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March 12 2013

11:45 PM

Q&A with TaylorMade's Loegering

TaylorMade-adidas PGA TOUR manager Paul Loegering, right, helps players find the right equipment.

By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider

One of the most important names on TaylorMade's staff has never won a PGA TOUR event — or teed it up in a professional tournament. Meet Paul Loegering, TaylorMade-adidas Golf's PGA TOUR manager.

Loegering, along with a host of other TaylorMade employees, spend a majority of the year on the road helping some of the biggest names in golf with their equipment at each PGA TOUR stop.

At the World Golf Championship-Cadillac Championship, Loegering took a couple minutes to chat about what life is like on the road, his unique nickname, and handling player contracts in the tour trailer.

How many weeks are you on the road during the PGA TOUR season, and what's your favorite stop?

Paul Loegering:
I'm on the road about 40 of the 48 weeks during the year. It sounds like a lot, but that's pretty typical for a lot of the guys who work out here; you pretty much live out of your suitcase.

As far as my favorite stop on the PGA TOUR, the Hawaii events are my favorites for personal reasons. But when we get to the East Coast, you can't beat the Florida Swing and getting the chance to be at The Honda Classic and get in rounds at Seminole. Every once in a while you'll tee it up in between tournaments, but I think if I had to go with one place it'd have to be Hawaii.

It seems like everyone on TOUR calls you by your nickname, which is "Lego." Where'd you get the nickname?

PL:
A lot of the players on TOUR didn't know my last name, or my first name, for probably the first five years when I started out here, so they went with my childhood nickname, which was "Lego."

The nickname first originated from sports as a child. My last name is German and it's spelled really weird. Loegering turned into "Lego," and it stuck. Now my son's in high school and he's got the same name. Everyone out here calls me "Lego." And I mean everyone.

What's a typical week like for you during the PGA TOUR season?

PL:
We work sunup to sundown, and then we entertain during the evenings at player-client dinners and functions. We had a product launch at Doral that we attended, so it really doesn't have a start or stop time out here.

I love to give the analogy that the work we do out here Monday-Wednesday is kind of like a NASCAR pit crew. We come in and service the product, make sure the players are tuned and ready for the event, and by Thursday we're out of here.

I'll spend a lot of time on the range working with players and getting them dialed in and what they need before the tournament, but there are also times where you're stuffing player lockers with hats, balls, shoes and gloves, negotiating contracts. You kind of have to be ready to do it all when you're out here.

You mentioned player contracts, what’s the one part of your job people would be surprised to know you do?

PL:
I think player contracts would definitely be at the top of the list. My partner Keith [Sbarbaro] and I are constantly updating if someone's contract is in the negotiation phase. We have an office on our tour trailer, so might ink a five-year deal with Sergio Garcia in there during the week.

The other thing I think is kind of unique is the relationship equity we have out here. We develop really personal relationships with these players that the outside world really doesn't hear about. It's nice to have true friends that are the best players in the world.

TaylorMade staffers trust your opinion and come to you with requests each week. Do you feel pressure when you suggest an equipment tweak and a player takes your advice and puts that adjusted club in play?

PL:
Definitely. You build relationships with these guys, as I mentioned, so you want them to play well from week-to-week. Starting Thursday-Sunday, I'm keeping an eye on how the guys are doing, especially if they've been struggling with a previous product or recently switched into something new.

We take a lot of ownership in what we do, good and bad. The bad side is you take ownership and are responsible for fixing it. And when they raise the trophy, it's incredibly rewarding.

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