Inside look: How crews fine-tune equipment for their golfers in time for tournament play

John Deere Classic

TaylorMade tour van is a one-stop shop for pros

Players hit practice rounds all week preparing for their first round.

That’s when some of the crews behind the scenes hit the peak of their work, like the equipment crews.

Local 4’s Tahera Rahman gets an inside look at what the TaylorMade team does.

“We’re like a Nascar pit crew,” says PGA Technician Wade Liles.

But swap out the race cars for golf clubs.

“We show up at every golf tournament, we work the practice rounds– Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and we’re able to re-grip the players’ golf clubs, do lies and lofts or literally build them a brand new set of golf clubs,” he says.

That’s all from the TaylorMade tour van.

“Re-grips takes about 30 minutes, lies and lofts about 30 minutes, and with the Taylor Made curing soles in here, we’re able to actually build a whole set of golf clubs in about an hour for the guys,” Liles says.

He works with an assistant to make any and all tweaks.

“Time is of importance when we’re only here for three days before the tournament starts, so we want to make sure we get the clubs done quickly so the players can take them on the golf course and make sure they work,” says Liles, who has been driving the double decker bus for more than two decades.

Big names include Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods.

This week’s athletes include Matthew Wolff and Colin Morikawa.

“Our two young studs that we just picked up are really doing well. It was Matthew’s third start, I think, and he’s already got a victory,” Liles says.

The truck carries more than $100,000 worth of TaylorMade heads alone.

That doesn’t include other equipment like shafts, weights, and tools.

“I take inventory of hats, balls, gloves, all our Taylor Made heads and I just have them shipped from the office on a weekly basis. So, I’ll probably have shipped maybe 100 heads a week that we go through,” Liles says.

All of that, to make sure their golfers can walk onto the course ready for that “W.”

“We put a lot of minds at ease out here, also, when a player isn’t playing that well and we’re able to build him some stuff and work with him a little bit on the range and get his confidence back,” Liles says.

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