No Football No Problem


Editor's note: Michael Collins has been a stand-up comedian for 15 years and has more than seven years experience as a professional caddie. He currently covers the PGA TOUR as a correspondent with XM Satellite Radio and takes his turn on The Turn Mondays on GOLF CHANNEL.
Well boys and girls, now that football season is over golf is all we've got! March Madness doesn't start for another month, and no one really cares about college basketball until tournament time. That means right now is when those of you in the northern and middle parts of the country (ALL of Canada is included) are turning on the TV and HATING on the PGA TOUR.
Last week Pebble Beach had its best weather in years (thank goodness I'm an idiot and took the week off because I was sure it was gonna be nasty). This week the boys are in Los Angeles and just in time for the writers strike post party! Thank God, too, I was having a hard time NOT being funny (I heard that snicker ya smart a--es!).
So I've gotten a lot of great emails from all of you wanting me to write about various subjects. Most requested of all is wanting to know what it's like for the middle of the pack players out here on TOUR as far as travel and expenses go. How glamorous is it? What do the regular guys do off the course? Etc., etc.
Here goes my best shot at it:
Now, there's a bunch of different types of guys out on TOUR, married with kids, married, engaged, girlfriend, and single.
Let s start with the married with children fellas. These guys have it the hardest, especially if the kid(s) are under school age because mommy doesn't want to stay home with the kids while daddy is out partying. Even though daddy's not really out partying, that's how mommy feels being stuck at home with a couple of screaming kids, and when daddy calls and says he's just getting ready to sit down at a restaurant with a couple of players and caddies.
The problem is, for the guy who is just inside that top 125 number, you don't wanna spend the money on flying the wife and kids around because it gets REALLY expensive - it can cost over $150K depending on how many kids you ve got (and it's a NIGHTMARE for a woman to fly alone with kids). And you just can't go blowing through the endorsement money which won't come close to covering all the expenses for the year. You might not be back next year so you gotta squirrel that cash dude!
So what do you do? Well, some guys buy a bus/RV. It's relatively inexpensive - $300k for a nice one (yes, I ve been in a couple of the $2 million ones) that the family can live out of, and if you have to go back to the Nationwide Tour the next year you've got it covered. There are a bunch of guys that do that and park next to each other so the wives and kids can play together while daddy's at work . Wives love it 'cause they don't have to find laundry mats, kid friendly restaurants, and the other guys you're parking next too and hanging out with are going through the exact same thing that you are.
Upside: your house is with you, home cooked meals, no packing and unpacking every week. Downside: No 'you' time; miss a cut and there's no pack up and start fresh somewhere else; you may NEVER EVER complain about a bad meal; and what, go out with the boys - I dare you to try!
Married guys with no kids have it a little better ($150K-450K expenses per year). Wife travels with them to some of the tournaments; DON'T bring 'em to the events where you have an ex-girlfriend. You can go out to dinner, parties, movies and always have a date.
Upside: Your soulmate is by your side every step of the way. Downside: Some soulmates are A LOT more expensive than others. Depending on the crew your wife runs with out on TOUR, she could start spending more than you're making; and when you're not particularly playing well that advice she gives could make you wanna hide her body in the trunk of your courtesy car. You can't just tell your wife to go home and get a damn job!
Engaged guys ($100k-$200k): They are heading towards the same boat as the married guys but THEY really believe that their girl is gonna be different than the OTHER married guys girlfriends. I ve only met one so far that may hold true for, but only time will tell.
Single guys with girlfriends ($90k-$150k): This may be the second hardest of all the guys on tour. Why you ask? OK, let's say you're a rookie on TOUR. Fly your girlfriend out - $450; stay in a nice hotel suite for the week - $1500; restaurants, room service and entertainment - $1000; meeting a chick at the tournament that's even better looking and wants to hook up with you at the next event when she's not out with you - PRICELESS! See, every week your girlfriend is not out with you, really hot girls are gonna try and hook up when you're out with the fellas (and most caddies will not help the situation as they're trying to hook up with her good looking friend) and you have to behave because she's gonna call and ask how your days been and if she hears girls or a bar atmosphere in the backround, well you better have a jewelers that delivers on speed dial. Or maybe you kept that other girls number!
Single and ready to mingle!! ($80k-$130k) The hardest thing for a single guy out on TOUR is remembering to play golf. So many distractions - and not just girls; club manufactures, clothing reps, and even other guys who've been out for a while. It is so hard to remember what got you out on TOUR when everyone and they're mom is telling you that your poop doesn t stink anymore and you are gonna get to try the newest, secret, shaft, club, ball, putter, blah, blah, blah. And yes the women. WELCOME TO THE BUFFET!!!!
You know what? Even at the bottom - even if you only last a year out on tour - it was still a great ride!
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