Chat with Michael Collins
Welcome to Sportsnation! On Monday, ESPN.com golf writer Michael Collins brings his unique perspective as a former caddie into the chat.
Collins, who joined ESPN in August 2011, started his career as a stand up comedian and became a caddy by accident. He started looping for fun in 1999, but by 2003 decided to make it a full-time gig. He was the caddy for Chris Couch in 2003 when he won the Nationwide Tour championship.
Collins has never won an award for his writing, but he'll tell you that's probably because he failed high school English and still types with only his index fingers. But he's smart, funny and, most importantly, knows the game and what players and caddies go through on a weekly basis.
Send your questions now and join Collins Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
Michael Collins (3:00 PM)
OH YEAH!!! The fastest hour in golf is back! Sorry I missed y'all last week.So a 14 year old is going to the Masters. He hits it 250 yards with driver off the tee but his short game is amazing, too bad he uses a belly putter! What happens to him if they ban them for next year?!
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What will be the very first PGA Tour event in 2013?
Michael Collins (3:02 PM)
Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui.Here's a link to the whole schedule...http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/8521708/pga-tour-schedule-2013
steven in orlando [via mobile]
Hey mike, 14 year old wins a tour event
Michael Collins (3:03 PM)
Remember, a 14 year old played in the US Open this year and a 17 year old had the lead just for a second. These kids are that good, I say, like the Bad News Bears, LET THEM PLAY!
Dan (CA )
WHat happens if they ban belly putters? Guys will switch back and that's it. People making too big of a deal out of it.
Michael Collins (3:05 PM)
Acting like it's no big deal is like me switching your brake and gas pedal and saying "no big deal" as you drive into NY city for the first time.Don't belittle something that messes with a guys job.
Over/under 160 for the first 2 rounds at the Masters for the 14-year old kid?
Michael Collins (3:07 PM)
Can I hold off my vote until I see what happens if they ban the belly and long putters?If he can use his belly putter I'll take the under, if not I'll say WAY over!
In the event a ban is put in to place - does it affect a player that has always used it more like Keegan Bradley, or someone that probably has the yips in Els?
Michael Collins (3:10 PM)
someone who's used that style putter since college will be much more affected than someone who (like Vijay) has switched back and forth frequently.
Cody (North Carolina)
Rate your most likely to win a major next year: Westwood, Donald, Scott, Rose
Michael Collins (3:10 PM)
Westwood, Rose, Scott, Donald in that order.
Big picture - what does the Rory signing with NIKE mean? Do you think Tiger can handle being second fiddle given Rory will earn more annually most likely?
Michael Collins (3:14 PM)
Well until it's official it's still speculation. BUT, if rumors are true, I think it might actually help. What if Rory wears Tiger's clothing line a la NBA players and Michael Jordan. The thing I'll be interested to see if whether or not Rory changes golf balls.
Is it really wise for Rory to be messing with his equipment provider? The guy makes enough money as it is, why mess with the clubs you've been winning with just to make a few extra bucks?
Michael Collins (3:15 PM)
Many more have failed than have succeeded. I always say the clubs that brought the money, will keep it coming in. But some money deals are just too hard to pass up.
Michael, All of us during our careers are at times asked to change...no different in sports. In football guys are being penalized financially for doing things they were always taught are part of the game. In the NBA illegal defense changed the way the game was played. Fact is if the belly putter is banned the players will learn to figure it out.
Michael Collins (3:17 PM)
Yes they will but at the expense of how many guys out here now. If a change was made at your job, and you lost your job because you couldn't adapt or because the change was something you weren't comfortable with, then what. You just say, "that's ok cause it's for the good of the company." I doubt it.
Do you think changing the golf ball is bigger than the clubs? I can imagine changing a driver or something could be a huge issue?
Michael Collins (3:20 PM)
Every pro will tel you that the hardest thing to get used to is a new company's golf ball. Especially around the greens they all react so much differently. Believe me I've caddied for two guys that did it with disastrous results. Clubs are easy for pro's to adapt to.
What exactly do you think will get banned? Just the anchoring of the putter to the body, or actually the length of the putter? Seems like they could find a way to allow the long putter while banning anchoring.
Michael Collins (3:23 PM)
Yeah, I should have been more specific. Anchoring is the issue, not length, although they did set a standard of driver length so that is not out of the question but...I wonder what they'd do with Kuchar. He anchors it along his forearm.
I think G - Mac and Bradley are way overrated. What you say?
Michael Collins (3:24 PM)
NO way. They are both incredibly solid all around. Be hard to name 25 guys better.
So Phil, since he's Phil, put a TaylorMade 3 wood in place of his Callaway one, which seems relevant because he's a Callaway guy. What in the world is the story behind this one?
Michael Collins (3:26 PM)
The Callaway 3 wood prototype wasn't going to be finished in time for the event so he blacked out a TaylorMade. I'd bet a million bucks if he wanted to he could play it and it wouldn't affect his contract even if he didn't tell them.But Phil's a stand up dude, wouldn't be sneaky like that.
Dan (Kansas City)
What's your favorite course(s) in Orlando. Got to make some tee times next month. Thanks.
Michael Collins (3:29 PM)
Orange County National, Ritz Carlton, Shingle Creek, Disney's Magnolia just to name a few. There are some really good tracks in the area.
Michael, who has the worst temper on the pga tour?
