Last Updated Jan 13, 2011 1:24 PM EST
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- As of this week, I'm officially on the job in Hawaii as a rookie on the PGA Tour. And like a lot of new jobs, it's exciting and also somewhat overwhelming as I try to learn the ins and outs of how to get things done, who does what, and where I need to be when.
It took me a while but by the end of last year on the Nationwide Tour, I knew pretty much everyone there -- the agents, the club reps, the physical therapists. Now I'm essentially starting over and there are a heck of lot more people involved. Before, I knew I could go to one Titleist rep and he'd help me out on everything from getting a new club to ordering a new hat. On the PGA Tour, they've got reps for everything. Need a new putter? Go see the putter guy. A new wedge? Then the wedge guy will take care of you. It's great -- but it means a lot more names to memorize.
Fortunately, I've already made friends with a tournament official and I'm pretty sure he's going to be one of the keys to my survival. There is a team of these operations guys and they know everything there is to know. For example, after I had been here for a day I realized that I wasn't getting any tour updates via text messages on my phone. You see, all the players can choose to get their tee times, schedule changes, finishes, and other important information by phone, email, or text. I called up my new friend and five minutes later my phone started buzzing.
There are certain logistical questions you need to figure out, too, like where the locker room is and where you eat. Nobody wants to be the guy walking around looking like an idiot. Side note: The food is amazing on tour. (My current favorite is the Hawaiian "fruit boat." See photo. I've already had two.)
Another perk to playing on the PGA: I get to practice with big-time tour veterans. Yesterday I played with Fred Funk, who's been playing on the PGA longer than I've been alive. We also played with Steve Marino, Chris Riley, and Jerry Kelly, who won this tournament in 2002. Jerry gave me a valuable tip: Always carry a Sharpie. He was right. Later that day we encountered a huge group of 10-year-girls. They had no idea who I was but they all wanted my signature.
All in a day's work.
I was supposed to play my first round today, but so far the rain seems bent on delaying the big event until tomorrow.
Want to know something about life on the Tour? Ask me in the comments. And if I don't know, I'll just ask my new operations man.