There were other options. He could wear pants, or maybe even a bandana to conceal the cell-phoned sized device, an ever-present reminder of how far he has fallen and how badly he wants to make things right.
But the time for discretion has passed. That option vanished from the table on June 11 when Robert Floyd was booked for driving under the influence for the second time in three years.
For Floyd, the youngest son of Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd, the alcohol-monitoring device that will be strapped to his left leg is a reason to be optimistic, not ashamed. And if the device requires he answer a few uncomfortable questions then so be it.
“I thought about trying to hide it, but it goes against everything that I’m trying to do,” said Floyd, who begins a new job as caddie for Robert Allenby this week at The Barclays.
(Listen to Rex Hoggard discuss Floyd on 'Morning Drive.' Click here and forward to the 3:15 mark.)
Floyd, 35, has had a lot of time to think about the career he let slip away, about the pain he has caused his parents, but mainly about where he wants to go from here. Thirty days of house arrest can be terribly cathartic. And if a caddie gig doesn’t exactly sound like the promised land for the one-time amateur standout consider the path Floyd took to Allenby’s bag.
Floyd was a two-time All-American at the University of Florida, played the Nationwide Tour in 1998 with some success and is no stranger to PGA Tour leaderboards, like in 2008 when he found himself one stroke off the midway lead at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. But a back injury sustained during a pick-up basketball game at Florida and a “day job” as a south Florida real-estate agent to support his young family took its toll on his golf.
There was also the drinking. In 2008 Floyd was charged with his first DUI in Jupiter, Fla.
“When I got the DUI in 2008 it was a wake-up call and it lasted a few weeks,” Floyd said. “Then I got divorced in 2008 and I kind of spiraled. It just caught up to me.”
Rock bottom arrived on June 11 along a stretch of Interstate-95 in West Palm Beach, Fla., when Floyd was arrested for his second DUI following a night out with some friends. The case is still pending and Floyd is not allowed to give details about that day, but what has transpired since has changed his life.
“I was looking at jail time, still am based on the second case, so what we proposed to the court is that I continue follow-up care and I volunteered to wear an alcohol monitor,” Floyd said of the device that will be attached to his left leg this week at Plainfield Country Club. “It’s accountability. I’m not proud to be wearing it, but I’m proud to be where I’m at.”
During his house arrest Floyd watched two majors, the British Open and PGA Championship, with a surprising amount of interest and listened to the very public testimonials of Robert Garrigus and David Feherty, who have both been outspoken about their own struggles with alcohol and drug addiction.
“With (Garrigus) and with me the talent is there, for me something has been missing. I had a lot of success in college and early success on the Nationwide Tour and to read Robert’s story it was motivating. Look what he’s doing now that he’s gotten his life back together,” said Floyd, who says he has been sober since June 11.
“It gave me a chance to look at my life and realize I never really gave golf a complete try.”
During a publicity tour last week in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Floyd got a chance to see the Wanamaker Trophy and PGA champion Keegan Bradley. “It was really cool to look on there and see my dad’s name on there twice (for winning the 1969 and ’82 PGAs),” Floyd said.
Ultimately Floyd plans to play again, and views his stint on Allenby’s bag as a sort of reintroduction back into the game. He’s caddied before, for Jesper Parnevik as well as his father, and has been friends with Allenby since the two met playing Nationwide Tour events in Australia in 1998.
“He took me under his wing and we’ve played a lot of golf together so this should be a lot of fun,” said Floyd of Allenby, who is currently 58th on the FedEx Cup points list which guarantees him a spot into at least the first two postseason events.
Showing up this week at The Barclays, alcohol-monitoring device and all, is an important first step, for both Floyd and his parents.
“My parents have been unbelievable, they have been 100 percent supportive of me,” said Floyd, a cast member on Golf Channel’s “Big Break Indian Wells” this year. “It has got to the point where I’m proud of where it got me to turn my life around.”
It’s a reality that made Floyd’s decision easy. There will be no long pants, no bandanas and, most importantly, no excuses because this time there is absolutely nothing to hide.