On Monday afternoon at Olympic, I walked Nos. 1-8 with Charlie Wi and Alistair Presnell during their first practice round. Which, of course, was very interesting, especially to hear Charlie and his caddie Mark Urbanek talk strategy and game plan for each hole. Wi’s instructor’s Andy Plummer, one-half of the Stack and Tilt swing (along with Mike Bennett), also chimed in with his insights. So did Presnell’s caddie Tim.
I took a bunch of videos and pictures — I figured you guys would enjoy the real “behind the scenes” look of how a Tour pro prepares for a major, especially at such a tough track.
Above, Mark talks Charlie through his approach shot on the difficult par-4 No. 4.
Here now, Charlie and Mark talk strategy on the 6th tee.
As promised, more behind-the-scenes videos and pictures…
No. 5 is a 500-yard downhill par-4. By the 4th green, Mark and Tim were having a caddie moment about how difficult it is to get your player to NOT pull driver on a hole that long. Alistair doesn’t carry a yardage book, so he doesn’t put up a fight. Tim tells him what club and points to the target and Alistair hits. Charlie likes to talk it out more (if you haven’t noticed) with Mark. In fact, Charlie and Mark might rival Phil Mickelson and Bones in that department!
Well, they had a nice little chat and Charlie didn’t put up that much of a fight (to my recollection) and gladly hit 3-wood. Mark is VERY comprehensive, so I think Charlie trusts him. It’s also an art to talk your player into stuff like that. If you’re really good at it (a la Joe LaCava), you make them think it’s their idea.
Alistair’s caddie Tim explains to me the strategy for the tee shot on the difficult par-4 No. 5.
Here’s me and Andy Plummer chatting about the third green.
The run-off area by the 4th green…
Wrong tour, Charlie!
Andy discusses the setup and strategy for the 7th hole.
Alistair tried to tell me he hit a 7-iron on No. 8. I hadn’t looked at the yardage, so I didn’t blink, but he quickly told me it was actually a 3-iron. As you’ll see, Charlie tries to tell Alistair that I play and actually know golf, etc., but then it turned into my favorite backhanded compliment.
Crap, they’re kicking me out of the media center…I’ll upload the pictures when I get back to my room! Sorry!
Update: I decided to create a separate post for the pictures. Makes more sense, no? Go here.