John's Journal...

A Week Outdoors Hunting and Fishing with Boo Weekley

Boo Weekley and His Supporters

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Thomas Brent “Boo” Weekley of Jay, Florida, one of the nation’s top professional golfers, is also an avid hunter and fisherman and often takes his rods and reels with him as he tours the world on the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour circuit. In 2007, Weekley earned $3 million in tournament winnings. So far, this year, Weekley has won over $2 million. This week, we caught up with Weekley at the Brewton Country Club in south Alabama. “We’ll reach the golf course before it opens and fish in the ponds,” Weekley reveals. “Then about 10:00 am, I’ll start practicing for my upcoming tournaments.” Today, Weekley is ranked number 8 in the PGA points standing.

Question: Boo, who are your sponsors?
Weekley: I’m sponsored by Mossy Oak, BackOffice Associates, Vicious Fishing and Firethorn Golf Apparel (my clothing company). Of course, Cleveland golf clubs and Titleist golf balls also sponsor me. Too, I’m sponsored by G-Loomis rods and ShimanoClick to enlarge reels. 

Question: How important is your caddy?
Weekley: A caddy is very important to a PGA touring pro, and my caddy’s extremely important to me. He’s my right-hand man and another pair of eyes on the golf course that helps me see things I may not catch. To have a good caddy, you need a level of trust between you and your caddy. The caddy lets you know what’s going on around you at a tournament, which is really important when you’re focused on the game. There are a number of elements that make up a good caddy. Most people who watch the PGA on TV don’t really see the importance of a caddy to the players. You can pull anybody off the street to be your caddy and play good for a period of time. But if your caddy isn’t doing his or her job, being consistently successful will be more difficult.

Question: Who’s your caddy?
Weekley: My caddy is Joe Pyland of Milton, Florida, and we went to high school together.

Question: What makes Joe such a good caddy?Click to enlarge
Weekley: He likes to work. If a tournament starts on Thursday, we’ll get to a tournament site on Monday. When we arrive, Joe will take a laser rangefinder and shoot the elevations; he’ll step the greens off and roll some balls on every green to figure out in which direction the green is going; and he’ll know which part of the green is faster and slower for every hole. He walks 5 to 7 miles a day, every day of the tournament, studying the golf course. When he starts carrying the bag during a practice or a tournament, the bag weighs about 30 to 40 pounds. If it’s raining, we have all our rain gear in the bag. If we’re just goofing off in practice, the bag only will weigh 20 to 25 pounds. A good caddy works as hard all day as a mule pulling a plow, but he also has to be really smart and understand the game, the grass, the moisture, the distance and all the elements that come together to create the game of golf. Too, Joe believes in his heart that we’ll win every time we tee-up a ball. He believes in what I’m doing, what he’s doing, and what we’re doing together.

Question: What do you do when you reach a hole, and you have a difference of opinion with Joe as how you should play that hole?Click to enlarge
Weekley: We get together and discuss the shot before I hit it. Joe’s my partner. We’re in business together. Whenever I win, Joe wins. Whenever I lose, Joe loses. He gets a percentage of my winnings. If we finish in the top 10, he gets 10% of my winnings. Outside of that, he gets 7% of my winnings. If we miss the cut, he gets his base salary, but he pays for his own motel room, food and other expenses on the road. So, if I have a good week, Joe has a good week. When I won $1 million at the Verizon Heritage Tournament, Joe earned $100,000 for that week. That’s not a bad week. Joe’s at the tournament to win just like I am. He and I have to work together for both of us to win.

I’ve had several caddies over the years and done well with most of them. But Joe’s kind of like my favorite shotgun, rifle, fishing rod and tackle box. When I’m hunting or fishing, I want my favorite things with me. And when I’m on the golf course, I want my favorite caddy with me. Joe’s more than just my onboard computer; he also knows how to keep me relaxed and in the best frame of mind to play the game of golf. Joe has the ability to keep me on an even keel when I’m practicing and playing. The game of golf is 75% mental and 25% talent. Joe’s a big factor in my mental attitude.

Tomorrow: Boo Weekley and the Day an Alligator Almost Ate Him

Check back each day this week for more about "A Week Outdoors Hunting and Fishing with Boo Weekley"

Day 1: Boo Weekley – All-Around Athlete
Day 2: Boo Weekley and the Beginning of Bass Fishing
Day 3: Boo Weekley and His Supporters
Day 4: Boo Weekley and the Day an Alligator Almost Ate Him
Day 5: Boo Weekley Has the Heart of a Champion


Entry 465, Day 3