We really enjoyed catching up with Team Titleist member John L. in this latest edition of our Team Titleist Member Spotlight, where we get the chance to learn even more about the passionate and knowledgeable members of Team Titleist and their unique connections to the game.
John grew up in Georgia but is currently stationed in Japan as a member of the United States Air Force. We were thankful to hear from John recently on the Team Titleist discussion boards, where he let everyone know that "myself and my extended family are fine" in the aftermath of the Japan tsunami.
While John has been busy aiding in the recovery actions in Japan, he is hoping to tee up his Titleist Pro V1x again at Gosser Memorial GC on the Misawa Air Base by mid-April and start getting his game back in shape.
We're sure he's also looking forward to grabbing that hamburger – "the best burger I have ever had" – at the turn…
TEAM TITLEIST: How did you get started in golf? Who introduced you to the game?
JOHN L.: Going with my Father and Uncle Jack to the golf course every year when my uncle visited. I couldn't tell you how old I was – but I was young. I was mostly the ball finder, but they would let me hit one every once in a while.
TT: How often are you thinking about your golf game and getting better? What are you currently working on?
JL: According to my wife, "too much." She says I have "a golf sickness." She told me I should see a doctor. So I told her that my regular foursome includes three doctors, and asked her which one she recommends.
I always want to get better. The greatest part of golf is you can never beat the game but you can change the location. Tempo and mental strength!
TT: What's your best score and where did you shoot it?
JL: 120 at Misawa Gosser Memorial GC! It was a challenge day tournament and I played horrible. When I finished, the course pro said “You did a great job, you finished the tournament and didn’t give up." OK, so it’s not my best score, but it felt good to know finishing is better than walking off. Sometimes humility is better than glory.
TT: What's the most special moment you've ever had on the golf course?
JL: I played a small course in Wisconsin with my uncle Jack, father and cousin Frank, when I was a teenager. I had always wanted to play with them when I was growing up. I lived in Georgia and my uncle and cousin lived in Wisconsin.
TT: How do you mark your Titleist golf ball? Does it have any special significance?
JL: Nowadays I write "Simba" in red opposite the AIM line of the Pro V1x. It's what everyone calls me.
TT: What's your favorite Titleist club in the bag?
JL: My 2009 Scotty Cameron Studio Select Fastback 1.5! It has a great feel and the first time I hit it I knew it was the putter for me.
TT: If you had to play one golf course every day for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
JL: Gosser Memorial GC. It’s a great course, has some holes that can be difficult, some that can be easy. You can walk it if you like, and the 18th has a great view of snow capped mountains in the spring.
It has a small, but great staff, and they seem to know everyone’s name. It just feels right when you play there.
TT: How did you hear about Team Titleist? What are some of your favorite features of the community and what kind of things would you like to see in the future?
JL: I was just surfing the Titleist Web site one day and saw the forum and signed up. It’s a great community of golfers that share a passion for the game and you get to see lots of different perspectives about the game.
I'd like to see a Titleist Van tracker, you know a little map showing where the van is now and where it’s going next. Maybe a photo of the Van and its people working with customers or something. Just a thought.
TT: Do you consider yourself a tinkerer? How often do you change equipment?
JL: Tinkerer no, junkie maybe! I change about every two years with the irons. Wedges as they wear out. I change drivers too much, but I’m looking to curb that.
TT: Favorite golf movie?
JL: I think you can’t go wrong with "Caddyshack." Everyone quotes the movie on the course.
TT: Favorite golf book?
JL: "Play Better Golf: The Short Game and Scoring" by Jack Nicklaus. I found a copy in my dad’s golf bag as a kid. It’s the first golf book I ever read.
TT: Favorite 19th hole meal?
JL: A hamburger at Misawa Gosser Memorial GC! They make the best burger I have ever had. Every one I know gets them at the turn – it’s like a ritual or something.
TT: What is your favorite golf destination?
JL: The 18th green of any course! It usually means I had a great day playing golf.
TT: Do you have any on-course superstitions? (I.e. always mark your ball with a heads-up quarter)
It’s a new superstition. I have a ball mark from the 5th RS Recon Squadron. I point it to where Oscar is facing the cup. He's a recon cat so I’m hoping he'll give me a good read.