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On the blower with master equipment builder, Chris Trott.

Interview • UK • USA •  Equipment

“Chris Trott might be one of the most popular and envied men in the game of golf.

Trottie as he’s more commonly known holds the keys to arguably the best golf equipment on the planet, he builds and fits clubs for the games biggest names and when he’s not on the road at PGA tour events, he’s putting the latest golf equipment through its paces, fitting your favorite player for a new driver and creating content for his YouTube channel helping golf addicts like you improve their game out of Taylormade’s private golf paradise “The Kingdom”.

I gave my old mate a call to chat about his early years as a professional golfer, favorite golf destinations and plans for the future, here’s what he had to say."

- Jack Fardell


I drove the bloody eyes out of it, then I stand up mate and I start making every putt I was looking at.

That arm lock looks alright?

Mate I've been really uncomfortable with putting, just not great. Then all of a sudden it just started going off. Look at this, what am I gonna do with this thing? (shows pendant)

Mate, I saw that. Is that a ten grand pendant?


That's incredible

I know right

All right, should we have a rip into a couple of these questions?

Yeah okay, how serious do you want me to answer them?

Just be you, nothing fancy.

(laughs) Ok

"I’ve worked with the best players in the game, they’ve relied on me to make them good and make their equipment choices right”

All right. How’d you get into golf originally? I don't think I've ever asked you that.

Jack, you've gone electric on the first question.

Yeah, I had to.

Yeah I think like a lot of us, my old man. My old man played golf. I think as the Americans would say, he was an alright athlete as a kid. He didn't have a tonne of opportunity so I think his thing was he worked pretty hard and had a nice job, I think he wanted me to just have access to every game also. I've played every game known to man and much like the Aussies, in the UK they're into their sports. If you have the opportunity you’ll get to play them all but the weathers not as good. One day he took me to play golf and I think because he worked so much and he worked really hard, it was a chance for me to play and be around my dad. As a young kid, your dad is your hero so it was a chance to be around him and hang out with him. Then he realised I was half decent and as I got older, a lot of the other sports just disappeared. Obviously in England football is massive, I played football like everyone else. I also played a bit of cricket, which my old man didn't play cricket, he didn't understand cricket and didn't care about it but one of my grandparents did. So I sort of liked it because of him, I just kept playing and all of a sudden I was like, I don't want to do this anymore. Actually I'll tell you the story behind it all, I let the team down in a big tournament. That was one of the deciding factors when I walked away and was sort of thinking, fuck I didn’t like that feeling.
There was a lot of heat on me from the other ten players and I screwed up, didn't score any runs or something and thought, i’m not doing that anymore. Then I literally left and just played golf. I was really fortunate because one of the guys that my dad knew, his son was one of the best golfers in England. I was nervous about meeting him as a young 13, 14 year old because he was amazing. We played golf together once with our parents, after that I just hit it off with this bloke and he’s still one of my best mates today. We played golf all the time and that quickly made me realise that you can have a laugh with your mates, you can hang out with some good players and everyone shares information just like we said there. It just helped me get good quickly and I'd work a lot harder than everyone else, then when you get good at something you tend to like it right?

You’re spot on there mate, What was your home course?

I was in with a few different courses, a couple of smaller ones in North Wales and around the Wirral,  then I got into Hoylake. Which would be the one that people most know and is where The Open is held this year. I was about 14 or 15 when I got in there. They didn't really take members on and as a kid if you didn't really have the right schooling system or connections, or your parents weren’t in there it was tough. I managed to get in there because I was a decent player. So Hoylake, good, good track and a lot of great memories.

Hoylake is on my list. Was your goal to be on the tour?

Yeah 100%, like everyone. Then I realised at an early age I maybe played too much for the money. I was thinking, oh “I want this” or “I want that” and I was too driven by the money.
Towards the end it got that way because money was so important, you were playing a tournament and you’re trying to play the game as a job and I needed to make money. It wasn't about “I've got to have this” or “I've gotta have that materialistic thing”, it was more a case of “I need to pay the rent, I need to buy this, I need to do that and I don't have any cash”. This is just not a consistent flow of income and that impacted me a little bit. I then also had a job at Taylormade that was offered to me that I went and took, that instantly took the pressure off. I look back at the people that have made it playing golf and they get through difficult times, same as anyone that skates for a living, plays in a band or is an actor. There’s tough times but you get through them and I think that I just didn’t stay the course. Could I have got to where I wanted and have a Colin Morikawa type career? No I don't think so, I wasn't that good but I think I could have gotten further than I did. 

