Trucking on the PGA Tour, With 72,000 Pounds of Equipment By ZACH

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Pete Bezuk wanted to build golf clubs. His first employer, Titleist, sent him to truck-driving school.

For a month, he learned how to coax a big rig along seaside cliffs and leafy back roads on the routes to many of America’s most idyllic golf destinations. Typically, he pulls up to the driving range. Then a 42-foot trailer becomes a mobile equipment factory, and for three manic days, he and nine other Titleist technicians cut, bend, hammer, and grind clubs to any taut specification a player might desire.

This became Bezuk’s strange life on the PGA Tour.

“It takes a certain type of person to be able to drive a truck and fix a club,” Bezuk said. “But we get to go to some really nice places.”

As the golf season winds down with the four-tournament FedEx Cup, beginning with the Barclays tournament, which ends Sunday, here at Bethpage Black, another long year will culminate for the players. It also means the end of a commensurately taxing grind for the support crews that trail the pros at every turn.

And the biggest among them are 72,000-pound semitrailers, like the ones commissioned by Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway and nearly a dozen other golf brands, ubiquitously looming in the background for all the tinkerers on tour. Most fans never see them; they usually arrive on Sunday and depart Wednesday afternoon, headed toward the next tournament destination. In between, there is about 45,000 miles of driving per season.

Most of that is done by technicians like Bezuk who never imagined their careers would have them behind the wheels of tractor-trailers loaded with

 Wade Liles, who has handled TaylorMade’s tour truck since 2000, learned to drive it in the company’s parking lot after the company hired him to replace grips on clubs.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s