Michael Collins (3:32 PM)
Funny you should ask, everyone sees what happened with Tiger at the Masters and went crazy where those of us that have been inside the ropes went, "HA! That's NOTHING!" But those of you that know me know I hate throwing my friends under the bus, I will say Pat Perez and Rory Sabatini have been known to have some epic meltdowns, but to say they're the worst would be a lie.
Charlie Rymer (Golf Channel studio)
Have you ever tried salad? I've heard it's not that bad.
Michael Collins (3:33 PM)
Aren't you the pot calling the kettle names?! HAHA
Michael Collins (3:33 PM)
I can get rid of fat, what are you gonna do about ugly?
Dan (Kansas City)
What are your thought about Gary Woodland getting back into the top 50 at some point next year? Really dissapointing 2012.
Michael Collins (3:37 PM)
He is this year's poster child for why you don't change your swing to play a fundamentally different game than what got you a win on the PGA Tour.Names to look up, Daniel Chopra and Parker McLachlinI think Woodland won't suffer as bad as those two but, he's still has some growing pains to come.
Woody (Washington, DC)
Which players currently not in the top-125 on the PGA Tour money list will be in the top 125 after Sunday night?
Michael Collins (3:39 PM)
Trevor Immelman and Alexander Rocha are the two that I think make it in.
Keith H (Seattle)
Who is your player when you caddie for Q-school? Just for those of us who want to play along on the home game.
Michael Collins (3:40 PM)
Omar Uresti, but he has to make it thru 2nd stage next week in Panama City, FL so send good vibes his way.
Just call Rymer Barbecue, he'll know some of his GA boys are riding him! As far as anchoring is concerned, I'm ok with Kuchar using his forearm and calling that kosher, but not in the belly button. I think there's a difference. Do you agree?
Michael Collins (3:42 PM)
You just did it for me... thank you!I don't agree, using your forearm to keep the putter from twisting is the same as putting it against your belly button or chest. Your accomplishing the same thing, just anchoring it in a different place.
Speaking of meltdowns, what is the worst golfer meltdown you have ever seen in person, pro or non-pro?
Michael Collins (3:45 PM)
David Berganio in Va. Beach one year when I was caddying for Chris Couch had an EPIC one. Exploded a tee marker, f bombed a marshall, then threw his putter in the lake on 17 (which I went swimming for after the round cause Couch knew how much it was worth). He got a pretty good fine for that one I think.
Michael, I have been to the PGA Championship, US Open, and now the Ryder Cup this past year - how do I go about getting tickets to Augusta? I want to see all 4 majors and figure that is by far the toughest!
Michael Collins (3:46 PM)
This was my first year being at all four majors (second Ryder Cup) and I gotta tell ya, Augusta takes the cake of them all and this was my first year ever being there in person.
Ed (Long Island)
Can Phil, or anyone else playing well now carry the momentum to next year with so much time off?
Michael Collins (3:48 PM)
We haven't seen Phil play this well this late in the season in... forever I guess so I'd say he could easily keep this up going into 2013 even with a good Christmas and New Year's break.
Do you see Lucas Glover coming back strong next year? Hopefully no wake boarding in Hawaii this year!!!! Thanks.
Michael Collins (3:50 PM)
I do see Lucas playing better in 2013. If anyone sees him wakeboarding in HI scream "Greg Brady!" and hit him with a tranquilizer dart.
Why do you feel Augusta is better than the Ryder Cup?
Michael Collins (3:51 PM)
The Ryder Cup is the greatest golf party you've ever been to. Augusta is church on Christmas eve.Two completely different vibes.
Why so much negativity re RM potential signing with Nike? a la Faldo.RM is proving that he is a world class, supertalented golfer, young and has time to adapt to any new equipment. Golf tech is so advanced that Nike/any golf co will build him a ball to suit him. TW ball is only used by him and not sold in stores(so I understand)
Michael Collins (3:53 PM)
No negativity from me, just a word of caution if he switches golf balls. The equipment thing to me is not that big an issue, only that it will take a few months to get to a place where he can fully trust it, but the golf balls will take at LEAST a year to trust, and maybe more.
With the Rory signing, is the relationship with Rory and Tiger even closer than we all may think? You had to think Tiger worked Rory to come to NIKE with him...
Michael Collins (3:55 PM)
As much golf as they played together since late July who better to sell Nike than it's #1 guy? And if Tiger is Rory's hero in golf, why not follow the same path career wise? Worked once at the highest level.
Cody (North Carolina)
I've already laid a futures bet on Watney to win the 2013 Masters at 50-1. Should I be worried if he's going to Nike as the rumors say? Also, do u think him and Rory have already practiced a bunch with Nike clubs before making the decision to switch?
Michael Collins (3:56 PM)
Believe me when I tell you, before a guy makes the switch to a different club company, he's played at LEAST 10-15 rounds with their equipment at home.
Ed (Long Island)
I've read that a lot of guys who have a chance to catch Rory in the Race to Dubai are taking the next 2 events off. Even if tired, wouldn't your competetive juices make you play? I guess it just proves they make so much money, winning is not the end all and be all.
Michael Collins (3:59 PM)
Actually the smartest thing you can do at the end of the season is take a week or two off. Allow yourself to crash (sleep) really good then come back and realize just how bad you needed the rest. Almost every guy over 40 I talk to says they should have played less and they would have been strong at the end of the year.
Michael Collins (4:00 PM)
Hot Dawg!! Another incredibly fast hour. If there's anything I didn't get to...ESPNCaddie@gmail.com@ESPNCaddie on TwitterNo Chat next week, but I'll be back after that.Thanks everyone.MC