Everything happens for a reason mate. What was your proudest moment as a professional golfer?

Winning the Ben Baller Wash Lord tournament yesterday!


(laughs) I won a couple of tournaments locally as a pro, they were good. I won a couple of big junior events, a couple of big club events that you don't think are successes at the time but they are stepping stones to what I was doing. I think those wins and what I've achieved now in the game. While i’m doing it, I didn't think about it, but I’ve worked with the best players in the game, they’ve relied on me to make them good and make their equipment choices right. TaylorMade, which is an unbelievable brand, has relied on me to make the right calls on things and I've done that. So I think some of the proudest things have come maybe through the career I've had in golf. Obviously playing the game and the memories and stuff, great but I also was a bit of a dick about it when it didn't work, I walked away from it for like ten years. I'm not proud of that, but I had to. I've now returned like three, four or five years ago and I love the game more than ever. I’ve had some proud moments but I think the proudest may be in front of me. I think there's a lot more I can do with this as I approach my middle age with golf, with how much I know and how far I’ve come. In Terms of playing and achievements, some results that are smaller that aren’t going to be significant to anyone reading or watching this but good tournaments to win when I look back.

Looking back, who's your favourite person you've played with?

It would be Marcus Fraser the Aussie guy, he's such a good bloke. He just cares and is a similar age to me. Being out on tour with him was great, he's not a huge baller name so when you're out at dinner you’re not getting interrupted, he doesn't have to act a certain way around people which you can have with some of these elite names. He’s a big enough baller to be a good voice on golf and just an all around great human to be honest. He’d be the one and he would epitomise everything I think that you guys stand for, he's just an Aussie, he's good fun and he's good people, he takes people as they are and he wants to win, that's what Aussies are all about, I respect that. 

He sounds like an absolute legend, top five favourite courses of all time, UK, US and Asia?

Yeah, tricky one on all of them. Of the ones I've played, Hoylake definitely, which is where I grew up. Carnoustie and Birkdale for sure, there’s three. Then I’d put the Fanling golf course in Hong Kong, my buddy was the golf director there, It was a nice place to cruise up to and play. Then I’d have to pick Goat Hill Park, which is just a small little muni in Oceanside purely because it's just a mega vibe and community.
When you come back into golf and you haven't played in a while, I don't know if you want the Country Club bullshit. I have a place in my heart for it but it is a lot sometimes. When you haven't played and you’re coming back to the game It's just not what you want and when you’ve got kids coming into the game, it's tricky. I'm not hating on it, but it's not for everyone.Weird top five maybe, three links courses which being an English guy you’d absolutely list, then one in Asia, the course is left field and tricky, weird grass but a cool place. Then a small little Muni in the US, which is in great condition. Now look I’ve played Pebble Beach and put that in there, but that's like the grandiose arena. I've been to some of those courses down in Aus, walked them and not played them so I can’t list them. That Royal Sydney looks freaking insane and those Melbourne sand belt tracks, all insane but i’ve not played them.
I played Old Head in Ireland which is ridiculous, but it's more like a computer game golf. I like a nasty links course that is tough and the greens aren’t electric, they just can’t be because of the wind. Sandy lies, tight chipping, deep bunkers, heavy sand like that’s all me, hitting through dunes and stuff, I love that.

Yeah you and I played Goat Hill, I loved it. Good community, good vibe.

We played like a pair of arseholes as well, we need to play it again.

We did and we do! Who’s your favourite person to play Goat HIll with?

I’ve got a group, I just like all the guys there to be fair, hard to pick one of them, I play there a lot at the moment with an English guy that plays football. It’s always good banter when it’s home banter, he’s good fun.. Then the American boys are good as well, a couple of good tour players up there. Dean Wilson from The Champions Tour, he’s nice and mellow and then Colin Featherstone who is now back on Korn Ferry, he’s cool as well. But it's not really a place where you list a four ball, I've got a good group of guys, maybe 12 of them that I play with and it's a good, good crowd.

Epic crew! What's your lowest score ever and what course?

