Chat with Michael Collins
Welcome to Sportsnation! On Monday, ESPN.com golf writer Michael Collins brings his unique perspective as a former caddie into the chat.
Collins, who joined ESPN in August 2011, started his career as a stand up comedian and became a caddy by accident. He started looping for fun in 1999, but by 2003 decided to make it a full-time gig. He was the caddy for Chris Couch in 2003 when he won the Nationwide Tour championship.
Collins has never won an award for his writing, but he'll tell you that's probably because he failed high school English and still types with only his index fingers. But he's smart, funny and, most importantly, knows the game and what players and caddies go through on a weekly basis.
Send your questions now and join Collins Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
Michael Collins (3:00 PM)
Welcome to the fastest hour in golf! So this past week in Turkey 4 of the 8 players who teed it up wore shorts. Three of them won. Losers wearing pants included Tiger and Rory. You cool with a couple of events each year allowing shorts?
What's the upside to Tiger for taking Euro tour membership? Even if he plays all 4 wgc's, middle east, turkey he's still 2 events short (even with the new rules). Why do that?
Michael Collins (3:02 PM)
Appearance fees. Plain and simple, he can get $1-$2 million just to show up.All four majors, all four WGC's, Ryder or Presidents Cup, he's got 9. Now add Abu Dhabi, China, and Dubai and he only needs one start and he's covered.I don't like it... AT ALL.
Tom H. (Hartford, CT)
Which is a better win? Huh at the Mayakoba (with most of the top players at the Match Play)? Or Blixt at the Fry's.com (Falls Series event with none of the top 50 playing)?
Michael Collins (3:04 PM)
I'd say Huh's win was a little better caus it was so early in the year compared to Blixt who had the whole year get comfy... which he did.
steven in orlando [via mobile]
Hey Mike, hope all is good bro. Do you see 2013 as primarily Tiger vs. Rory and will they combine to win all four majors?
Michael Collins (3:06 PM)
All is good thank you. I don't see next year as a Tiger-Rory winning all four majors. If there's one thing I've noticed it's that as the talent level has risen it's gets much harder to win majors. They might each get one, but that'd be it.
Ever played a course in Japan?
Michael Collins (3:07 PM)
Never been to the far east, but it's on the bucket list
Tom H. (Hartford, CT)
Rookie of the Year -- Jonas Blixt or John Huh?
Michael Collins (3:09 PM)
John Huh and it's not that close. He made the Tour Championship which sealed the deal for him.
Is it just me or is Rory the best you've ever seen convincing everyone that "It only counts when I say it counts"? Kind of like the New York Giants. Loses by 6 shots to Tiger in Turkey and says No Big Deal, I wasn't ready. And it was so smooth!
Michael Collins (3:11 PM)
The irony is, he wasn't making it up. It didn't count for anything other than money in their pockets, and four of 'em wore shorts (which was AWESOME). Should he have taken it seriously? HECK no!
uri (la jolla (torrey pines))
hey mike, we met at torrey when you looped for omar, what would happen if the top 10 played a little tourny using old persimon, hickory shaft etc.
Michael Collins (3:14 PM)
Welcome Uri.Last year in New Orleans they had an exhibition where a few pros played with ol hickory shafted clubs for a few holes. If I remember correctly, NONE of them broke par.But you have to remember, golf courses nowadays are not built for that kind of equipment.
Tiger did NOT ever say he is going to consider Euro membership... when the reporter mentioned the changes all Tiger said was I will revisit it.... doesn't sound very convincing to me!
Michael Collins (3:16 PM)
If he said, "I will revisit it..." doesn't that mean he considered it in the past... which he also said. So to say he NEVER considered it would be a bit over the top.He would have in the past and don't think for a second he's not trying to figure out a scheduling way to make it work. There's ALOT of money at stake.
Kurt Baus (Appleton, WI)
I'm all for shorts at a PGA event, as long as there is a temperature stipulation like 90+ or something. I am tired of seeing some of these players drenched in sweat on the 18th. I both feel bad for them and want to vomit at the same time.
Michael Collins (3:18 PM)
I agree, except in Majors. I was at Southern Hills when it was 113 and the heat index was like 250. Nothing looks nastier then knee sweat on pants but at a major, I'll accept it.Tourney's like Hawaii and Memphis look stupid having guys wearing pants.
Ed (Long Island)
What don't you like about Tiger taking up the European Tour and getting appearance fees? If he has marketed himself and played himself into a position where people want to pay to see him play, why not take advantage of it? Look what he has done for the purses on the PGA tour.
Michael Collins (3:21 PM)
And look at the PGA Tour tournaments he could help if he played them here.See I don't have a problem if you wanna go play over there and take the appearance money, but then you shouldn't be able to double dip. You wanna go, go."Don't worry... CHEE BE BACK!!"
Looking at the majors schedule for 2013, I think Tiger might be out of luck next year unless it's at Augusta. Do you see Merion, Muirfield or Oak Hill suiting him? 2014 though, different story! Pinehurst, Royal Liverpool and Valhalla!
Michael Collins (3:22 PM)
Now you're using your noggin! And it's the same thing I said last year, but 2014 is different. The issue then will be health.
Seeing you have caddied, was there a player you really wanted to meet and when you met you were let down by that golfer?
