Evnroll's exclusive interview with Drew Nesbitt
Drew Nesbitt from Canada posing with the tournament trophy after his victory at the 60th Abierto Mexicano de Golf at Club Campestre de Tijuana. (Aquiles Duarte)
Tell me about how you got started in golf? How did you first learn? First teacher? First golf course?
Learned the game from my Dad, he taught me everything I know. I’ve never had a long term golf coach, my Dad has been my coach basically my whole life. My Dad was a scratch golfer who worked for Cleveland and Srixon, and we were well known around the club near Barrie, Ontario, where I lived called Horseshoe Valley. I remember fondly my Dad waking me up at 6:30 in the morning for a 7am tee time during the summer, I loved those days and that where I fell in love with golf.
What do you love about golf? What makes you passionate about the game and wanting to get better?
It's really simple, I enjoy competitive challenge. I enjoy the idea of having to beat other people and pushing yourself to be not comfortable in competitive situations. There's this great quote that I like and it says, “If competitive challenge is what excites people, then why do we pick the easiest challenges?” Not to many people are capable of playing elite golf, and even less capable of playing elite golf on the PGA Tour. I am driven to join that group of elite company and taste the same success that guys like Jack and Tiger have. The challenge of can you do it, do you have that skill, can you stay in the moment and execute a win. Winning is the best feeling in the world. This passion for winning began as a young hockey player up in Barrie. My team would win a lot, but when we lost, it totally, sucks. I hated losing. I play for the will to win, the moments of winning like Tigers chip in at Augusta or making that U.S. Open putt on Rocco Mediate. I love the rush of making a putt to win, and I love the game. There's never the same shot, something's always different and the whole task of great golf can never be perfect, but trying to make it perfect is exciting. Chasing perfect.
What has been the most challenging part of the game for you?
Putting, and actually playing golf. I was always capable of hitting the shot, but choosing the right shot to hit was hard. Maturing in terms of my strategy and mental discipline has been something I’ve been working on. Last March I started to work with a sports psychologist Mike White, and we’ve covered a lot of ground in terms of decision making. Learning how to play golf has been my biggest challenge, learning how to not just be a shotmaker but position yourself around 18 holes to eliminate the big numbers. Keeping the big number out of the game is how you need to play out here. Over the last year I’ve really matured to realize that, from the start of the year on the Latin Tour to now I feel like a completely new golfer in that respect.
On a similar but different note, what is your number one offseason hobby?
Hockey, skiing, but living in Florida makes it tough!
What was that transition like from amateur to professional?
I was 18 when I tuned pro, I didn't want to play Amateur events anymore and wanted to give this golf thing a shot so I moved down south and tried to make it. The golf itself was the same game but the way the players looked at it was way different. When you're playing for money, everything's a little tighter, you have to have a lot more respect for other players. I walked in someone's line one time and was devastated, it's just different when money is on the line as opposed to amateur events.. The hardest transition was learning how to play professional golf besides the golf itself. From 18 years old to 20, I didn't make a dollar. When I was 19 I got a real winter job, did not play any golf all winter, I was losing hope. I went to see Dave Stockton Jr. in California that spring and had a putting lesson. I came back a week later and won a Great Lakes Tour event, and it was all back on. I won once or twice that summer, and have come down South again every summer since to play more events, grow confidence. Now I’m playing on the Latin Tour and have good status and am excited for this season to move forward. If in life if you have a plan B, plan A doesn't work right?
Favourite event on any tour in any time period?
The Masters, and I don't think anyone would disagree. But I promised myself that I’ll never step foot on the property until I am invited to play!
Victory you’re most proud of? Could be a tournament win, gym personal best, or non-golf related?
Won a Florida Elite Tour mini-tour event and I shot 67-67-66. It wasn't so much how I came in with some good scores, it was how I did it. In the final round I was playing with a two shot lead, and won by two, but what I was most proud about was that everything I've ever done with a lead up until that point, I didn't do that day. I didn't choke, didn’t cough it up, I was so patient, I played so well and managed to shoot 66, and won by two. Guys out here play for keeps, and that moment showed me that I have the patience and the poise to stay in the moment and pull off the shots when I need to. Having the confidence to do things when you have to do them and do them in the right way. Have the confidence to execute, believing in yourself, that’s what’s important.
How far do you hit your stock 7 iron?
Flagstick in or flagstick out in 2019?
If you tended it before, leave it in. if it's a put I would have taken it out, I take it out.
Are you a fan of the knee high drop?
Indifferent, that rule to me made no difference.
Best shot you’ve ever hit?
2017 Canadian Open on the 16th hole in the 2nd round, 229 yards from the left fairway to a front right flag. I couldn't see the green because of the trees on the left. Hit a 2 iron aimed 30 yards left of the green. I hit it, it came off perfect, it started cutting, and landed 4 feet short of the flag and stopped dead, Tiger style. I made the put and it was the biggest roar from a crowd I've ever had.
First shot you’d take back if you had a mulligan?
On the 9th hole in the Canadian Open during the second round, I had a 5 foot putt for par, had a pitchmark in front of my ball. I fixed a pitchmark but it caught my eye as I was over the ball and I thought to myself “that's not fixed,” but I hit the putt anyway and I missed it. I've learned the hard way that discipline is so important.
What would you say is the strongest part of your game?
Ball striking. Pretty consistent ball striker, hit a lot of greens in regulation. I hit it far too but I’m no Rory or Dustin Johnson. KJ Choi once told me the key to longevity was ball striking, any guy can hit the driver in play, most guys can have good putting weeks, but when you have an iron in your hand, do you hit it to the right side of the flag or the wrong side. You’re never making bogey from 20 feet on the right side of the hole.