I played in a midland assistants event when I would have been very young, I would have been about 22 and I think I shot nine under on the final round to move me from way back to top 5. That was a good knock. I played six rounds at Goat Hill in a day, playing with persimmons for charity. On the last round I think I was 11 under for 18 holes, I was just like, what the? I just didn't see that coming. These rounds of golf are very rare for me, I don’t play all the time. Those two rounds we’re talking about are just two rounds in a 30 year period of playing the game and I can't tell you the exact scores because I just blacked out.I think the one in Birmingham was a 63 and the round at Goat Hill I do think was a 54, Goat is a par 65 but that seems insane. That's what I think it was though, I just blacked out. They would be my two unbelievable low rounds.

"On the last round I think I was 11 under for 18 holes, I was just like, what the? I just didn't see that coming.”

"Probably the most fun player is Dustin because he changes equipment so much, he messes around all the time and he’s just so casual about it all”

Those are damn low mate. What motivates you to create YouTube content?

Wanting to grow a brand. The best thing about it is I realised that I would talk about golf, technique, equipment, grips, modifications, bunker play and everything else all day every day to one person. In the end I thought, I think I know what I'm talking about, I think I could talk to more people so why don't we let the people be the judge of it. Seeing the growth and wanting to build a brand and I'm just enjoying the fact that it escalates into other things. Providing you keep your eyes open and look out for opportunities, I think I can really get it to a place where it can be a home for multiple people to come and feel that they want to talk about golf, if they're good enough then we’ll put them on the channel.

I love watching the content every tuesday. Who’s your favourite player to build clubs for? Actually, let's start with what you love most about building golf clubs?

Just getting it right, getting it bang on. Showing the people what you can do to help them and knowing that they are good but they don't quite know what the problem is. They might have a shot that's letting them down on strokes gained and they've highlighted it, but they don’t know why. I love tour players that don't think it's the clubs and then me changing the club and absolutely helping them, that's pretty epic.

Yeah, it must be super rewarding, favourite player to build for?

My favourite player to build for… Jeez. The tricky ones are guys like Rose and Morikawa, you’ve gotta be on it with everyone but you’ve really gotta be on it with those two because they’ll scrutinise it. The early days I built clubs for a Swedish bloke called Joakim Haeggman, that was amazing. He was the first swede to play Ryder Cup and that was eye opening, he was very helpful and I learned a lot through him, that was good. Rose and Morikawa are big names that you’ve got to get right. Probably the most fun player is Dustin because he changes equipment so much, he messes around all the time and he’s just so casual about it all but he’s such a good player. There's much more to him than the perception of him is. Not in terms of a golfer but he's got pretty good banter to be fair, he’ll give it back. He has a presence, he'd have to be in there for sure.

Dustin, really?

He's a baller. He gets it and he’s a bloke's bloke. He doesn't say too much, says enough, gives a bit of shit back if he needs to, can definitely take it and you know he’s just a good good guy. When I got to America 9 years ago I didn't really get or understand him, then by the end of it I just think he’s good value.

From what I've seen of everyone criticising the LIV guys, no one really has anything negative to say about Dustin throughout the whole thing, or his game.

Because he’s stand up isn't he, he says it how it is and that's what I like about people. He'll tell me if something's shit, he’ll say it's no good. If it is good he’ll say “hey, it's pretty good”. Nothing’s a drama, It's very hard to create drama for Dustin. When he missed that putt at Chambers Bay, it wasn't a drama, when he handed over the PGA to Kaymer it wasn't a drama. It was more like “that’s the game, I get it”. Just a classy, classy guy that is a good player and does his thing.

That’s the way he comes across to me. Is there one club build that is your most memorable?

I think the Martin Kaymer Supertri that I built in Madrid that he went on to win the US PGA with. That would be the one club I'll always remember, I hadn’t really built anything and I hadn't built a club that had been involved in a major championship bag. At the time, Kaymer was a new contract to TaylorMade Golf. We were sort of told to ease off and step away where I saw an opportunity to build something for him because I thought I could help. It turned out I did and he went on to drive the eye’s out of it. That would be the one, it was an R9 Supertri in Madrid. That would've been in 2006, 2007ish. I built it with a Fubuki, the old white shaft. It was just ridiculous.