Michael Collins (3:24 PM)
Big time. But I won't throw him/her under the bus like that! I still see him/her every now and then.And there was a golfer who I met and couldn't stand but now am really good friends with, because as time went by we both grew up a little bit.
Let the tour players wear shorts in Hawaii, maybe. My only worry is that if the dress code is relaxed, guys like John Daly are going to exploit it and commit felonious fashion crimes.
Michael Collins (3:27 PM)
As far as Joh Daly goes, HALF of his pants might be better (in some cases) than ALL his pants! HAHA.Seriously though, just like caddies are asked not to wear cargo shorts, I'm sure players would use good judgement when it comes to wearing shorts.And how many bad dressers are out there now? 5, 10, 20?
Not who is the biggest potty mouth, but who is the most "creative" with their use of foul language on tour? I don't like playing with guys that curse every other shot, but the occassional blue rant can be pretty funny if done right.
Michael Collins (3:30 PM)
I completely agree. And I'll be the first to admit I have dropped some language on the golf course totally inappropriate for a Disney movie. That being said, I love the South Africans because they curse in both English and Afrikaans, which is a hard core sounding curse. And some words sound worse than they mean. HArd not to laugh.
In regards to the courses suited for Tiger, I do not think Augusta falls under that any longer. He hasn't won there since 2005 I think - that will be 7 times he has not been able to get it done there. That being said, if he doesn't get #15 next season all bets are off on catching Jack.
Michael Collins (3:35 PM)
2nd twice, 3rd, 4th twice, 6th...Tell me again how bad he's playing at Augusta and how it doesn't set up for him?
Tiger can already make all the starts he wants on Euro tour (he's exempt through major wins) and app fees are better in Asia
Michael Collins (3:37 PM)
Yes, but what I want is for someone to declare where they're playing, and then play there. Cherry picking is not the healthiest thing for either tour when it comes to the top draws.
Why don't we see more pros (read: Americans) try to take up double membership in the PGA and Euro tours? Just not worth the travel/time? For a guy like Tiger, does appearance fees make all the difference?
Michael Collins (3:40 PM)
Well for Tiger, it also has to do with sponsorship dollars also, and deals for course design.I love Dustin Johnson as much as the next guy but I know he ain't doing commercials and designing golf courses in Egypt.
How many other events would love the deal fry's got with the guys who went to turkey?
Michael Collins (3:43 PM)
Well has Fry's or the Tour publicly come out and said exactly what the terms were?
Appearance fees are just "Ambassador Contracts" on the PGA tour.
Michael Collins (3:44 PM)
I don't know a business where "loopholes" aren't prevalent.
On the course, do caddies and golfers engage in social conversation or are they totally focused on golf?
Michael Collins (3:47 PM)
99.9% yes. 5 1/2 hours is a LONG day on the course and that doesn't even count the warm up or cool down.Most guys always find social stuff to talk about while walking or waiting to hit a shot.Subjects vary from movies and tv, to sports, politics (most avoid that one though), and of course... the opposite sex.
every see players point out a female in the crowd and go have the caddy / agent pick them up?
Michael Collins (3:51 PM)
can't vouch for agents, but I've seen players and caddies both get phone numbers... I won't say it was Thursday-Sunday... that would be unprofessional... sshhhh!!! if you listen closely you can here me giggling
Tiger had three solid rounds the last time he was at Muirfield. Just got stuck in that nasty storm during round three. Are you still ruling Muirfield out?
Michael Collins (3:52 PM)
Yes because since the last time he's played Muirfield his weekend game has become as unpredictable as the English weather.
Ed (Long Island)
Still not understanding your logic on playing Euro Tour. First the PGA tour probably likes the exposure of top players to a new demographic. Declaring one tour and playing on that solely, for what reason? If you can play both, play both. ESPN ever have analysts/commentators from other channels on their shows??
Michael Collins (3:56 PM)
Yes, but NBA players don't play in two leagues. Baseball players don't just play a few games in the MLB then go to Mexico for less money and appearance fees for a weekend series. Why? Because you want to protect your product. It makes it worth more. If you're the tournament director wouldn't you want the opportunity to have a guy at your event? Why am I putting up a 5 million dollar purse for the C class?
Michael, I agree with you on Tiger playing on the Euro Tour. Just look at last year. We missed out on him playing at Torrey Pines because of it.
And if Tiger's able to right the ship at Augusta, is that enough to give him confidence at Muirfield?
Michael Collins (3:57 PM)
Now that is the 20 million dollar question. If Tiger can win at Augusta this coming year, then Muirfield is a real possibility.
world ranking wise, is there a better rota of major courses upcoming? maybe augusta, the old course and pebble?
Michael Collins (3:58 PM)
NOTHING beats those three... but these are gonna be B+ compared to those A's
Who will be the next Ryder Cup captain? Why not Freddie Couples? Who cares about the President's Cup duties. It can't possibly take up all his time.
Michael Collins (4:00 PM)
Friend of mine wrote a great piece on why Tom Watson makes the most sense, it won't happen though.... cause it makes too much sense!
Michael Collins (4:01 PM)
As usual that went WAY too fast!!But if you need me...ESPNCaddie@gmail.comor@ESPNCaddie on TwitterLet's do it agin next Monday!!!Same bat time, same bat channel.Thanks all.