Dean Teykl spends nearly all year on the road helping pros with their clubs. (Courtesy: Callaway Golf)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Dean Teykl is one of the busiest men in professional golf. If that sounds like a bold statement, consider this: Callaway's PGA TOUR and Champions Tour manager was on the road 46 weeks last season — which means he spent just six full weeks at home last year. Six weeks.
When asked recently how many weeks he has been on the road in 2013, Tekyl said: "I haven't stopped to count yet but I know I haven't taken off one yet this year. It's a routine that you get used to."
Even with his hectic schedule, Teykl took a couple minutes at a recent PGA TOUR stop to chat about life on TOUR, what he enjoys most about his job and the craziest club he has ever worked on.
What's the one thing you enjoy about this job more than anything else?
Dean Teykl: It's the people. When you see the same people every week you start to become a family, even if you don't work for the same company. We all wear different hats and different colored shirts, but at the same time, every guy out here would be willing to help you if you needed something.
You have some brand allegiance, but come 5 o'clock, you're all friends. If I ever get out of this rat race, that's the one thing I'm going to miss more than anything else is the camaraderie with the guys.
You've worked on thousands of golf clubs in your career. Is there one in particular that sticks out from the rest?
DT: Probably Jim Furyk's 60-degree wedge. I'm not kidding when I say this, but that wedge was like no other club out here. It was the ugliest club you could ever imagine.
It was a one-off prototype that had some unbelievable offset and a giant head. It evolved over the years as we continued to grind it, so it never ended up turning into the club it was supposed to be.
I can't remember the exact amount of offset, but I remember it being over half-an-inch. The funny thing is he loved that wedge. I used to tell him it was hard to make a club look this bad.
Piggybacking on that question, who are some of your favorite players to work with out here?
DT: This is going to sound like I'm trying to dodge the question, but all the guys on this staff are fantastic. I've spent time going back to my days at Hogan working with Jim Furyk, so we have a lot of history together.
Then you have the young guys on our staff like Luke List, Gary Woodland, Nicolas Colsaerts, Ryo Ishikawa. Freddie Jacobsen's another guy I enjoy working with.
I also had the opportunity to work with Bernhard Langer for a number of years and that was pretty special. So yeah, I guess you could say I enjoy or enjoyed working with all of these guys. Each one brings something to the table.
What do you enjoy doing on the road when you're not on the range or working in the truck?
DT: I really enjoy working out. I'm not as dedicated to it as I should be, but it's a great way to try and stay in shape out here. I also enjoy hanging out with the guys. We're all friends out here so we enjoy being around each other when we're not working. All basic stuff, I guess.
I've asked this question to other TOUR managers as well, but do you feel pressure when you suggest an equipment change and a player takes your advice?
DT: Of course, I think everyone out here feels the same way. However, the only way that conversation ever comes around is by gaining their trust. And the only way that trust ever gained is through conversation.
I could make recommendations based on past experiences and we keep pretty extensive notes on every player. When we do decide to suggest something, there's usually a chain of events that leads us to the decision. There's a lot of trust out here that has to be built up over time.