SAN ANTONIO – It's hard to play a good round of golf without a good set of clubs, but thanks to a group of hardworking professionals in their own right, the pros playing in the Valero Texas Open wont have to.
Lined up along the practice green on Wednesday at TPC San Antonio, massive trailers from Titleist to Taylor Made, were armed and ready to meet the needs of tournament participants.
"We perform maintenance on the players' clubs, build new stuff, build backup stuff, virtually anything," said Kevin Napier, a technician for Callaway. "We're here to meet the player's needs. If something happens to a current gamer, we're here to fix it. We provide guys with hats, balls for the week, really just anything and everything for their game."
How do players get clubs tailored to their exact specifications before tournaments? These guys. @markmendez & I go behind the scenes look in the equipment trucks at the @valerotxopen - story tomorrow at noon on #KSATsports @InstantReplaySA pic.twitter.com/uBb4jmi1GZ— Jake Kobersky (@Jake_Kobersky) April 3, 2019
This year's PGA season is Napier's fourth with Callaway. From adjusting irons to their correct angle, to crafting entirely new, custom made drivers, Napier and his team are equal parts golf fan, artist and scientist.
"If something is off more than a gram or two, as far as a head weight or any difference in the shaft, the players can sense that," Napier said.
It's a labor of love that takes him to golf tournaments across the country.
"Last year I did about 230 nights in a hotel, so I'm on the road quite a bit. We run about 38, 39 weeks on the road each year," Napier said.
But Napier doesn't mind. A former college golfer for the University of Memphis, he takes pride in seeing his work help players succeed in the sport he loves.
"Working with the players, getting them dialed in and seeing their success, that's probably the best, most rewarding aspect of this job."
The 2019 Valero Texas Open runs from April 4-7, 2019, at TPC San Antonio.