What is the part of your game you most want to work on?
Putting. My putting has come a long way in recent years, it doesn't cost me anymore like it used to. But if you look at the best putters in the world, I'm nowhere near them. I just don't make the same number of 20 footers that the best in the world do that you need to win. If you can hit it to the safe side of the hole and make the putt, you never need to take on the flag or danger, you're going to consistently play well.
What are your career aspirations for golf or otherwise? Where are you in 10 years?
My dream goal is to access my full potential. I believe my potential is capable of great things, and I want to take all of my potential and put it into to fruition to see how good I can be.
Tell me some of the goals you’ve set for yourself for 2019?
I have ideas in my head of what I am capable of, and I want to achieve, what I believe I can do. My goal is to go out, be confident, and try and produce.
Do you have any projects happening off the course? Sponsor events, charities?
JT Classic Big Brothers and Big Sisters Event which is a Great Lakes Tour charity tournament. I've played it the past two years and they invited me back last year which was awesome. Amateur teams bid on their players and that raises money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I think charitable responsibilities is part of our job everyday. We get to wake up and play a sport that we love, and it's a requirement of that that we give back to the community in any way that we can. One day I would love to start my own foundation for kids and sports. I have a huge place in my heart for people who can't access organized sports. Would love to make that a part of my life contributing to bringing sports to people. I was so blessed to grow up playing sports, I know what a positive impact sports have had on my life, and I want to inspire others to that extent. I want to get kids active, onto teams, and give them the confidence to succeed.
What model of putter do you use right now? Grip type?
My Evnroll ER2, 33 inch 70 lie 2 degrees, I’m going to change it to 43 inch 3 loft and 68 lie. Midsize pistol grip currently.
How did you hear about Evnroll?
A friend of mine, Chris Wilson, had one and was a lefty, so I tried his and used it a bit at the end of last year. I was using my Never Compromise that I had used since I was 13, but just needed a different look. So I got connected with Evnroll and it’s been amazing ever since.
What attracted you to the putters? The technology? The aesthetics? The Guerin Rife name?
I like everything about it. Feels good, looks good. Face technology is huge. If you miss hit it, and we're all human so we have miss hits, it just performs better than anything. It's a better product.
Have you seen a noticeable difference in your putting performance after switching to Evnroll? What’s your favourite part about that Evnroll design?
Consistent roll more than anything. My putting stroke is the same, but the Evnroll lets me line the putter up with more consistency than my old putter. Feels pure too.
How important is the look of a putter to your confidence on the greens? How about the feel?
Both, feel is look and look is feel. If you don't like one, you won’t like the other. You need balance. You need to enjoy looking over it and looking at it, and the way it feels. Putting is so feel based and shape oriented, the artistry of putting requires a lot of feel and trust in the putter. That's what I get from the Evnroll putter, it's very clean, clean lines, look good, feels good, plays good.
Give me one putting tip you think would help people from a setup, mechanical and technical approach?
Tempo of the stroke needs to be the same. Have to have quiet eyes. Have to have good speed control, if you can have consistent speed you’ll make a lot of putts. Having quality speed control is everything, which goes hand in hand with tempo.
Give me a putting tip you think would help people on the mental approach side?
Create a picture, see the line from the ball through the hole and see it falling in. Easier said than done, but for me I am a feel creative guy, and create that picture from start line, to the apex, to falling in the hole. Create that picture, be confident in your ability, and let your subconscious mind take over, that’s it really.
Drew Nesbitt's Bio
- - 2011 Canadian Amateur
- - 2012 US Junior Amateur
- - 2013 Canadian Junior Boys Championship
- - 2013 Spring Break Junior Invitational
- - 2014 PGA Tour US Open Local Qualifier
- - 2014 PGA Tour US Open Sectionals
2015 Professional Highlights:
- PGA Tour:
- - US Open Local Qualifier 1st (67)
- - US Open Sectionals
2016 Professional Highlights:
- Great Lakes Tour:
- - Barrie Classic 3rd (71-71)
- - London Championships t5th (73-67)
- - Paris Championship 5th (73-66)
- - Collingwood Classic t5th (69-71)
- Circuit Canada Pro Tour (CCPT):
- - Desjardins Insurance Open t8th (72-71)
- - Quebec Open t13th (67-75-68-72)
- - Manac Open t8th (67-67-69-67)
- Canadian Tour:
- - Qualifying School (82-67-73-72)
- - Niagara Championship Monday Qualifier 2nd (65)
- - Niagara Championship (73-72 MC)
- PGA Tour:
- - US Open Local Qualifier t2nd (71)
- - US Open Sectionals
- European Tour:
- - Qualifying School 1st stage 16th (74-67-66-78)
- - Qualifying School 2nd stage
2017 Professional Highlights:
- Great Lakes Tour:
- - Settlers Ghost 1st (67)
- - Southern Ontario Open 4th (67-69-68-68)
- - Collingwood Classic 3rd (66-71-69)
- - GLT Tour Championship 2nd (68-66)
- Circuit Canada Pro Tour (CCPT):
- - Acura Classic 1st (67-72)
- - Canada Cup t5th (68-66-69-69)
- PGA Tour:
- - Canadian Open Monday Qualifier 1st (67)
- - Canadian Open (72-69 MC)
- PGA Tour Latin America:
- - Qualifying School t20th (68-73-73-74)
- - PGA Latin America Tour Card earned for 2018 Season