That must've helped gain the trust of a few players.. What’s your favourite club in the bag, past or present?

Because I drove it so well yesterday it's gotta be the driver, putter also. I putt inconsistently and this thing was just a lock. The driver has been very good for the last three or four years. I wish I knew back then what I know now about golf equipment, I'm driving it way better now than I've ever driven the ball in my life. It’s down to knowing a lot more, so driver or putter.

Those are pretty bloody important.

No shit.

"Back in England, you just put the ball back and stab it and as long as you actually hit it, it rolls towards the hole”

Favourite local pubs, Liverpool and Carlsbad?

I live on the Wirral, which is the little peninsula just outside of Liverpool. So there's a couple of local pubs I like, ones called Ring O’Bells, the other one we go to is The Black Horse. One of those two because that's where the crew is. Here out in Carlsbad I like the brewery scene, I like Harland Brewing, I like what they do so I'll always go there. I also like Belching Beaver, I think they do some pretty good stuff also.

I love going to the pubs in England, How did you collab beer come about?

My beer was a limited run through Harland, one of the fellas at Harland is a golfer and he thought we should do a limited beer, I was all about it. I told him I like the Japanese lager that they make, I quite like Japanese lager but you can’t really get in the states. We went with that and it sold out pretty quick. Limited editions are always good. I like Goo Goo Muck, Have you had that?

I haven’t, good gear?

It's an IPA by Fall Brewing, but it's unfiltered. The New England IPA’s, I was at a tournament in Louisiana and got onto one of their beers called Ghost Train, what a beer that is. I sank it and was like, I’m gonna get another one of those, these things were just really cold, condensation down the side of the bottle, they were ridiculous.

You’re making me thirsty mate. What do you like to wear on the golf course at the moment?

The boys from Nike Golf are looking after me. That's another reason I like Goat Hill, you can dress chill, much like the Walker Golf gear. I like to look chill and not have to look like a muppet. It's a tough one because I’ve been around the pro game so long, the LA/ West Coast vibe, you never know what you are going to see people wearing, especially the closer you get to Los Angeles. Whereas I feel if I just wear Nike, I'm okay either way. I don't know all these cool courses, blokes could be wearing jeans and an open button down shirt. I'm not a Hollywood superstar, I'm not an actor and I'm not a musician, I'm just a guy from England that likes golf, but I if wear what i wanna wear I always feel safe with that, I’m a big fan of black, but if im playing Goat i’ll just chill it out with a T-shirt. 

"The more naive you are, you can just be brilliant. I think that the general consumer thinks that tour players know everything, I’ll tell you they do not!”

What's your handicap right now?

You know what, I'm priding myself on living at a plus one. If you play too good and you get to a plus three or four it’s shit, if you play so bad that you get to a one you basically clean up, whereas at plus one you can go either way. I might not be a plus one on camera and might not put every score in at times to make sure I don't go too low. You never win any money if you start putting all your scores in (laughs)

Draw or fade?

Don't mind, I go through spells and im drawing it right now. The way I fade it is a little steep and I hold it off, where if I draw it I know I'll get the club in a better position. Like I just alluded to I’ve been driving the eyes out of it, I have no real preference and I don't shape it much either way. If i had to pick one it’d probably be the fade, I think I hit the draw a little easier but I worry sometimes because it is a little steep and it gets to be a flip draw which you can't control. If it was a nice rotational draw, that's nice!

Chip or putt?

Sadly as I got older, I'd rather putt. I used to be chip every day of the week, all these grass types we have out here mate, It's not like home. Back in England, you just put the ball back and stab it and as long as you actually hit it, it rolls towards the hole. Here you've got to carry it a distance because it's Kikuyu, then when you land on the green it can either land soft or get going. If you get any spin on it, it will react because the greens are soft. It's just harder to chip here because there’s more variables.Guy’s here are all ball forward and check it. Whereas back in England, I’ll just shove it off my back foot and bang, it does the same thing. So I generally opt to putt, I don't like doing it because I look a bit shit but that's what I do.

Aussie golf can be a bit of a mix between the US and the UK, you can get those soft courses but they'll usually have firm, fast greens and surroundings so you get a bit of both.

