Evnroll's exclusive interview with Brad Curran
Tell me about how you got started in golf? How did you first learn? First teacher? First golf course?
Well I started playing at 5 or 6 years old, my Dad first taught me at the local course, but I think my hockey slap-shot was the best teacher. Picking it up a bit more and more as I grew up, my family used to go to the PEI Junior Golf Academy for one week every year, and that’s where I really learned to play. When I was 14 years old, I played my first tournament. After that, my hockey career faded and golf took over, and then in my senior year of high school I got recruited to the University of South Carolina satellite campus in Beaufort. After I graduated, I turned pro and started playing full time, then the rest is history I guess.
What do you love about golf? What makes you passionate about the game and wanting to get better?
As a kid, I always loved competition, I played super competitive hockey growing up and just loved the competition of sports. After I switched focus towards golf, I loved that aspect of competition even more. I loved the competition against myself. Golf is not like hockey in that you get such immediate feedback on your status and progression compared to the course your playing, your relation to par, and your game against your own expectations. You get to see all that feedback immediately when you see if your getting better. Tracking your stats shows you exactly where you are. I just love that competitive journey and the competitive nature of golf.
What has been the most challenging part of the game for you?
Acceptance of bad shots and acceptance of not playing the perfect round. I’ve really been working hard on being patient and waiting on my birdie opportunities, and not trying to to birdie every hole. I used to make a bogey or a double and then go and shoot at every pin thinking that I had to make it back, but that would lead to me making bad decisions and would result in even worse play. That’s the big difference in playing competitive golf, course management, situation management, it’s all things I’m working on. Accepting bad shots, sticking to the game plan, and not veering away from it depending on how I’m doing, that’s how you play good golf. And I’ve been doing really well with it so far this year. Making doubles and still shooting under par. All things considered, I’m pretty satisfied with my mental growth but there's always room to get better.
When you turned pro, what was the transition like from amateur to professional?
It was September of 2016 for the Cape Breton Open. I didn't notice to much a difference competition wise, but it definitely took me a while to adjust to playing for money. Focusing on the shot and the moment and not the result was hard. Not thinking about making cuts and making paychecks, and getting out of that mental box of “this putt is worth $1000,” that’s so hard to do. I think by the time you work up to the PGA Tour that it becomes normal, but it was definitely hard to get over that hump in the start. Whether it’s $1,000,000 or a beer in the clubhouse your playing for, that shouldn't affect your on-course approach, you just have to stay in the moment and hit the shots that are in your gameplan.
Favourite event that you've played in?
The U.S. Ammateur at Oakland Hills in Detroit. It was crazy, the rough was so deep that they need spotters on both sides of the fairway just to find the ball a few yard into it. It was like 8 inches deep! They set it up as a U.S. Open, it was absolute carnage. I swing the club pretty hard but couldn't get more than an 8 iron through that grass, it meant that if you missed the fairway you couldn’t hit the greens, which was wild. Cape Breton where I turned pro is always special to me as well, it’s my home event kind of, and the one my career began at.
Victory you’re most proud of? Could be a tournament win, gym personal best, or non-golf related?
Well my biggest accomplishment of 2018 was playing well when I had to at the end of the year. I had to have a few good finishes to keep my status and advance my career, and I did that, which felt really good to know I could play in the clutch like that. I’m really happy with my steady improvement over the past few years, lot’s of good things to come.
How far do you hit your stock 7 iron?
177 yards carry.
Flagstick in or flagstick out in 2019?
It varies, depending on the what the flag is made of for one. But I definitely leave it in on everything outside 20 feet, and leave it in on downhill putts. I leave it in more than most people on tour, but I definitely think it helps. I just wait to see what Bryson does and then copy that right!
Are you a fan of the knee high drop?
Almost took wrong drop penalties a few times already! I get the rule change, but I definitely think that the bend over and drop from the knee look is a little awkward.
Best shot you’ve ever hit?
Well I have five holes in one, and two of them in competition, so those were pretty good. Probably the best was at a media day in 2016 for the Cape Breton event, I got a hole in one from 233 into the wind with a three iron, was probably the best shot I’ve ever hit.
First shot you’d take back if you had a mulligan?
Canada Cup a few years back, on the first tee on Saturday Morning. I hit the fattest three iron of my life, the ball only went 40 yards and didn’t even make the fairway. I actually hit a spectator on the next shot too, but then got up and down for par and shot 5-under for the day, so not all bad.
What would you say is the strongest part of your game?
Driving, I hit it really long and straight, which is what you need to do be really good out here. But statistically, putting is probably the best part of my game. I give myself a lot of putts because I get it down so close to the green off the tee. After switching to the Evnroll, I practiced really hard with it and now I’m a very good putter, you have to make so many birdies to be competitive out here, that my driver, wedge and putting games have to be on more than anything else.
What is the part of your game you most want to work on?
My approach game for sure, I hit a lot of wedges into greens because I hit the ball so far off the tee, but my proximity could be way better with the wedges and short irons. That would give me more and closer birdie looks. Basically, if you give yourself a 20 foot putt every time from 130 yards, your going to play pretty well over the course of a week.
Get full status on the Mackenzie Tour. Win an event, and graduate to the Web.com Tour.
What model of putter do you use right now? Grip type? Specs?
I got a new putter, the Evnroll ER1.2 with a Gravity Grip on it and I love it. Got it fit at Modern Golf in Toronto to be 73 degree lie angle and 3 degree loft, 34.5 inches long.
I used Beon Lee’s in an event and loved it immediately. The feel was so good and the roll so pure, it’s really a premium piece of technology.
Have you seen a noticeable difference in your putting performance after switching to Evnroll? What’s your favourite part about that Evnroll design?
I switched to the ER1.2 and noticed an immediate improvement with the Sweet Face Technology. The traditional blade putter is so hard to control speed on lag putts, the miss-hits make such a big difference. So I had to switch to a mallet putter to get some forgiveness back. But with the ER1.2 I have the forgiveness of a mallet and the free flow of a blade, it’s perfect. I really notice a difference with the Sweet Face in my distance control, and my putting stats show it.
What is the number one quality you look for in a new putter?
Technological advantage. The Evnroll line has a way better physical response from the super soft metal of a high end milled putter compared with others. I really buy into the Sweet Face Technology because I know that it works. Turned my putting from one of my week spots into one of my strong suits, and that’s a huge advantage.
Give me one putting tip you think would help people from a setup, mechanical and technical approach?
Trust your stroke. And read your putts backward, start at the hole and work back to the ball. Figure out where the putt is going to enter the whole, like numbers on a clock, then trace the line back to the high point, the apex of the break, then you go back to your ball. Find an intermediate target one or two feet in front of you, line up your putt and then just trust it.
Give me a putting tip you think would help people on the mental approach side?
Trying to make every putt you hit on the highest line possible. Focus on the smallest point you can in the hole, and really try and die the ball in. Putting aggressively on a passive line is the best way to describe it. Giving yourself a lot of three foot comebackers is nerve fraying, so on lag putts I always just try and die it, get an easy tap in every time.
Brad Curran's Bio
Brad graduated from the University of South Carolina Beaufort in the spring of 2016, capping off his collegiate career as an All American. Brad turned pro following the U.S. Amateur that year to compete in the Cape Breton Classic PGA Tour Canada event in his home province of Nova Scotia. Spending the last two years on the mini-tour circuits of PGA Latinoamerica and the Mackenzie Tour, Brad is heading into 2019 to try and get his full status on the Mackenzie Tour. Brad plans to play his way into the Web.com Tour Q-School in the fall.