching up with the many Irish caddies, journalists and officials who are very much part of the European Tour circus. We also helped out our Club Professionals who are playing this week, making sure they had enough gloves, shoes and balls for the tournament.
We really enjoyed our day on tour, it was fantastic to experience a European Tour event from inside the ropes, and great to rub shoulders with some of the worlds finest players. Wonder who we will draw next year!
An absolutely fantastic day out on a magnificent golf course! Pelle was an excellent pro to be paired with and I think was quite glad to have a pro-am team that could hit it forward and in the air at the same time!! The course was in superb condition with the greens rolling extremely fast. It certainly took us all a little time to adjust from the green speed we would be used to. Great to get access to the tour truck and practice area and get a chance to see close up what goes on at a tour event. One thing which Pelle did mention which I was amazed with was that he uses an average of 9 balls per round!!
I would say the best hole is the 18th - par 5 over water but the fun really begins when you start navigating all the slopes on the green (as I found out). Probably the toughest hole for the pros will be the pa- 3 11th (at around 230 yds into a narrow green). The rough is also long and very difficult to control the ball from, so I think this weeks winner will have to be very straight off the tee with a silky putting stroke!! ( Really no different to any other week!)
Overall, it was an incredible experience. Something I will remember for a long time!