TaylorMade's Mark Thistleton talks life in the European Tour bubble
The Challenges Of Running A Tour Truck During Covid-19
The UK Swing is up and running and it should be business as usual for the tour truck staff with players needing new clubs and their current ones serviced.
However, the European Tour is operating in a strict bubble to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and that has has made it slightly more challenging for the tour reps to best fit and service players' equipment.
Related: TaylorMade on Tour: Behind the scenes of the UK Swing
We caught up with TaylorMade's European Tour Rep Mark Thistleton who explains what life is like in the European Tour bubble...
"As it stands right now we can’t have anyone on the truck so nobody can come on and see it.
"As it stands we’re only allowed two tour reps per event and no one else other than TaylorMade employees are allowed on the truck so players and caddies are calling from the truck door if you like and we’re kind of going outside and having a discussion with them there, coming on and sorting out whatever they need.
"It’s definitely been difficult.
Related: TaylorMade On Tour: The Players
"A large part of our job is the relationship with players. Shaking hands and interacting, that’s a huge part of the job.
"So not being able to greet the guys, especially when we haven’t seen them for so long has been difficult.
"Quite often we’d have players sitting in the back office and we’d talk about statistics or football or something and it helps form the relationship with the player, getting to know them and their games better."
With TaylorMade's headquarters closed during the Covid-19 lockdown, the company's tour staff were unable to test new products and instead had plenty of time to practise with their current clubs.
Wedges were flying off the shelves once the offices re-opened after players spent a lot of time honing their short games.
Related: TaylorMade On Tour: The Gear
"Our offices here closed down so we couldn’t send out products. The players knew and understood that," Thistleton said.
"As soon as we gave them the message that we were back to work there was a flood of orders come back in, especially for wedges particularly because the guys had been doing a lot of pitching in their back garden or around a green or whatever so wedges were heavily worn down and they were being ordered by just about all of our players.
"As far as testing new products, not really not until we got back last week and there was a few guys looking to change and tweak things.
"It’s obviously a lot easier when we can be with them and watch the ball flight and talk through exactly what it is they need as oppose to over a phone call or a text message."
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