I just have some nightmare moments. I film all this content for Taylormade, and we use certain clubs for certain shots, 99% of them I've demonstrated perfectly. We’re out shooting the other week and I'm playing this shot, I've gotta hit up about eight feet out of rough, it's that tightish rough. I'm playing the shot from where the waters come down and settled around a drain, I've only got three feet of green. The lads are telling me to talk about the wedge soul and then just, you know, flip one up there. I'm just like bloody hell, it’s early, I havent hit many shots. I must've laid this thing back to my feet about eight times and they were like, we’re gonna have to move now because you’ve got all these divots. It's rare that I have to do more than one take and I just said, nah I’m gonna get it. I’d usually flop it or pull out a 5 iron and bump it up there. It was the hardest shot for me but we got there, took me a lot of goes though.

Yeah I've been more open to using different wedges around the greens lately. I used to just go straight to the sixty degree and throw it straight at it, but I'm finding the quicker I get it on the ground the better.

That's like in my generation in England, the way we did it was just get the thing on the deck as quick as possible and you’ll be near the hole. Here in America everyone goes for the sixty, I'm not a sixty guy, that hurts me a bit. The more you know, sometimes means you have to test more to get the answers you want, that's why I love the game. The more naive you are, you can just be brilliant. I think that the general consumer thinks that tour players know everything, I’ll tell you  they do not! If I was talking to you about certain skate tricks, it comes to a point where you'd have to say to me, you've got to feel it, you've got to put your style into it, and that's you, that's how you do it. Me trying to tell you how to do some things is irrelevant, you’re gonna have to feel it. There has to be some talent element and you’ve gotta let yourself do it. The athlete in you will always win if you can let them come out. You know what I mean?

Sure do, there's a million ways to skin a cat, especially around a putting green.

It's the same off the tee. You asked draw or fade, if you’re playing a tight golf course and you see the draw, It's a fuckin draw. If you put it down there 310 in the middle of the fairway, it doesn't matter if it got there left or right or right to left. Pretty good poke if you got it down there 310 left to right though (laughs)

What's the next adventure for Trottie? 

Always looking mate, we will see where it all goes. The Trottie Golf thing has been amazing, all the opportunities that come through and continue to happen. I want to take that forward, I want to establish it into being more, something that is tangible and people can be hands on and interact with. The more golf days I can be involved with and the more content I can create. People seem to want it and are very supportive of it. Me continuing to grow, that’s what's next.

It should be mandatory for amatuer golfers to watch your content every tuesday. Let's end this with your dream golf trip location and who would you take with you?

As I get older this is definitely something I want to do more of, I'm realising that now is the time! Dream trip location for me if it's not raining, then I'd go to Scotland or the west coast of the UK where I grew up. I’d love to go down to the sand belt in Melbourne for a few days, that’d be mint but it’s a long old way. In addition to that, Pinehurst. I'd like to do that but I wouldn't want to play one course the whole trip because I like to keep it moving. Then you’ve got Bandon Dunes, I've done that with work and I'd like to do that again. Anything that is America and is contained and is all there, I don't have to mess around, that would be cool. Then Europe, anything linksy because that's my favourite golf. I’m not so fussed about having been there and not fussed about doing the South Africa thing, I’ve kind of done that and it's all a bit disjointed. There’s no golf courses that I want to play that I haven't. I’ve played Valdarama and that was the one course I really wanted to play. In terms of the group, if I could go with the boys I grew up with that would be amazing!
Just because its history and as someone that's an expat, that's something I don't have a lot of. I don’t get to connect with my guys back home. If a call came in and the boys were like “we’re gonna go here and you have to come” I'd make a solid effort to do that. I wouldn’t list people like Tiger or Rory or people I don't know because to me that’s hard work. I’d rather put a list together of guys i’ve grown up with because its gonna be a good crack, there’s gonna be a bit of competition but it’s not gonna be the be all and end all, there’ll be a bit of piss taking and if you take the piss back, your boys will be happy with it, there’s gonna be a bit of boozing but your not gonna be up all night, it’s just a good balance with mates. There’s one place I’ll tell ya I want to go back to, I went to New Jersey to this Hidden Creek Dormie Network course, I went for two days and what a setup that place is, somewhere like that with some of the best facilities and weather that you can lock in with your boys and enjoy is ideal.

There’s too much out there to see in one lifetime.. Thanks for your time mate, let's play Goat Hill real soon.

I look forward to it!

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